MEET THE TEAM

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Aimee Mitchell

Ms. Aimee Mitchell (M.Sc, RPBio), has been involved in the field research, data analysis and provincial Wildlife Habitat Area report compilation aspects of various species at risk (SAR) (Western Painted Turtles, Red-legged frogs, Coastal Tailed Frogs, Northern Goshawks, Great Blue Herons) recovery work in BC through her position as an Intern Biologist at the BC Ministry of Environment in 2008-2010. She continues to consult and advise governments, first nations, stewardship groups and private landowners all over the South Coast on species at risk conservation and recovery with targeted work on additional SAR including Western Screech Owls, Western Toads and listed bat species. She also actively provides information and coordinates with all relevant SAR Recovery Teams/Working Groups and organizations involved in formal habitat protection and species designations. She has managed and been the lead biologist on over 10 multi-year multi-SAR projects (including the Coastal Painted Turtle Project) since 2010. She is a member of the Western Painted Turtle Recovery Team, Coastal Painted Turtle and Great Blue Heron Working Groups, South Coast and BC Bat Teams and has been a member of the BC College of Applied Biology as a Registered Professional Biologist since 2008. 

Currently, Aimee is the Executive Director for Coastal Partners in Conservation Society (CPCS) and the Project Manager of the Coastal Painted Turtle Project. She is also the Project Manager and Lead Biologist for the CPCSs Watershed-based SAR and Coastal Douglas-fir Ecosystem Conservation Projects.


Vanessa Kilburn

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Ms. Vanessa Kilburn (M.Sc) has extensive experience conducting ecological field research as well as administering not-for-profit programs focused on Species at Risk recovery both in Canada and in Belize, Central America. Following obtainment of her M.Sc. from a joint McGill University/Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute program, in 2008 Vanessa conducted an evaluation of Landowner Contact Programs funded by a federal granting agency based in British Columbia. From 2009 through 2011 Vanessa lead another federally funded project on Western Painted Turtle and associated species at risk recovery in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley administered through the Fraser Valley Conservancy and the BC Conservation Foundation. Since 2011, Vanessa has been the Co-Director, Founder, and Program Manager of Ecorana Environmental Ltd. (Canadian For-Profit Company) and the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society (aka T.R.E.E.S, a Belizean Not-for-Profit Company. In B.C., Vanessa has maintained membership on the Western Painted Turtle Recovery Team and stays active in the field of herpetofauna conservation through her relationships with members of the Coastal Painted Turtle Working Group in the Lower Mainland and Dr. Karl Larsen at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C. 

Vanessa is the founding biologist and former Project Manager of the Coastal Painted Turtle Project. She is also the lead biologist and liaison with with T.R.E.E.S in our partnership work on the Hicatee Recovery Project in Belize.


Deanna MacTavish

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Deanna MacTavish,(M.Sc Candidate, B.Sc, Dipl. Tech) has a Bachelors degree in Ecological Restoration and is currently completing her Masters in Biological Sciences on juvenile Western Painted Turtle survival and habitat use at SFU. She has worked on the Coastal Painted Turtle Project since 2010, working to restore habitat features such as nesting beaches and basking areas for the endangered western painted turtle. She has also created wetlands and carried our extensive riparian area restoration for numerous other species including terrestrial snails, salmonids, amphibians, ungulates and birds. She has been a restoration biologist for the Coastal Painted Turtle Project since 2011.

Deanna is the Restoration Specialist and field biologist for Coastal Painted Turtle Project.


Chris Currie

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Chris Currie (B.Sc, Dipl. Tech), has conducted habitat assessments and mapping for various SAR projects including: vertebrates such as Western Painted Turtles, Burrowing Owls, Northern Goshawks, Western Toads, Coastal Giant Salamanders, and plant species such as Vancouver Island Beggarticks. He has a background in mapping critical habitat and producing site management plans for at risk populations of both wildlife and plants. He has conducted rare plant surveys and developed methods for propagating and reintroducing a rare plant species (Vancouver Island beggarticks) as well as conducted a variety of restoration projects including shoreline and wetland restoration. He has delivered educational displays at several stewardship events, and coordinated stewardship activities with landowners, government and NGO's. Chris graduated from the Ecological Restoration program at BCIT in spring 2015. He has been a field biologist in multiple projects that have focused on SAR (including Western Painted Turtle, Western Toad, Red-legged Frog) and a prevention stream project focusing on non-listed amphibians and bat species. 

Chris is the Restoration Specialist and lead field biologist for CPCSs Watershed-based SAR and Coastal Douglas-fir Ecosystem Conservation Projects.


Daniel Stewart

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Daniel Stewart (M.Sc Candidate, B.Sc, Dipl. Tech). As a private consultant, Daniel has specialized in plant ecology and Species at Risk conservation in southwest BC since 2014. Much of his work has taken place in the marshes of the Fraser Estuary, its tributaries, and the Gulf Islands. His projects have varied extensively, including terrestrial and aquatic floristic surveys, at-risk plant propagation, habitat mapping, habitat assessments, and compensation marsh assessments. A graduate of the BCIT Ecological Restoration program, Daniel is currently completing his Masters under direction of Dr. Tara Martin at the University of British Columbia, and is focussing his research on invasive and culturally-significant marsh species in the Fraser Estuary. 

Dan is the Botanist and Restoration Advisor for CPCSs Watershed-based SAR and Coastal Douglas-fir Ecosystem Conservation Projects.


Andrea Gielens

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Andrea Gielens (M.Sc), has a Bachelors degree in zoology and animal behaviour and a Masters degree in Environmental Management. She has worked both in Canada and Europe, at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Wildlife Preservation Trust on conservation programs for many species of amphibians and chelonians. She has worked extensively with both the Oregon Spotted frog Recovery Team (since 2006) as well as the Western Painted Turtle Recovery team (since 2010) in population recovery programs for both species. She has been a project biologist for the Coastal Painted Turtle Project since 2012.

Andrea is a field biologist for Coastal Painted Turtle Project.


Jen Buchannan

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Jennifer Buchanan (B.Sc, Dipl. Tech) is Project Biologist with InStream Fisheries Research. She holds degrees in microbiology and Ecological Restoration. In the past she has worked with fish, amphibians, reptiles, bats and owls. She is dedicated to the conservation of Species at Risk and their habitats. Jennifer has been a field biologist for several CPCS projects.