WCS Canada

Our Staff

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Marilyn Katsabas
Office Manager
Marilyn Katsabas grew up in Toronto, Ontario and came to WCS Canada on a part-time basis in the fall of 2007. Marilyn has 20+ years administrative and bookkeeping experience previously working in both large corporate and small business environments. Marilyn has contributed to various community volunteer programs in the Toronto area.
Martin Robards
Arctic Beringia Coordinator
Dr. Martin Robardsis the Director of the WCS's Arctic Beringia Program and has 20 years of Alaska research experience, having worked extensively with indigenous communities and their representatives in the Arctic. Dr. Robards also worked for two years in Washington D.C. at the Marine Mammal Commission, informing policy makers about the challenges of implementing regional-scale policies concerning the conservation of marine mammals in remote subsistence-dominated environments. He has published over 30 scientific articles, served as a reviewer for numerous scientific journals, and is affiliate faculty with the University of Alaska.
Martin von Mirbach
Director of Conservation Strategy
As Director of Conservation Strategy Martin plays a critical role in moving WCS Canada’s science to conservation action with an understanding of policy and decision making environments in Canada. He supports our regional conservation programs across the boreal as well as in the Arctic from his Ottawa-based location. He helps shape and implement our conservation policy work with a national scope, such as identifying Key Biodiversity Areas and properly valuing and conserving intact forests and peatlands across northern Canada, as well as supporting WCS international policy work, such as the development of a new framework for biodiversity at the CBD. Martin completed his Master's Degree in Philosophy at York University in Toronto. He has been active as a conservationist since the early 1990s, and has been Coordinator of the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Network, Sustainable Development Chair at the Centre for Forest and Environmental Studies, National Conservation Director at the Sierra Club of Canada, Vice President of Forest Stewardship Council Canada and Director of WWF-Canada's Arctic Program.
Matthew Pine
Postdoctoral Fellow
Matt is a Mitacs Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Victoria, in partnership with WCS Canada and Jasco Applied Sciences. After completing his PhD in Marine Science at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, he worked in industry as an acoustician in New Zealand and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Science's Institute of Hydrobiology in China. His work focuses on the distribution of fish species in the western Canadian Arctic, with a particular focus on a keystone species, the Arctic cod using passive acoustic monitoring. Part of the aim to better predict the potential impacts of anthropogenic noise and environmental changes on fish distributions through statistical and acoustic models. This work will be the first to investigate the ecoacoustics of Canadian Arctic fish and will provide essential data relevant to indigenous food security and long-term acoustic datasets needed to inform effective management
Matthew Scrafford
Wolverine Conservation Scientist
Dr. Matt Scrafford is the Wolverine Conservation Scientist with Ontario’s Northern Boreal Landscape program. Matt works with government, industry, indigenous groups, and trappers to advance the understanding and conservation of wolverines in Ontario. Currently, Matt is using radiotelemetry and motion-sensor cameras in Red Lake to determine the effects of forestry on wolverine ecology at their southern range edge. Matt also is working with First Nations in Aroland and Slate Falls to document wolverine occurrence on their traditional land. He began his ecology career as an assistant on U.S. Forest Service wildlife research projects in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Along the way, he also worked wildland fire as a U.S. Forest Service Hotshot. He received his MSc at Montana State University where he studied the ecology of reintroduced beavers north of Yellowstone National Park. Matt received his PhD from the University of Alberta with a research focus on wolverine habitat selection, movement, foraging behaviour, and density in industrialized habitats in the Rainbow Lake and Birch Mountains areas of northern Alberta. This work was featured in the CBC Nature of Things documentary “Wolverine: Ghost of the northern forest”.
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Meg Southee
GIS Analyst and Spatial Data Manager
