Recovery Implementation Group (RIG) members do the groundwork of the recovery team. Some are scientists who specialize in the endangered plants and animals associated with Garry oak ecosystems, some are ecologists, some work in their community land trusts, and some work for government agencies. There are about 100 people involved in seven RIGs.
250-370-5015 | Robb.Bennett@shaw.ca
Robb Bennett is interested in biology, taxonomy, systematics, faunistics of arthropods, and especially spiders. He is a Member of COSEWIC Arthropod Species Specialist Subcommittee and enjoys naming new spider species after dead blues and country musicians. Robb plays the harmonica and jaw harp (and is of some renown). He is co-raising a family of music-playing, multilingual, handsome young men, and enjoys riding motorcycles in the snow.
Robb is currently studying the spiders of BC, the medical mythology of spider bites, and the biology of a rare bog restricted gnaphosid spider endemic to Georgia Basin. He also works with graduate students at UNBC, UBC, SFU, and UVic, and on spider diversity projects at Rocky Point and Island view Beach. And he studies the effects of logging on ESSF spiders, molecular systematics of cybaeid spiders, and the ecology of riparian spiders. In addition, he is involved in various invasive species removal projects around southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. In particular, Robb is skilled in the gentle and effective removal of persistent perennial invasive plants from areas of significant concentrations of at-risk plant species.
604-839-8427 | email@example.com
Louise is a co-founder of the Friends of Matson Lands and the sole proprietor of Procellaria Research and Consulting, an ecological consulting firm. Prior to starting her doctorate, Louise worked as a species at risk biologist for regional, provincial, and federal governments in Canada; during this time she joined the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team and chaired the Vertebrates at Risk RIG for the first year of its existence. Louise’s primary research interest lies in seabird ecology and she has spent numerous months working on marine birds both at sea and on their breeding colonies in Canada, the US, and Antarctica. Louise continues to work with the Vertebrates RIG in order to pursue her interests in the conservation of terrestrial birds and their habitats.
Rob Cannings is the Curator of Entomology at the Royal British Columbia Museum. He serves on GOERT’s Invertebrates at Risk RIG, as well as the South Okanagan Invertebrate RIG. Rob studies insect systematics, especially the taxonomy, phylogenetic reconstruction, biogeography and faunistics of dragonflies (Odonata) and robber flies (Diptera: Asilidae). His main focus in robber fly research is the evolution of the genus Lasiopogon around the Northern Hemisphere. However, he has published on groups in all the major orders of insects.
He is the author or co-author of several books, including The Dragonflies of British Columbia (1977), The World of Fresh Water (1998), Introducing the Dragonflies of British Columbia and the Yukon (2002) and The Systematics of Lasiopogon (Diptera: Asilidae) (2002).
Rob has been the RBCM entomologist since 1980. From 1987 to 1996 he also lead the Natural History Section at the museum. He has been active on the Scientific Committee of the Biological Survey of Canada (Terrestrial Arthropods) and in the Entomological Society of BC. He started the ESBC newsletter Boreus in 1981 and was editor until 1991. Rob is a member of the Arthropod Subcommittee of COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) and the British Columbia Invertebrate Recovery Implementation Group.
In former lives, Rob worked as a biologist and nature interpreter for BC Parks and the Canadian Wildlife Service and served as a lecturer and museum curator at the University of BC. He earned a BSc and MSc from the University of BC; his Ph.D. comes from the University of Guelph.
His current projects include: (1) Robber flies (Diptera: Asilidae): The systematics of the robber fly genus Lasiopogon; taxonomic studies in the genus Efferia; production of an annotated checklist of the robber flies of British Columbia; the Asilidae of Canadian grasslands. (2) The Odonata of British Columbia: Inventories examining the status of dragonflies in BC with emphasis on rare species and species at risk; specimen locality mapping; documentation of habitat requirements; field keys to BC species; photography. (3) Insect families of British Columbia: Three-volume publication providing illustrated keys for the identification of the more than 500 insect families in the province together with brief descriptions of the diagnostic features, biology and diversity of the families.
David is with the Biology and Environmental Studies department at Trinity Western University (TWU). He is also belongs to A Rocha Canada – Christians and Conservation (President), the Canadian Weed Science Society, and the Soil and Water Conservation Society. Among his interests are invasive species biology, herbivory, and agroecology.
