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Conserving nature through science and outreach

Board of Directors

President: Vinci Au, M.Sc.

Vinci holding a Wilson's Warbler at the Iona Island Bird Observatory

Vinci (she/her) has dual passions: genomics and conservation. She completed her M.Sc. in Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of British Columbia in 2021. She has worked in the genomics field for over a decade, and is currently a molecular biologist at the BC Cancer Research Centre helping other researchers understand tumour evolution using single-cell sequencing and CRISPR screens. When she’s not in the lab, she’s engaged in outreach, fieldwork, and lots of behind-the-scenes work at WildResearch.

Vinci has been a member of WildResearch since 2011, served on the board since 2018, and as President since 2022.

Vice President: Kiirsti Owen, M.Sc., B.Sc., Dipl. Tech.

Kiirsti holding a Saw-whet Owl

Kiirsti (she/her) completed a B.Sc. in Ecological Restoration at BCIT, followed by a M.Sc. at the University of Windsor in Ontario. Her master’s research focused on monitoring bird community and behavioural responses to tropical forest regeneration In 2020, she started a Ph.D. at the University of New Brunswick and Acadia University monitoring wetland bird responses to anthropogenic habitat drivers in Atlantic Canada.

Kiirsti has been a member and volunteer with WildResearch since 2014 and has served on the board since 2018.

Treasurer: Viktorija Juciute, B.Sc.

Viktorija on a windy beach

Viktorija (she/her) completed her B.Sc. with a major in Biology in 2020 and is currently working at the University of British Columbia. She joined WildResearch after discovering some beautiful blackbirds in her backyard and wanting to learn more about birds of the Pacific Northwest. In addition to learning about birds, she discovered her passion for outreach and organization.

Viktorija has been a member of WildResearch since 2019, and served on the board since 2022.

Secretary: Anneka Vanderpas, B.Sc.

Anneka (she/her) grew up in Vancouver and completed her B.Sc. in Natural Resources Conservation at the University of British Columbia in 2017. Since then, she’s worked in government and non-profit conducting wildlife monitoring and ocean conservation research. She is passionate about animal welfare and spends her spare time volunteering at wildlife rehabilitation centres.

Anneka has been a WildResearch member and served on the board since 2022.

Director: Florian Reurink, M.Sc.

Florian holding a Saw-whet Owl at Rocky Point Bird Observatory in 2014

Florian is a PhD student at Simon Fraser University developing a procedure for environmental impact assessment through the eyes of a behavioral ecologist. Florian is originally from the Netherlands, he has been passionate about nature for as long as he can remember, and has been involved in conservation efforts for over a decade. He enjoys exploring and employing science-based solutions for conservation and uses a similar approach for environmental impact assessments to have humans and nature live in harmony.

Florian has volunteered with WildResearch since 2014 and has served on the board since 2019.

Director: Myles Lamont, R.P.Bio, C.W.B, E.P, A.Sc.T.

Myles holding an adult Bald Eagle

Myles Lamont is a wildlife biologist, zoologist and naturalist hailing from the west coast of British Columbia. He completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of the Fraser Valley majoring in biology and ecology, a past recipient of Wildlife Preservation Canada’s fellowship program, recipient of the International Wild Waterfowl Associations outstanding service award and an active member in many wildlife organisations and NGO’s.

Myles has served on the board since 2016.

Director: Devin de Zwaan, Ph.D.

Devin in the field holding a Horned Lark, the subject of his PhD research

Devin (he/him) received his PhD from the University of British Columbia in 2020. He is a behavioural ecologist that specializes in the life-history strategies of songbirds breeding in harsh, variable environments like the alpine. He strongly believes that understanding bird behaviour can better inform conservation decisions. For fun, Devin is a passionate birder and loves exploring remote mountain habitats.

Devin has volunteered with WildResearch since 2013 and has served on the board since 2020.

Director: Quinn McCallum, B.F.A, B.Sc.

Quinn holding a White-crowned Sparrow at Iona Island Bird Observatory

Quinn (he/him) graduated from University of British Columbia with his B.Sc. in 2021. He conducted the field work for his honours thesis, on genomic differentiation  between Golden-crowned and White-crowned Sparrows, at IIBO in 2019.  Quinn currently works as a curatorial and digitization assistant in the Cowan Tetrapod Collection at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, and holds a B.F.A. from Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Quinn has been a WildResearch member and volunteer since 2018 and has served on the board since 2020.

Director: Matthias Bieber, B.Sc., M.Env.

Matthias holding a recently banded Belted Kingfisher

Matthias (he/him) grew up in rural Nova Scotia before moving to Montreal to complete a B.Sc. majoring in Applied Zoology at McGill University, followed by a Masters of Environmental Assessment at Concordia University. Since then he has worked with birds and other wildlife across western Canada, obtaining a decade of field experience that includes avian monitoring, consulting, banding, and citizen science for many different projects including IIBO, where he is now a co-program manager. His passion for birds started at childhood and to this day birding continues to be one of his favourite pastimes.

Matthias joined the WildResearch board in 2021 and has been a member since 2015.

Director: Sarina Clay-Smith, M.Sc., B. Sc.

Sarina hiking on a snowy mountain

Sarina (She/Her) was born and raised in Vancouver, completing a B.Sc in Biology from UBC and completed her M.Sc from the University of Exeter in Conservation and Biodiversity. She has worked and volunteered with many different environmental organizations in B.C., the Yukon, Costa Rica, and the U.K. She is currently the program coordinator with Community Programs at the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

Sarina has been part of WildResearch since 2014 and has been on the board since 2022.

Director: Alexandra Welch, B.Env.

Alexandra (she/her) completed a B.Env. in Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. She is fascinated by human interaction with the environment, and how collectively we can do better. Her position as a Junior Biologist enables her to work on projects related to the development of environmental strategies, avian protection, and ecosystem management. A passion for birds developed at a young age when she was allowed her first pet, a cockatiel. Birding is now one of her favourite pastimes.  

Alexandra has been a Wildresearch member and volunteer since 2020, and has served on the board since 2022.

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