Photo: Shanti Davis

2017 Presenter Bios

In order of presentation:
 


Dr. Caroline Fox is a marine ecologist and conservation scientist. Her research generally focuses on the ecology of marine predators in coastal ecosystems, species at risk, and assessments of human impacts. Marine birds and the habitats they are reliant on are of particular interest. She is currently a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Oceanography at Dalhousie University.


Jill Robinson is the Executive Director of Habitat Aqcuisition Trust. She has a BSc in biology from St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia and went to Memorial University of Newfoundland for an MSc in seabird biology. Originally from Shanty Bay, Ontario, she has previously been involved in a multitude of wildlife research projects in many remote corners of the world. Jill studied seabirds in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska and Newfoundland, monitored shorebirds in Churchill, Manitoba, studied sea turtles in Naples, Florida and collected data on forest biodiversity in tropical rainforests of Ecuador and Costa Rica.

Throughout the years, Jill has developed many interests in both the arts and the sciences, and loves travelling as often as possible. During her degree in biology in Nova Scotia, she began performing in public, playing her own music at open mic events and small local gigs whenever possible. Following her BSc, she traveled to the west coast, playing solo gigs in the small town of Ucluelet, on Vancouver Island. Continuing her passion for biology, she spent many years working in remote field stations in Ecuador, Florida and Alaska, always bringing a guitar along with her, and continuing to write from the inspiration of her travels and experiences. Hear a sample of her music here: http://music.cbc.ca/#!/artists/Jill-Robinson


Chef Ian Riddick is the Executive Chef at Long Beach Lodge's Great Room. "I am continually motivated by the beauty of the Canadian landscape and strive to translate that into the art of cuisine," says Chef Riddick. The people that supply some of the best raw ingredients in the world are all right here on Vancouver Island. Chef Riddick and his team take these ingredients and showcase them in the Great Room at Long Beach Lodge Resort.


Dr Barbara Beasley is a coastal ecologist and ornithologist with a strong background in animal behaviour and marine and rainforest ecology.  Her current research projects include work in the areas of human/wildlife interactions, and species at risk.


Adrian Dorst has lived on the west coast since 1972. Since then he has conducted numerous bird surveys for a variety of agencies, and was a co-author of Birds of Pacific Rim National Park, published in 1978. He was also, for many years, a professional nature and wilderness photographer with several books under his belt, including the best-seller, Clayoquot; On the Wild Side and Reflections at Sandhill Creek; Meditations On the Wild West Coast. Since 2001, he has been leading bird trips and guided nature walks in the Tofino/Long Beach area.


 


Mark Maftei's passion for seabirds has taken him around the globe, from Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic to South Georgia Island in the Southern Ocean. Although he specializes in Arctic species, Mark’s recent work has focused on learning more about some of BC’s most interesting and enigmatic seabirds including rhinoceros and Cassin’s auklets - two species which breed and winter in our waters. Mark spent many years living in Bamfield and now resides in Victoria where he works for the Wildlife Research Division of Environment Canada studying colonial seabirds. In addition to his work with the government, Mark is also a founding member of the High Arctic Gull Research Group, a collaborative team of scientists currently conducting research on some of the rarest and least-known seabirds in the world.
 


Andy Murray is a Naturalist and Tofino Sea Kayaking lead guide. He loves to share his passion and expertise on tours, and has worked as a kayak guide in Tofino for over 15 years. He is a dedicated birder and watches the ebb and flow of nature as a year-round resident of Tofino.


 


Sheryl McDougald lives and works on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. "I draw, paint, photoshop and collect bones and feathers, always fascinated with the natural world that surrounds me. I also have an enduring love for the Italian Renaissance body, but I’m not sure when I’ll get back to it. Soon, I hope. I did go to Italy, with the help of wonderful friends – a trip of a lifetime which has added massively to my creative fodder," she wrote. Sheryl has been diagnosed with MS, but doesn't let that get in the way of her adventures.


Ariane Batic is the Raincoast Education Society's Field School Coordinator. She has worked with Raincoast Education Society since 2013, where she has coordinated and led outdoor programs in Ahousaht, Hot Springs and Tofino, and she has initiated public events like Plankton Discovery Days and Beach Seines. She has also worked as a Marine Sciences Educator at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, and as an Arctic Seabird Biologist with Environment Canada.


 


Dan Law is a contemporary installation artist working primarily in old growth cedar salvaged from Vancouver Island. Dan studied visual arts in Victoria, BC, and received his Master of Arts degree from Regent College in 2013. His work can be found in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Dan’s work has been seen throughout BC, and several of his pieces are on permanent public display in Tofino at the Wickaninnish Inn and the Tofino Coffee Roasting Company. Check out more from his website.


Daniel Donnecke has been attending the Tofino Shorebird Festival for years, and for has recently joined the team as an expert guide for some of our boat tours. Besides being a chemistry professor at Camosun College in Victoria, B.C., Daniel is an avid birder with eagle eyes and contagious enthusiam. As a board member for Rocky Point Bird Observatory, Daniel is currently running the stationary seawatch program collecting year round data on marine bird observations in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.


