Caroline Schultz – Executive Director
Caroline has directed Ontario Nature’s programs and operations since 2005. Caroline previously served as conservation director for the Canadian Nature Federation for 10 years, leading the organization’s national advocacy, science and stewardship programs. She was also chair of BirdLife International’s Americas regional council, helping to develop and lead a partnership of national member NGOs from more than 17 countries to advance biodiversity conservation throughout the region. Caroline holds an M.Sc. in ecology and a Masters of Management degree in voluntary sector leadership.
Sarah Hedges – Managing Director
Sarah manages day-to-day operations to ensure that Ontario Nature achieves its objectives and mission. She joined Ontario Nature in August 2010 and holds a B.Sc. in environmental science from Queen’s University. Her previous roles at Ontario Nature include managing and coordinating several conservation and education programs. Sarah spends her free time at family cottages in Bancroft and Gananoque.
A.J. Pilobello – Director of Finance and Administration
A.J. is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a background in commerce and economics. He joined Ontario Nature in 2019 and has previously worked for non-profit organizations in the environmental, international development and mental health sectors. He has also volunteered in the non-profit sector serving as a treasurer, board member and school mentor.
Mylissa Prisner – Administrative Assistant
Mylissa joined Ontario Nature in May of 2018. Growing up, she spent large amounts of time exploring her grandparents’ off-grid property in northern Ontario, as well as the many green spaces found around her southern Ontario home. These adventures sparked her interest in nature and conservation. Mylissa enjoys hiking, camping, canoeing and rock climbing, and is often accompanied on these adventures by her tiny canine companion, Peep.
Anna Dipple – Executive Assistant
Anna joined the administration team at Ontario Nature in January 2019. Originally from Saskatchewan, she has a background in International Development Studies and has worked in the non-profit sector for the past 8 years. Most recently, Anna worked on sustainable agriculture, coordinating communications and special events with the National Farmers Union – Ontario. Growing up, Anna loved hiking the valleys and canoeing the rivers of Saskatchewan, spending as much time bird watching and finding gartersnakes as possible. In her spare time, Anna enjoys exploring the city by bike, growing things in her garden, playing ultimate frisbee, and reading in the park.
Conservation & Education
Anne Bell – Director of Conservation and Education
Anne has been directing Ontario Nature’s conservation and education programs since 2007. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental studies and has almost 20 years of experience working as an environmental educator, researcher and advocate for government and non-profit organizations. Anne loves to go birding, camping, swimming, and skiing and to play hockey with her husband and two young daughters, Kestrel and Castilleja.
Julee Boan – Boreal Program Manager, Thunder Bay office
Based in our Thunder Bay office, Julee leads our northern programming as our boreal program manager. She works collaboratively with local conservation groups, First Nations, and industry to seek environmentally responsible approaches to economic development in northern Ontario. She completed a Ph.D. in forest sciences with research focused on mitigating the impact of industrial logging on woodland caribou. She is currently sitting on the board of directors for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Canada, and is a member of Ontario’s Forest Carbon Technical Working Group. When she isn’t pounding the pavement advocating for environmental sustainability, she putters at her hobby farm and shares her love of the outdoors in northern Ontario with her son Simon.
Tanya Pulfer – Conservation Science Manager
Tanya manages the Nature Reserves Program. Tanya grew up in a farming family in rural Ontario where she developed a love for the rural landscape and the biodiversity it hosts. She has a joint B.Sc. in environmental science and biology, M.Sc. in ecology and B.Ed. focusing on outdoor education. Before joining Ontario Nature in 2013, Tanya worked for several conservation organizations including Florida Marine Research Institute, Ministry of Natural Resources, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Lanark Stewardship Council and the Natural Heritage Information Centre.
Emma Horrigan – Conservation Projects and Education Manager
Emma manages the Citizen Science and Nature Guardians Youth Program, and collaborative projects with agricultural and research partners. Emma completed her M.Sc. in arctic ecology at the University of Toronto, and her Bachelor’s degree in forest conservation. She has been involved in several citizen science research initiatives across Ontario, ranging from biochar to salamanders, and turtle road mortality to agricultural pests. Emma has worked for the University of Toronto, Trent University and a community-based research centre in Haliburton County. Besides her passion for ecology, Emma enjoys cross-country skiing, birding and hiking.
Christine Ambre – Conservation and Education Coordinator
Christine started volunteering for Ontario Nature in spring 2015, then joined the administration team that fall. In her current role, she oversees the Nature Guardians youth program and various conservation projects. Christine grew up with a love of the outdoors and nature, which eventually led her to take a B.Sc. in earth sciences from University of Waterloo. She has extensive experience working with youth at summer camp and volunteering with other environmental non-profits. In her free time, Christine is a part-time video game brand ambassador and promoter who also enjoys exploring the outdoors and learning new technology.