Some of the projects David is currently involved in are:
250-751-3150 | Trudy.Chatwin@gov.bc.ca
Trudy Chatwin is currently the Rare and Endangered Species Biologist for the Ministry of Environment in Nanaimo, B.C. As chair of our Vertebrates at Risk RIG, she is a key player in the Bring Back the Bluebirds project. Her personal interest in protection of Garry oak ecosystems perhaps stems from being born and raised in a Garry oak woodland, alive with camas, shooting stars, fawn lilies, oaks, birds and snakes. She studied Wildland Recreation and Resource Management at Selkirk College in Castlegar and later completed a degree in Biology at the University of Victoria. Trudy is enthusiastic about learning about and protecting most aspects of our natural world.
250-387-9611 | Brenda.Costanzo@gov.bc.ca
Brenda is the Senior Vegetation Specialist with the BC Ministry of Environment. She has been involved with GOERT since the initiation of the Recovery Team, and was co-chair of the Plants at Risk RIG from 2004-2009. She is chair of the Restoration & Management RIG, and co-authored (with Fred Hook) the Native Plant Propagation and Supply chapter in Restoring British Columbia's Garry Oak Ecosystems: Principles and Practices.
Brenda has a M.Sc. in Biology and her background is in plant taxonomy, native plant identification, herbaria curation, and native plant gardening. She is co-author with April Pettinger of Native Plants in the Coastal Garden: A Guide for Gardeners in the Pacific Northwest published in 2002. Over the years she has taught many native plant gardening courses and presented numerous public talks on gardening with native plants. As well, she designed and installed the first phase of the native plant garden at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary in 1985. Her first love has always been gardening, and she is currently working on her yard to integrate native plants into the landscape, including Garry oaks and associated species. Brenda was given an Acorn Award in 2011 for her outstanding contributions to the cause.
Elizabeth Elle is an Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University’s Department of Biological Sciences. Her research interests surround pollination biology, plant-animal interactions, and habitat fragmentation.
Dr. Elle has had several projects on the go recently. These include studying the impact of fragmentation of Garry oak ecosystems on plant and pollinator diversity, local adaptation in Collinsia parviflora, and pollinator limitation in Garry oak ecosystem wildflowers. Read Dr. Elle’s publications.
The restoration of the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve is a major program area for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) under Tim’s direction. In addition, NCC’s stewardship team is playing the lead role in the restoration and management of other Garry oak habitats in the Cowichan Valley, in partnership with local groups.
Tim is responsible for directing NCC’s stewardship program for all of NCC’s conservation areas in BC. Aside from Garry oak projects, this includes major estuary restoration works in Campbell River, biodiversity ranching operations in the Chilcotin, fire-restoration of grasslands in the Rocky Mountain Trench, sustainable forestry initiatives in the Elk Valley, First Nations eco-cultrual projects in the Great Bear Rainforest, and the general status monitoring of all NCC’s past projects in BC.
Tim is originally from Saanich, and has grown up in Garry oak ecosystems since early childhood. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, camping, hunting and photography. He has generously provided some of his photos for this website. See more of his photos at www.flickr.com/photos/timennis/.
Marilyn Fuchs is currently employed as Environmental Conservation Specialist with Capital Regional District – Regional Parks. Her responsibilities involve protection and restoration of the conservation values within the 11,500 hectares of regional parkland, which include many Garry oak ecosystems as well as dozens of different species at risk. She is a Registered Professional Biologist, and is principal of Foxtree Ecological Consulting. She also worked briefly as a species at risk biologist for the Province of British Columbia.
Marilyn was the founding chair (and subsequently vice-chair) of GOERT. She was also GOERT’s first Program Coordinator, a position she left in 2005. She holds a M.Sc. in Forest Sciences from the Centre for Applied Conservation Biology at the University of British Columbia. Her graduate research investigated dispersal of Garry oak acorns by Steller’s Jays. Marilyn was presented with an Acorn Award in September 2008 for her outstanding contributions to Garry oak ecosystems recovery. Read more.
Out of his involvement with the Garry Oak Meadow Preservation Society (GOMPS), Hal became of the original members of the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team in 2001. His interests range from nature observation and photography to conservation, land use and park planning.
