Wilson Lau

Wilson Lau

President

I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the L-SETAC community and am truly excited for what we have in store for this year. It is always a wonderful experience to be working together with our exceptional volunteers.  There is such great attitude here, and we all work very hard to contribute to the development of L-SETAC programs and events for our membership. These experiences have also had a positive impact on my own professional development.  I have been working as an environmental consultant for over three years, where I am relied upon for my expertise in human health and ecological risk assessment. Prior to this, I was involved in research investigating current issues in terrestrial metal contamination as a M.Sc student at the University of Guelph with Dr. Beverley Hale. It was during this time that I was introduced to L-SETAC. I have really enjoyed attending the annual general meetings, short-courses, and pub nights throughout these years, and have been volunteering at L-SETAC since 2014. I am looking forward to the opportunity to continue to contribute as the L-SETAC President for this 2018 year.

Shari Dahmer

Shari Dahmer

Secretary

I was first introduced to Laurentian SETAC while completing my M.Sc. in Aquatic Toxicology at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. Mark Servos. Since graduating I have worked on a number of projects related to the Great Lakes Areas of Concern and am currently working as a Project Manager for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. My professional interests include aquatic ecology, ecotoxicology, environmental monitoring, and watershed management. I am an active SETAC member at both the regional and national levels, and in 2014 I joined the L-SETAC Board of Directors where I currently serve as secretary. I have enjoyed working on membership and communications initiatives within Laurentian SETAC and look forward to the opportunity to serve on the Board for another term.

Katie Hill

Katie Hill

Board Member

I recently completed my MSc in Chemical and Environmental Toxicology at Carleton University, studying the potential thyroidogenicity of novel flame retardants and degradation products. Through my undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Waterloo I gained invaluable experience during several co-operative work terms, which solidified my passion for ecotoxicology and risk assessment. For over five years I worked at Intrinsik Corp. as an Environmental Risk Assessor, where I conducted ecological risk assessments of pesticides. In the fall of 2017 I joined Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency as a Scientific Evaluator in the Environmental Assessment Directorate. Outside of the world of ecotoxicology, I also enjoy hiking, horseback riding, and live music. I have been involved in Laurentian SETAC since I joined the AGM committee in 2015, and in 2016 I joined the board of directors. I truly value being a part of the wonderful L-SETAC community.

Melanie Raby

Melanie Raby

Board Member

I am currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Dr. Paul Sibley and Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) scientist Dave Poirier. My research takes place at the MOECC Aquatic Toxicology Unit in Etobicoke and centres on the acute and chronic toxicity of neonicotinoid insecticides to aquatic invertebrates. I completed my M.A.Sc. at Ryerson University in 2013, where I studied the effects of triclocarban on aquatic invertebrate behaviours. I then continued at Ryerson in a research role for a Canadian Water Network funded project studying the impact of land-applied biosolids to crops and earthworms. I received my B.Sc. (Honours Biochemistry) from the University of Waterloo in 2011, where I enjoyed co-op opportunities in a wide variety of fields, from pharmaceuticals to art conservation science. Since I was introduced to L-SETAC in 2015, I have enjoyed being a part of the annual general meeting (AGM) planning committee, as well as being the student representative.

Jose Luis (Pepe) Rodriguez Gil

Jose Luis (Pepe) Rodriguez Gil

Board Member

My involvement with Laurentian SETAC started in 2009. I served as the student member of the L-SETAC board from 2010 to 2015 while I completed my PhD at the University of Guelph. During those 5 years, I served in many roles, mainly in AGM-related duties. During those years, I helped increase L-SETACs visibility and outreach capacity by developing and managing L-SETACs social media presence. As the student member of the board, I also served as Laurentian SETAC representative to the SETAC North America Student Advisory Council (NASAC), where I put to use the experience gained at L-SETAC while serving as NASAC’s first Social Media Chair. In 2015, I left Ontario for Alberta to pursue a postdoctoral position at the University of Calgary. From 2015 to 2017 I served as Vice President of our neighbour, the SETAC Prairie-Northern Chapter. In 2017 I returned to Ontario in 2017 as a Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Jules Blais at the University of Ottawa.

Heather Ikert

Heather Ikert

Student Representative

I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. Paul Craig. My research focuses on aquatic toxicology and physiology and is divided into two projects. Firstly, I am investigating the epigenetic and phenotypic effects of multiple stressors on zebrafish. The stressors I am currently studying are venlafaxine, an antidepressant found in wastewater treatment plant effluent, and the combination of increased water temperature and decreased dissolved oxygen associated with climate change. I am also very interested in intergenerational effects of these stressors. Secondly, I am beginning a project where I will be studying the detection of environmental DNA or eDNA under different conditions and how it is affected by anthropogenic disturbances. I completed my BSc in Biology at the University of Waterloo in 2016 and during that time I had the opportunity to work in a variety of co-op positions that introduced me to aquatic toxicology. My first foray into the world of aquatic toxicology took place at the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories with Dr. Marilyne Stuart, where I studied the effects of legacy tritium on fathead minnows. I continued in this field at Environment and Climate Change Canada, investigating the effects of substituted phenylamines on aquatic invertebrates, with Dr. Ryan Prosser, Dr. Adrienne Bartlett, and Dr. Patricia Gillis. I have enjoyed being a part of Laurentian SETAC since 2015, attending pub nights and presenting at the past two AGMs. It is a very diverse and encouraging organization to be a part of and I look forward to contributing to the society as the 2017-2018 student representative.

