You Asked, We Answered!

Q: It seems a hard career to get in to…any tips? A: Passion for wildlife (especially herpetofauna) is definitely a must! Both Jenn and I have university degrees in zoology and environmental studies, respectively. However, it is not required for this position. A...

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Jonathan Choquette

Jonathan Choquette

Lead Biologist – Ojibway Prairie Reptile Recovery Program
Jonathan manages the recovery program for the Ojibway population of the massasauga rattlesnake in Southern Ontario.  Jonathan is a habitat expert, studying both biology and landscape architecture at the University of Guelph. As an academic for many years, Jonathan has published numerous articles about the importance of habitat for reptiles and amphibians.

Andrea Gielens

Andrea Gielens

Lead Biologist – Fraser Valley Wetland Recovery Program
Andrea manages our captive breeding and release programs for the Oregon spotted frog and the coastal western painted turtle. Andrea has studied at-risk reptiles and amphibians in Canada and abroad, including a term at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey. Andrea also manages the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly recovery program on Denman Island in BC.

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson

Lead Biologist – Native Pollinator Initiative
Based out of Calgary, Sarah manages the native pollinator recovery programs across Canada. Sarah has experience from both the pollinator and the plant perspective – her undergraduate research studied bumble bee wing wear, and her master’s thesis examined wildflower reproduction in the Rocky Mountains.

Eric Jolin

Eric Jolin

Lead Biologist – Massasauga Rattlesnake Translocation Program
Eric is currently leading this project, having spent the past four years focusing primarily on the conservation of massasauga rattlesnakes throughout Ontario. Since graduating from the University of Guelph with a BSc in Wildlife Biology & Conservation, he has worked with two distinct regional populations of massasaugas: eastern Georgian Bay and the Ojibway Prairie Complex.

Hazel Wheeler

Hazel Wheeler

Lead Biologist – Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Recovery Program
Hazel manages all aspects of our shrike recovery program, from captive breeding and release, field surveys, and landowner relationships in Ontario, to building partnerships with shrike researchers in the US to work towards species recovery throughout North America. Hazel has been working with at-risk birds for over a decade, including a Master’s degree studying the habitat of the chimney swift.

Genevieve Rowe

Genevieve Rowe

Ontario Program Coordinator – Native Pollinator Initiative
Genevieve is the newest member of the Native Pollinator Initiative, managing all programs involving at-risk bumble bee research and recovery in Ontario. She has worked with renowned experts in the fields of pollinator ecology, taxonomy and systematics, and has taken part in various species at-risk monitoring and recovery programs, both nationally and internationally.

Liam Graham

Liam Graham

Regional Field Biologist – Native Pollinator Initiative
Liam started with Wildlife Preservation Canada in 2016 raising yellow-banded bumble bee colonies in the lab, and was immediately hooked. This spring Liam became the Regional Field Biologist for Sudbury and the surrounding area, conducting bumble bee surveys and looking for yellow-banded bumble bee queens for our conservation breeding program. I’m looking forward to spending some time with the bees in their natural habitat!

Tiffani Harrison

Tiffani Harrison

Regional Field Biologist – Native Pollinator Initiative
Tiffani graduated from York University with a degree in environmental management. She is passionate about pollinator conservation and working with species at risk. Sierra first became involved with our work as a bumble bee conservation technician in the summer of 2017 and she fell in love with the program. Sierra is leading our field programs in Thunder Bay.

Aisa Kuper-Psenicnik

Aisa Kuper-Psenicnik

Bumble Bee Conservation Technician – Native Pollinator Initiative
Aisa completed her Bachelor of science at the University of Western Ontario in April 2018 where she studied freeze tolerance in the spring field cricket Gryllus veletis. Aisa has a special interest in sustainable agriculture. She is excited to search for Yellow-banded bumble bee queens close to home in Thunder bay as part of the native pollinator initiative.

Sierra Harris

Sierra Harris

Bumble Bee Conservation Technician – Native Pollinator Initiative
Sierra grew up in the small town of Amherstburg, Ontario. Studying hibernating little brown bats at Laurentian University was when she first fell in love with the idea of conservation. Sierra spent time working with the common eastern bumble bee for greenhouse pollination by breeding and developing hives to be shipped out commercially.

Grace Pitman

Grace Pitman

Carden Shrike Biologist – Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Recovery Program
Grace monitors the wild shrike population in Carden, and cares for the captive-hatched juveniles before their release. Grace has always been passionate about the environment and recently completed a MSc in Ecology from the University of Guelph, investigating egg-laying patterns of monarch butterflies on milkweed.

Crystal Kelly

Crystal Kelly

Napanee Shrike Biologist – Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Recovery Program
Crystal is the Napanee Shrike Biologist. She obtained her BSc in Behavior, Cognition and Neuroscience from the University of Windsor where she researched avian vocalizations and MSc in Environmental and Life Sciences from Trent University where she researched sandhill crane population genetics.

Jennifer Barden

Jennifer Barden

Lead Reptile Recovery Technician – OPRREC
After living in Southern Ontario for most of her life, Jennifer moved to British Columbia and had the opportunity to work with the northern pacific rattlesnake in the South Okanagan, BC. This year she is back in Ontario working with the eastern massasauga rattlesnake as part of the OPRREC field team.

Kaitlyn Hall

Kaitlyn Hall

Reptile Recovery Technician – OPRREC
Kaitlyn previously worked for the reptile education center Scales Nature Park and their START freshwater turtle projects in Muskoka and Simcoe County. In 2017 she worked as a reptile recovery field intern for the OPRREC program and is returning this season as a field technician.

Josh Porter

Josh Porter

Reptile Recovery Technician – Massasauga Rattlesnake Translocation Program
Josh studied Fish and Wildlife at Fleming College and has immersed himself in the conservation of wildlife, more specifically herptiles. He has worked on various projects with Scales Nature Park, including but not limited to the S.T.A.R.T (Saving Turtles At Risk Today) project, as well as public outreach aimed at educating the public about the native reptiles and amphibians of Ontario.

Maja Hampson

Maja Hampson

Reptile & Insect Recovery Technician – Fraser Valley Wetlands Program
Maja focused her career and master’s thesis on captive wildlife, specifically big cats in captivity, until Andrea Gielens brought her over to the world of reptiles and amphibians. Maja works with Andrea on the Oregon spotted frog, Western painted turtle and Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly recovery programs.