Hal graduated in biology in 1956 with a further 2 years of graduate studies in wildlife management at UBC. He was employed as a biologist by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in 1959, followed by a number of resource management supervisory positions in the field and head-office. Hal served as supervisor of environmental planning for the Ontario Parks Branch from 1969 to 1976 and also directed the design and implementation of the Ontario Nature Reserve system. He then spent a short period as an environmental supervisor in private industry in a head office in Toronto, followed by a stint as the supervisor of wildlife management for the Northwest Territories before returning to Ontario as a supervisor until retirement.
Since retiring in 1993 and moving to Victoria, he has become a director of the Garry Oak Meadow Preservation Society, (past) Director of the Friends of Mount Douglas Park, a member of the Victoria Natural History Society, and a member of the Garry Oak Restoration Project (GORP) steering committee. He is currently participating with Victoria Parks on a Parks Master Plan Steering Committee and has been active with the Oak Bay Green Committee.
Todd Golumbia is an ecologist with the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada (Parks Canada). He received his M.Sc. in Forest Ecology at UBC and has worked at several national parks across western Canada as an ecologist and park warden since 1982.
Todd fell in love with this region while attending UVic and returned in 2003 to assist in early planning and implementation of the Gulf Islands park establishment program. He is currently coordinating ecological research, compiling baseline inventories and establishing monitoring programs to support land-use decision-making in the region. Todd is also guiding active ecological restoration projects at several sites:
(613) 923-5741 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Gonzales studies the effects of herbivores on Garry oak ecosystems and invasion by exotic plant species. She is a member of the Centre for Applied Conservation Research, Friends of Ecological Reserves (Scientific Committee), and the Galiano Conservancy Association (Board of Directors).
Her interests include herbivores, invasive species (including eastern grey squirrels), plant community ecology, and spatial analysis (GIS). For her Ph.D., she studied herbivore (deer) feedback dynamics and the facilitation of invasive species (non-native grasses) dominance.
250-361-0621 | email@example.com
Michelle works for City of Victoria Parks as the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coordinator, and she co-chairs the Municipal Committee of the BC Plant Protection Advisory Council. She enjoys giving plant diagnostic workshops to Master Gardeners and other horticultural groups as time permits. Michelle’s training is in plant protection — particularly in finding environmentally sensitive solutions to plant insect and disease problems.
Michelle says, “There is nothing that I enjoy more than working with others of like mind towards protecting endangered ecosystems and their inhabitants.” Michelle was presented with an Acorn Award in 2013 for her many contributions to the cause. Read more.
Louise is a wildlife biologist with more than 35 years of experience in several fields. Louise conducted wildlife surveys in northern Quebec, BC, Alberta, and the Northwest Territories from 1970 to 1985, and was also involved in multi-disciplinary impact assessment and pest management. She served as Director of the BC Ecological Reserves (ER) Program from 1985 to 1990, working for BC Parks in that capacity until she became the Manager/Acting Director responsible for protected areas system and management planning. In that position, she coordinated the production of Park/ER management plans; participated in the development of the BC Protected Areas Strategy; supervised land acquisition and tenure referral for crown lands; and managed protected area designation and legislation.
Between 1999 and 2009, Louise successively worked for Parks Canada to help create the new Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (to 2002); as the Director of the Francophone Affairs Program for the BC Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat (to 2005); as the Executive Director for the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (to 2008); and as a volunteer/staff member negotiating conservation covenants for the Habitat Acquisition Trust.
Since retiring, Louise has built her own native plant garden and has worked to design and establish a native plant garden for Parks Canada at their Sidney office. Louise also volunteers as a restoration leader for Friends of Uplands Park and as a member of GOERT's Native Plant Propagation Steering Committee. Louise was presented with an Acorn Award in 2013 for her many contributions to the recovery of Garry Oak ecosystems. Read more
Jessica Hellmann runs a lab at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Indiana. She studies the impacts of habitat loss & fragmentation, invasive species, and climate change on the distribution & abundance of insects and their host plants.
Hellmann and four graduate students are pursuing studies on the geographic range boundaries of several Garry oak species, their genetic structure through British Columbia and North America, and their potential for spread in a future climate. Some of these studies consider butterflies such as the propertius duskywing (Erynnis propertius); others consider the jumping gall wasp and native plants in the genus Lomatium. Read more about her research under featured research projects.
604-222-6759 | Jennifer.Heron@gov.bc.ca
Currently, Jennifer is working on a long-term butterfly monitoring program in the southern Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, along with habitat restoration for Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies in Helliwell Provincial Park, Hornby Island. Jennifer’s interests include invertebrate public education, music, jogging, and hiking.
