The Humble Bumble: Four characteristics that make bumble bees some of Canada’s best native insect pollinators!

Pollinators aid in the successful reproduction of nearly 75% of flowering plants, plants whose capacity to reproduce is either entirely dependent on this animal-assisted service, or whose productivity is substantially increased when pollinator communities are present....

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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.

Maja Hampson

Maja Hampson

Acting Lead Biologist – 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. While Andrea is on leave, Maja will be leading the Oregon spotted frog, Western painted turtle and Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly recovery programs.

Genevieve Rowe

Genevieve Rowe

Lead Biologist – Native Pollinator Initiative
Genevieve manages the native pollinator recovery programs across Canada. 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.

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.

Jane Hudecki

Jane Hudecki

Conservation Breeding Coordinator – Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Program

 Jane holds a Master’s degree in Animal Biosciences from the University of Guelph, where she studied building collision injuries in migratory songbird species. Jane worked as a rehabilitation supervisor, where she was responsible for the care, treatment, and reintroduction of injured and orphaned wildlife, including many species at risk.
Jennifer Barden

Jennifer Barden

Lead Reptile Recovery Technician – Ojibway Prairie Reptile Recovery
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.

Jillyan Birtch

Jillyan Birtch

Reptile Recovery Field Technician

Reptile Recovery Field Technician – Ojibway Prairie Reptile Recovery Program

Jillyan started her journey volunteering on a variety of reptile research projects in southern Ontario, handling many reptiles at risk and catching an infectious love for those of the non-fuzzy variety. She then worked for Pinery Provincial Park, restarting a turtle mark recapture study there. She has now joined the OPRREC team and is excited to contribute to the massasauga rattlesnake’s recovery.

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!

Michelle MacKenzie

Michelle MacKenzie

Endangered Species Technician – Fraser Valley Wetlands Wildlife, Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery
Michelle was born and raised in Alberta where she graduated from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology. She recently made the move to BC to continue to pursue her dream of being a conservation biologist. She is very excited to be working on the Fraser Valley wetlands wildlife recovery team as well as with the native pollinators team.

Hayley Tompkins

Hayley Tompkins

Ontario Program Biologist – Native Pollinator Initiative
Hayley has worked for the Native Pollinator Initiative in a variety of roles since 2016, and has had a passion for bumble bees ever since. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree at the University of Guelph, studying the nesting ecology of bumble bees in Ontario.

Andrea Gielens

Andrea Gielens

(On leave) 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.