Smera Sukumar – Conservation Projects Coordinator
Smera works on both the citizen science and nature reserves programs. She joined the team in 2016. Smera holds an M.Sc. in Biodiversity & Conservation and a B.Sc. in Zoology. Previous work includes studying cetaceans in Hong Kong and Taiwan and the effects of urbanization on bats in England. Smera is an avid traveller, having travelled to a total of 38 countries world-wide.
Stephanie Muckle – Nature Reserves Coordinator
Stephanie works on our 25 Nature Reserves. She joined Ontario Nature in the spring of 2016 after graduating from the University of Toronto with a Master of Forest Conservation. Stephanie’s graduate work included studying small mammals in actively logged forests and used geographic information systems to model habitat features. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys hiking and camping. She is especially fond of the eastern chipmunk for its tenacity and fiendish obsession with food.
Samantha Cava – Protected Places Campaign Assistant
Samantha joined the Protected Places team in 2018. She holds a B.Sc. degree in wildlife biology and conservation from the University of Guelph, and a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Project Management from Seneca College. Samantha has worked for various organizations within the conservation sector including Toronto Zoo, MNRF, Conservation Halton and University of Toronto. She loves to travel, and some of her most memorable adventures include summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, trail running in the Alps in France and island hopping across Hawaii. Samantha is also an avid wildlife artist.
Juraj Kobzik – Boreal Conservation and Outreach Intern
Juraj works out of the Thunder Bay office on community outreach for both the Boreal and Nature Reserves programs. He has a B.A. in geography from Carleton University, a B.Ed. from Lakehead University, and a graduate diploma in Indigenous Governance and Public Administration from Confederation College. Juraj has worked regularly in education with a particular focus on outdoor education – running canoe and camp programs in Ontario and Australia. Juraj moved back to Canada in 2016 and has been living in northwestern Ontario ever since. In his spare time, Juraj likes to kayak and canoe, and feels the most content when on the water with paddle in his hands.
Tasha Chattiyerkama, Protected Places Campaign Intern
Tasha joined Ontario Nature in April 2019. Her work focuses on applying Geographical Information Systems (GIS) tools to map candidate sites and conduct preliminary assessments for the Protected Places Campaign. She is currently completing a M.Sc. in environmental science at the University of Toronto. Her studies have been focused on biophysical interactions in terrestrial and aquatic systems. Growing up on an island, Tasha is the happiest when she is on the water, whether it is for swimming, water polo or collecting samples of benthic organism from the rivers in Toronto.
Mirabai Alexander – Nature-based Tourism Intern
Mirabai works out of Ontario Nature’s Thunder Bay office. In 2018, she graduated with a with an M.Sc. from Dalhousie University, where she examined the effects of moose browse on forest songbirds in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Mirabai worked as a fish and wildlife field technician for several years in Ontario and taught environmental science at the University of British Columbia in 2019. She is happiest in the outdoors, whether it be mountain biking, birding or trail running.
Ryan Wolfe – Nature Reserves Intern
Ryan started as an intern for Ontario Nature in 2018, working on the Nature Reserves Program. He recently received a B.A. in the environmental science co-op program at McMaster University and is beginning a Masters in the department of ecology and evolution at the University of Toronto in Fall 2019. Ryan became passionate about nature when he was a child exploring the remnant tracts of forest behind his house. He has volunteered much of his time to reptile and amphibian surveys for several organizations and has previously worked as a Species at Risk Research Assistant. In his free time, Ryan enjoys photographing wildlife, hiking, and backcountry camping.
Lily Vuong – Nature Reserves Intern
Lily holds an Advanced Diploma in ecosystem management technology from Fleming College and is currently in her final year of a B.Sc. in environmental and resource science from Trent University. Growing up, she was fascinated by natural lands that remained undisturbed. Building on that passion, she decided to pursue a future that would allow her to encompass stewardship and land preservation to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to explore undisturbed lands. During her free time, Lily can be found skimming field guides for native plants, bird watching and cooking up new recipes.
Brittney Vezina – Citizen Science Intern
Brittney started as a volunteer with Ontario Nature in 2018, working on the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas. She holds a B.Sc. in zoology from the University of Guelph and an M.Sc. in conservation biology from the University of Kent. She has extensive experience in the conservation sector, including bird and bat monitoring in Ontario, grassland songbird research in Alberta and rural development research in Madagascar. Brittney has a strong interest in the human dimensions of conservation and believes conservation success is rooted in education, science and working collaboratively with community members. In her spare time, Brittney enjoys hiking, camping, knitting and seeing live music.
Serena Poonawalla – Youth Program Intern
Serena has joined Ontario Nature as a Youth Program Intern for the summer of 2019 while having previous and continued involvement in Ontario Nature’s Youth Council. Among other things, Serena is responsible for aiding with the planning and promotion of the annual Youth Summit for biodiversity as well as with the outreach and delivery of the Youth Council’s campaigns. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the outdoors through hiking, camping and birding.