Jan is a landscape ecologist with Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service. She provides scientific support to facilitate and encourage sustainable, ecosystem-based land use decisions. She works with federal, provincial, regional, and local government staff as well as non-government organizations and individuals, often in multi-agency partnership projects. She has been a member of the GOERT Conservation Planning and Site Protection RIG since its inception.
Says Jan: “It’s been very rewarding to be part of a multi-agency initiative that is focused on conserving of one of our most endangered ecosystems. By providing the scientific context and rationale for protection of Garry oak ecosystems to land users and decision makers, the RIG is promoting and achieving tangible conservation results on the ground.” Jan was presented with a coveted Acorn Award at GOERT's AGM 2011.
Suzie teaches full time at the Natural Resources Conservation Programme in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. She completed her Masters and Ph.D. theses at UBC, working on on carabid beetles in BC forests. Her projects also included terrestrial gastropod surveys in riparian areas.
In addition to serving on the GOERT Invertebrates RIG, she serves on the BC Invertebrates at Risk Recovery Team and has participated in and advised on many projects associated with insects and gastropods in British Columbia.
Ted Lea has recently retired from his position as vegetation ecologist with the Ecosystems Branch of the BC Ministry of Environment. His main work involved recovery planning for plant species at risk, and he has been a member of all recovery teams for species of vascular plants, mosses and lichens that are federally listed within the province. He has been involved in terrestrial ecosystem mapping in the province for over 30 years and in his spare time he continues to do historical ecosystem mapping for the Garry oak areas of Vancouver Island, as well as historical ecosystem mapping in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys, where he is mapping using 1938 air photographs and extrapolating ecological conditions back to pre-European settlement time.
He is married to Lora and has two fine teenage children. He is involved in playing and coaching soccer, enjoys listening to and playing classical music, and often pitches in to help remove invasive alien species from local parks.
His maps are used to compare historical and recent distribution of Garry oak ecosystems in the Capital Regional District (PDF 1.3MB); Salt Spring Island and Cowichan Valley (PDF 2.5MB); Nanaimo and Parksville area (PDF 5MB); and the Comox Valley (PDF 6.7MB).
Ted was given an Acorn Award in 2008 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Garry oak ecosystems recovery.
Marian has a background in invasive species management, restoration planning, paleoecology, and physical geography. Her Master’s thesis focused on the reconstruction of fire and vegetation histories of coastal Douglas-fir and Garry oak ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Marian has extensive experience working with community groups, ENGOs and local government, managing volunteer stewardship groups,restoration projects, training, and other tasks related to park natural areas.
She has worked for the District of Saanich and for Parks Canada, and has worked on a contract basis for GOERT and the Invasive Plant Council of BC, researching, writing, and editing various materials related to invasive plant species. In her spare time, Marian wages a personal campaign to put exotic invasive species in their place and volunteers at various restoration sites.
250-363-6066 | firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to all his work with GOERT, Mike is a member of the Garry Oak Meadow Preservation Society (GOMPS) and President of the Thetis Park Nature Sanctuary Association. His interests are tree and forest genetics, and Garry oak genetic variation and growth. Mike recently conducted a serendipitous study of Garry oak basal area/age relationship and seedling growth rate.
Mike was presented with an Acorn Award in May 2010 for his outstanding contributions to Garry oak ecosystems recovery. Read more about Mike and his award here.
(250) 880-0055 | email@example.com
Thomas has earned a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from University of Waterloo, and a Restoration of Natural Systems Diploma and Masters of Science degree from University of Victoria. He has worked with First Nations in the Yukon Territory, British Columbia, and Colombia, South America for much of the past 20 years. He has specialized in assessing development impacts on First Nations traditional lands, ethno-botanical field studies, traditional use and archaeological research, environmental impact assessment, photopoint monitoring, and vegetation inventory.
His Masters research involved assessment of the impacts of timber harvest and prescribed burning on archaeological sites in the East Kootenay Rocky Mountain Trench. For the City of Victoria, Thomas is preparing natural areas management plans and restoration plans, doing invasive plant removal, plant propagation and site revegetation, and various restoration activities.
Thomas sits on the Board of Directors of the Society of Ecological Restoration, BC Chapter. He is part of a Canadian-Colombian family, with two girls, all nature lovers. Outside of City work, Thomas does volunteer restoration work, gardening, berry picking, hiking, soccer, photography, and firewood cutting.