Meg Southee is the GIS Analyst and Spatial Data Manager for the Ontario Northern Boreal Landscape Program at WCS Canada. Her work focusses on harnessing the power of spatial information to address different research objectives for the terrestrial and freshwater research programs in Ontario. Using ArcGIS and the Python programming language, Meg develops geospatial tools and writes code to model environmental variables under future climate change scenarios. This information is used in tandem with human development cases to prioritize locations for protection of freshwater and terrestrial species. Meg has also created a series of story maps to highlight WCS Canada’s projects in a narrative and visual format, including one about WCS Canada’s freshwater conservation research and another about caribou ecology and mineral exploration impacts. Meg has worked with GIS and remote sensing technology for over 10 years and served as a board member for the Society for Conservation GIS. In 2017, Meg earned the distinction of Esri Certified ArcGIS Desktop Professional. She holds the following degrees: MSc. in Geography - Queen’s University, Advanced Diploma in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS), and BSc. Honours in Environmental Science - University of Guelph.
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Piia Kortsalo
Geomatics Specialist
Piia Kortsalo is a Geomatics Specialist, providing GIS analysis and remote sensing support to the WCS Canada Northern Boreal Mountains and Arctic Beringia conservation programs in Whitehorse, Yukon. Piia has a Master's degree in Physical Geography from University of Oulu, Finland, where she used GIS methods to study the effects of boreal landscape structure on the distribution and breeding success of resident songbirds. While studying, she also taught basic and intermediate spatial analysis courses and supported other GIS projects at her university. Prior to joining WCS Canada in 2017, Piia worked as a Geospatial Analyst examining climate data and climate change scenarios for environmental projects in Alaska. Piia also volunteered for a conservation organization providing fieldwork support on a study investigating landscape use by gray wolves and snow leopards in Central Asia.
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Priscila Napoli
Fundraising Associate
As Fundraising Associate, Priscila supports WCS Canada’s fundraising team to maintain and improve donor stewardship. Priscila has over 10 years of experience in fundraising, grant management and project coordination, most of them working in conservation organizations in Brazil and in Canada. She holds a bachelor's degree in Social Communication and postgraduate degrees in Business Administration and in Sustainability Management, where she dedicated her research project to the theme of payment for environmental services and biodiversity conservation. Before joining WCS Canada as Fundraising Associate, Priscila worked in a number of organizations, including the University of Calgary's Faculty of Science, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, BirdLife/SAVE Brasil and Siemens Brasil.
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Stephen Insley
Associate Conservation Scientist
Dr. Stephen Insley is a member of the WCS Arctic Beringia program based in Whitehorse, Yukon, with a geographical focus on the western Canadian Arctic spanning west across the Arctic Beringia region including Alaska and Russia. His marine conservation program focuses on the effects of climate change on Arctic ecosystems and northern communities. To date his research has had three general themes: (1) animal acoustic behaviour (e.g. vocal recognition); (2) the application of behavioural ecology principals and techniques to conservation biology (e.g., noise impacts, fisheries interactions); and (3) conservation through local stewardship (e.g. community-based ecological monitoring). His approach has involved experimental field biology, mostly with pinnipeds and seabirds, and working with remote subsistence communities. He has conducted his research in a wide variety of field locations including the Bering Sea, the North and South Pacific and the North Atlantic Oceans. He is an Adjunct Professor of Biology at the University of Victoria, B.C.
William Halliday
Associate Conservation Scientist
Bill is an Associate Conservation Scientist in WCS Canada’s Arctic Beringia Program. He is based in Victoria, and works closely with Dr. Steve Insley in WCS Canada’s Whitehorse office, as well as with Dr. Francis Juanes at the University of Victoria. Bill studies marine mammals and fish in the western Canadian Arctic using passive acoustic monitoring (i.e. underwater listening). He examines how climate change and vessel traffic influence these animals, and is particularly interested in underwater noise pollution and the development of effective marine spatial planning. Bill has a strong background in quantitative ecology, with a specialization on habitat selection and animal behaviour, including four years of experience working at remote field sites in the Arctic on lemmings. Previously, Bill was a post-doctoral fellow with WCS Canada, completed his PhD at the University of Ottawa, and his MSc and BSc at Lakehead University.
Twitter | Website | Arctic acoustics program

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