Membership and Development
Kirsten Dahl – Director of Development
Kirsten developed a love of nature and the outdoors spending summers at her cottage in Muskoka. She studied sociology at the University of Western Ontario and spent the better part of a decade living in different countries including Peru, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Since returning home, Kirsten has worked in the environmental sector with Greenpeace and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. She loves cross-country skiing in Algonquin Park, cycling through the wilds of Toronto and any chance to explore Ontario Nature’s nature reserves.
Portia Mohlmann – Senior Development Officer
Portia joined Ontario Nature in fall 2014. She has a M.ES. from York University, with a concentration in sustainable food systems, and is currently completing a certificate in fundraising and volunteer management at George Brown College. Portia’s previous experience includes researching the effects of environmental contaminants on First Nation’s traditional food systems for Health Canada and fundraising for The Stop Community Food Centre and Daily Bread Food Bank. In her free time, Portia enjoys biking, cooking and exploring the outdoors.
Irene Milani – Database Coordinator
Irene oversees Ontario Nature’s growing member and donor database. Previously, Irene held various positions at the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, including natural heritage coordinator, project manager and special assistant to the Hon. David Crombie. Irene has a B.A. in urban studies and sociology.
Danielle Duchin – Major Gifts Coordinator
Danielle joined Ontario Nature in April 2018, to support ON Nature magazine. Danielle holds a B.A. in English from Acadia University. She joined the Ontario Nature team to complete her publishing certificate program with Centennial College. A Maritime native, Danielle grew up in New Brunswick. She developed a love and respect for nature growing up amongst trees, and on rivers and oceans. When she’s not knitting or cooking, Danielle makes sure to take a walk outside every day, rain or shine.
Kate Douglas – Member Relations Coordinator
Kate joined the membership and development team at Ontario Nature in the summer of 2018. Growing up on a lake in Central Ontario, she has always loved to fish and explore nature. Kate volunteers for numerous non-profit organizations in Toronto that support health care and the environment. She is on the path to obtaining a fundraising management certificate at Ryerson University. Kate has previously studied fashion arts and business at Humber College, and office administration at Georgian College. In her spare time, she enjoys canning the annual fall harvest, baking, gardening and the outdoors.
Communications and Engagement
John Hassell – Director of Communications and Engagement
John joined Ontario Nature in 2009. Along with his role in communications, he is the editor of ON Nature – Ontario Nature’s award-winning magazine. John has an M.A. in international development studies with research focusing on sustainable, community-based forestry and a B.A. in political science. He has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 15 years. John is a founding director of ReachUp, an ultimate Frisbee charity that promotes healthy lifestyles in under-resourced communities. He enjoys fringe sports, travel, and canoe trips to Ontario’s stunning rivers and lakes.
Lisa Richardson – Nature Network and Communications Coordinator
Lisa oversees Ontario Nature’s network of more than 150 community and conservation groups, and is associate editor of ON Nature magazine. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto where she earned a B.Sc. in zoology and psychology. Prior to joining Ontario Nature in 2006 as the Volunteer for Nature coordinator, Lisa worked with the Vancouver Aquarium running their volunteer-based national shoreline cleanup program in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. Lisa also serves as a board director with the Electronic Child Health Network, and is a member of the Family Advisory Network at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.
Barbara MacKenzie-Wynia – Regional Nature Network Coordinator
Barbara joined Ontario Nature in 2006 with a focus on Northern, Huronia and Lake Ontario North regions. She is a partner with Krystawyn Environmental Consulting, and owns BMW and Associates. Barbara was the director of communications with Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority for more than 20 years. As a proud farmer’s daughter, she continues to enjoy working with the rural and farming community in building bridges, trust and capacity. Barbara lives in Clearview Township where she enjoys gardening, traveling, and camping with her husband and two sons.
Jaklynn Nimec – Communications Coordinator
Jaklynn joined Ontario Nature in the spring of 2016 on a communications internship. She holds a B.A. in political science and communications from McMaster University, and a graduate certificate in corporate communications and public relations from Centennial College. Jaklynn is responsible for managing our social media channels and supports the communications team in implementing communications tasks. An ex-varsity athlete, Jaklynn is a committed Raptors fan and in her spare time can be found shooting hoops or exploring the outdoors.
Noah Cole – Communications Technician
Noah has worked for Ontario Nature since 2011. He supports Ontario Nature’s communication team with web design, programming, online outreach, photo research and the organization’s day-to-day operations. Noah has earned certification in non-profit and voluntary sector management from Ryerson University. Noah obtained his B.A. from the University of Guelph and refined his craft at The Western Academy of Photography. He is a Quetico Foundation trustee and their director of communications. Noah is an accomplished naturalist and loves the great outdoors.