Meet ERSA Team

Our executive positions can be held jointly, and include Chair, First and Second Year Representatives, Secretary/GSS Representative, Ecological Director, and Web and Media Director.

ERSA EXECUTIVE TEAM (Summer-Fall 2021)

CHAIR: Danielle Ganaway

I’m originally from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, but I moved to British Columbia a couple of years ago to experience life on the west coast. Luckily for me this move coincided very well with the pandemic so most of my experiences thus far have been staring at the walls of my overpriced Vancouver apartment (which may be the truest Vancouver experience of all!). For my undergrad, I went to Dalhousie and University of King’s College in Halifax (I have a thing for programs hosted by two schools, it seems!) and left with a B.Sc. in biology, minor in early modern studies, and a certificate in animal behaviour.

I’ve worked in STEM education in the time since finishing undergrad and entering this program, primarily with disadvantaged and underserved communities. Accessible education and intersectional environmentalism are both very important to me, and one of my main goals following this degree is to combine my snazzy ecological restoration skills with outreach and education in some capacity. Until then, I’ll be focusing on the interesting courses in my second year as well as honing my GIS skills during my terrestrial wildlife-based ARP, which entails developing a connectivity model and mapping out habitat corridors for the Threatened coastal northern goshawk in an effort to facilitate breeding opportunities. Another way I’ll spend my time this year is with the (hopefully many) fun ERSA activities that will take place!

SECRETARY/TREASURER: Sara A

I’m a field botanist with a love of wetlands. My current research is investigating industrial impacts on ombrotrophic bogs, and before that I worked in New Mexico studying the restoration of high altitude riparian areas. I’ve been lucky enough to study plants in many diverse ecosystems, from New York’s Hudson estuary to the Alberta foothills, and am excited to be learning more about the Pacific Northwest.

ECOLOGICAL DIRECTORS: Varsha Rani and Madie Bouvier

I pursued a BSc majoring in applied animal biology. Building upon my passion for animals and wildlife, I researched the effects of temperature on cardiac function in rainbow trouts, to gain an understanding of how fish populations in the wild are being affected by climate change. During my undergrad, I volunteered at the Vancouver Aquarium as an educator, and at the BC SPCA where I helped shelter animals find their forever homes.

After finishing my Bachelor’s, I worked various positions at UBC’s Animal Care Services, caring for and training numerous species of research animals, including alpacas! As well, with the additional free time that I now have (from no longer having to study!), I began exploring the outdoors more and developed a passion nature and landscapes. Combining this with my love of animals, I naturally gravitated towards the ER program when I learned about it, and through it I aim to deepen my knowledge.

As ecological director my goal will be to make sure all of us are well fed and stress free (as much as possible), and organize events towards this end!

You may not be able to see her in a crowd but you sure can hear her! Madie is one of our two Ecological Directors and is especially excited to foster relations between the first and second year cohorts, create a positive environment during social functions, and essentially force everyone to hang out with her. If you have ideas about fun events or unique opportunities, Madie can be easily bribed with greasy cheese pizza, cherry Bubly, or even a hug (COVID’s been hard). You’ll most easily find her crying into her headphones as she sifts though countless hours of killer whale acoustic data – tears of both joy and likely frustration. See you soon!

WEB & MEDIA DIRECTOR: Rose Wilkin

I got my BA in 2017 with a double major in Biology and Earth & Environmental Sciences. In 2018 I received a Postgraduate Diploma in Biosecurity and Conservation, then spent the summer of 2018 volunteering to restore a wetland in Northland, NZ. In 2018 and 2019 I worked as a wildlife technician handling sea turtles in Texas.

BC is the latest of many places across the world where I have lived and learned about ecology and marine science. My ARP concerns double-crested cormorants throughout the Salish Sea, but particularly the ones that nest on bridges in metro Vancouver. I hope to continue work regarding marine wildlife in my career.

SECOND YEAR REPRESENTATIVE: Cheryl Reyes

I grew up in south-eastern Ontario and attended school at the University of Waterloo where I completed my Honours Baccalaureate in Environmental Studies Co-op, Geography and Environmental Management Minor, and Ecological Restoration Diploma. I also completed a semester with the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society in Natural Resource Science and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest after living in Haida Gwaii. Doing co-op as part of my degree allowed me to build a technical and interdisciplinary skillset that got me working with multiple organizations doing everything from consulting, research, and teaching.

Since graduating, I had the pleasure of working for two Ontario Conservation Authorities doing forestry, aquatic bio-monitoring, wetland evaluations and general restoration work. I also worked for the Nature Conservancy of Canada doing alvar, coastal, and tallgrass prairie restoration and monitoring work in Ontario. Just before moving to B.C’s Lower Mainland for my Masters, I wrapped up working for a not-for-profit doing creek restoration and fisheries monitoring. 

I absolutely love exploring new places, going on nature walks, playing board games, and knitting in my spare time. I’m really looking forward to building my ecological restoration career and help out ERSA this year!