Connor Stefanison is a photographer from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His photography is strongly influenced by his background in outdoor activities.

Connor leads photography workshops around British Columbia, and also works on stories. He has been featured in many publications including: Outdoor Photography, Outdoor Photography Canada, Canadian Geographic, Natures Best Photography, Canadian Camera Magazine, Wild Planet Photography Magazine, British Columbia Magazine, Audubon Magazine, as well as various books and newspapers.


 


Jess Findlay was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. Having grown up in an area rich in biodiversity, he was drawn to the natural world from an early age. His Childhood was spent hiking and birdwatching with his family in the Pacific Northwest. Inspired by his father (also an avid birder and nature photogrpaher at the time), Jess' interest in the outdoors developed into a passion for artistically documenting living creatures and dramatic landscapes. Photography has brought Jess to the backcountry of the Pacific Northwest, the far reaches of the Aleutian Islands, the high Alaskan Arctic, and throughout remote regions of Central and South America. Living in an area with spectacular wildlife only rivalled by the surrounding scenery, Jess has developed a unique style, combining elements from both landscape and wildlife photography, creating contextual images that speak to both the animal's and environment's story.

Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, an area rich with biodiversity, it didn't take long for Jess to spark an interest in the natural world. His childhood was spent hiking and birdwatching with his family throughout the Pacific Northwest. With help from his father, also an avid hobbyist nature photographer at the time, this interest in the outdoors developed into a passion for artistically documenting living creatures and dramatic landscapes. In 2011, Jess was awarded the International Youth Photographer of the Year award from Nature's Best Photography, prompting him to take this serious hobby to the next level. Since then, Jess has gone on to be awarded in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Photography has brought him deep into the backcountry of the Pacific Northwest, the far reaches of the Aleutian Islands, the high Alaskan Arctic and throughout remote regions of Central and South America. Living in an area with spectacular wildlife only rivalled by the surrounding scenery, Jess has developed a unique style, combining elements from both landscape and wildlife photography, creating contextual images that speak to both the animal's and environment's story. Equally at home alone in the wilderness or in a group setting sharing his experiences, Jess is eager to continue exploring exciting parts of the world. - See more at: http://www.jessfindlay.com/about-1/#sthash.g9ISCt41.dpuf
Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, an area rich with biodiversity, it didn't take long for Jess to spark an interest in the natural world. His childhood was spent hiking and birdwatching with his family throughout the Pacific Northwest. With help from his father, also an avid hobbyist nature photographer at the time, this interest in the outdoors developed into a passion for artistically documenting living creatures and dramatic landscapes. In 2011, Jess was awarded the International Youth Photographer of the Year award from Nature's Best Photography, prompting him to take this serious hobby to the next level. Since then, Jess has gone on to be awarded in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Photography has brought him deep into the backcountry of the Pacific Northwest, the far reaches of the Aleutian Islands, the high Alaskan Arctic and throughout remote regions of Central and South America. Living in an area with spectacular wildlife only rivalled by the surrounding scenery, Jess has developed a unique style, combining elements from both landscape and wildlife photography, creating contextual images that speak to both the animal's and environment's story. Equally at home alone in the wilderness or in a group setting sharing his experiences, Jess is eager to continue exploring exciting parts of the world. - See more at: http://www.jessfindlay.com/about-1/#sthash.g9ISCt41.dpuf
Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, an area rich with biodiversity, it didn't take long for Jess to spark an interest in the natural world. His childhood was spent hiking and birdwatching with his family throughout the Pacific Northwest. With help from his father, also an avid hobbyist nature photographer at the time, this interest in the outdoors developed into a passion for artistically documenting living creatures and dramatic landscapes. In 2011, Jess was awarded the International Youth Photographer of the Year award from Nature's Best Photography, prompting him to take this serious hobby to the next level. Since then, Jess has gone on to be awarded in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Photography has brought him deep into the backcountry of the Pacific Northwest, the far reaches of the Aleutian Islands, the high Alaskan Arctic and throughout remote regions of Central and South America. Living in an area with spectacular wildlife only rivalled by the surrounding scenery, Jess has developed a unique style, combining elements from both landscape and wildlife photography, creating contextual images that speak to both the animal's and environment's story. Equally at home alone in the wilderness or in a group setting sharing his experiences, Jess is eager to continue exploring exciting parts of the world. - See more at: http://www.jessfindlay.com/about-1/#sthash.g9ISCt41.dpuf

Tsimka Martin, co-owner of Tashii Paddle School is a Tla-o-qui-aht woman who grew up in her traditional territory which encompasses the area known as Tofino.  Tsimka was introduced to canoeing at a young age. Her father Joe Martin and older sister Gisele Martin were both key in her entry to the activity. Some distinct memories include paddling through thick fog as a kid and then a teen with her dad. Tsimka has a keen desire to let travellers to Tla-o-qui-aht territory know where they are and why it is special.