(250) 478-5140 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Aimee works for Parks Canada's species at risk team as the project manager for Garry oak ecosystem restoration and species at risk recovery at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site. Restoration efforts at Fort Rodd Hill focus on species at risk and invasive species research and management and propagation of native species for planting in our restoration sites. Much of the work is accomplished through the hard work of co-op students and dedicated volunteers. Two new projects underway are the development of a native plant demonstration garden, and the restoration of a 1 acre area of the historic site to a Garry oak woodland, rocky outcrop and meadow mosaic. Aimee is greatly enjoying the challenge of learning how to propagate native species in the small native plant nursery at Fort Rodd Hill and in her garden at home.
250-746 8052 | email@example.com (attn: Dave Polster)
Dave Polster serves on all three committees of the Restoration RIG: He is on the Native Plant Propagation and the Fire & Stand Dynamics Sub-committees, and co-chairs the Invasive Species Sub-committee. He has an amazing ability to be in several places at once, working to restore Garry oak habitat at Somenos Garry Oak Preserve and Mt. Tzuhalem Ecological Reserve near Duncan, while simultaneously directing mine reclamation in far-flung places and dropping by to give advice on small-scale restoration projects. His interests are invasive species, restoration, soil bioengineering and natural history. Dave was given an Acorn Award in 2009 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Garry oak ecosystems recovery.
Contact c/o GOERT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Raj Prasad worked at the Pacific Forestry Centre near Victoria and is a member of the Invasive Species Steering Committee. He is interested in the ecology, biology and control of alien-invasive weeds in forestry and urban landscapes. He has worked on the ecology, biology and control of Scotch broom, gorse, English ivy, daphne, and Himalayan blackberry.
250-363-8560 | email@example.com
Brian Reader graduated with a Master’s degree in Natural Resources Management in 1984 and has worked for the Parks Canada Agency for more than eighteen years. Brian served as the Chair of the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team for many years and currently works for Parks Canada as a Species at Risk Ecologist. Brian maintains an active role in restoration and species at risk recovery through various Garry oak ecosystem field projects in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site. He also chairs the Seaside Centipede Lichen Recovery Team, serves on the Killer Whale Recovery Team and is a Director of the Invasive Plant Council of British Columbia.
604-822-3682 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Scudder is a Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia, having served as Head of the Department of Zoology (1976-1991) and Interim Director of the Centre for Biodiversity Research (1993-1995). He is a zoologist, with special interest and experience in entomology, biosystematics, biogeography, biodiversity, conservation biology and evolution. He is a world expert in the systematics of seed bugs. He has published over 250 scientific papers, and has edited two books. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Nature Trust of British Columbia, and advisory committees of Environment Canada, the Entomological Society of Canada, and the BC Ministry of Environment. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a member of the Order of Canada, and is still actively involved in research and public education.
As a member of the Science Committee of the South Okanagan-Similkameen Conservation Program, he is now involved in research on ecosystem renewal, conservation area design, and the identification of landscape connections for biodiversity conservation in the southern interior. He serves on a number of species at risk recovery teams including GOERT, and serves as a member of the zoological expert advisory committee for the Nature Conservancy's Ecoregional Planning for the Okanagan. He is engaged in conservation planning for the Okanagan Valley in both British Columbia and Washington State.
Conan has spent the last few years working for the Species at Risk program at Parks Canada focusing on Garry Oak Restoration at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site and Gulf Islands National Park Reserve including species at risk and invasive species research and management. On a daily basis he keeps busy with botany, ecology, and the restoration and maintenance of ecological processes.
In his other life, he enjoys outdoor activities of all types, photography, naturescaping, fruit and vegetable gardening, and raising his young'un.
Erica is the Botany Collections Manager at the Royal British Columbia Museum where her work focuses on the maintenance and development of the botany collection in the herbarium. The RBCM herbarium (V) houses close to 210,000 vascular plant specimens collected largely in BC and in adjacent provinces and states. Herbarium specimens are available for study by researchers in BC and around the world.
Before joining the RBCM in the spring of 2012, Erica earned BSc and MSc degrees at the University Victoria and a PhD at the University of Missouri. Her interests include the systematics of the genus Allium in North America, conservation genetics, biodiversity informatics, and herbarium curation.