Oana Birceanu

Vice President

I have worked in the field of Aquatic Toxicology and Fish Physiology for over eight years, and I have been involved with the Laurentian Chapter of SETAC since 2007. I initially started out as a student member during my MSc studies, attending the pub nights and getting to know the L-SETAC community. It was at one of these pub night events that Ève Gilroy, who I consider my L-SETAC mentor, asked me if I wanted to join the Communications and Membership Committee (CMC), and I have never looked back since. In 2009, when I started my PhD studies, I became chair of the CMC committee, and in 2011 I became part of the L-SETAC Pub Night committee. I got the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes and the amount of hard work and dedication that it takes to organize these events. One of my most proud moments was winning the Best Platform Presentation – PhD award at the L-SETAC 2014 Annual General Meeting in Guelph. Not only did I have the opportunity to present my PhD thesis work to the L-SETAC community, but having my work be recognized by the group as one of the best was one of the highlights of my scientific career. As a Board member of L-SETAC, I do intend to be involved with the membership aspect of the organization and put together more events that will appeal to the current members, but also attract new ones. I would like to get more students involved with the various L-SETAC committees and propose a mentoring event at the next AGM that will mimic the student-mentor events at SETAC NA, albeit on a smaller scale. I do believe this will attract more student participation to the AGM, but it will also serve as a potential recruiting event for our members in the industry, academia and government. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of what is the most active chapter of SETAC NA.

Ève Gilroy

Treasurer

I joined the SETAC family in 2003, while I attended my first Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas. I was involved with the Student Advisory Council upon its inception (2005-2007), and also joined Laurentian SETAC’s Board of Director. During my eleven years on the Laurentian SETAC Board of Directors, I took on various duties and positions, including Membership Coordinator, Vice-President, President, Treasurer and Webmaster (although most of them not simultaneously!), and chaired the various committees known to the Chapter. I was involved with the reinstatement of the Southern Ontario Dinner Meetings, the various website updates that our Chapter has seen, as well as Laurentian SETAC’s participation in local Science Fairs. I have been happy to take a step back from the front lines and take on the Treasurer position for the last seven years. I am proud to be co-chairing the Women in Science Committee, and agreed to take on the Treasurer position for another term.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Biology (Ecology) from the University of Montréal, a Master’s in Biology from the University of Waterloo (2000), a PhD in Environmental Biology/Toxicology from the University of Guelph (2008), and a Certificate in Translation from the University of Toronto. After a postdoctoral fellowship within Environment Canada’s Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division, where I was involved in a multidisciplinary project aiming to address the health status of resident fish species in the Great Lakes Canadian Areas of Concern (AOCs), I was hired as a Term Research Scientist within Environment Canada’s Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division.

After a post-doctoral fellowship at Environment Canada in Burlington, where I was involved in a project investigating the health of wild fish populations in the Canadian Great Lakes Areas of Concern, I took a Research Scientist position at Environment Canada. However, in 2011, as a result of changing government priorities, I founded Green House Science, a small company specializing in Scientific Research and Communications. In the last five years, as the owner/scientist of Green House Science, I have led and managed various research projects assessing the toxicity of priority substances to aquatic animals (e.g., azo and benzidine-based compounds, Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products), or the effects of toxic substances to aquatic animals (e.g., genotoxicity of urban effluents from Hamilton and Toronto Harbours, DNA damage in freshwater mussels from Cootes Paradise).
When not chasing tiny mighty gutsy girls, my extra-curricular activities include climbing, running, reading, softball and (maybe some day) yoga.

I love the Laurentian Chapter of SETAC, its people, its mandate, its activities and networking opportunities. It is an honour and a pleasure to once more contribute to making this Chapter bigger and better.

Richard Frank

Past President

I was awarded my PhD in Environmental Biology and Toxicology in 2008 from the University of Guelph, where my research focused on the chemical and toxicological characterization of naphthenic acids found in oil sands tailings pond water. Subsequently, I was a post-doctoral fellow, first at the University of Waterloo (2008-2010) investigating the remediation potential of algae indigenous to oil sands tailings ponds, and then with Environment Canada (2010-2012) investigating the chemical mixture composition of natural waters in the oil sands region. Since 2012, I have worked with Environment Canada (Burlington, ON) as a Research Scientist in the Water Science & Technology Directorate, where I investigate the aquatic toxicity of complex mixtures, with a current focus on bitumen-impacted waters originating from natural and tailings pond sources in the oil sands region. When not in the lab or the field, I love the outdoors and try to stay active playing several sports, as well as fishing and hunting. While I have been a member of SETAC and SETAC Laurentian Chapter since beginning my graduate studies in 2004, my involvement has thus far been limited to presentations, chairing sessions, and mentorship roles. As a member of the Board, I look forward to the opportunity to give back to SETAC Laurentian and help our Chapter grow, and I hope to continue this extended involvement for many years to come.

Gerald Tetreault

Membership Coordinator

I have been a SETAC North America member since 1999, a Laurentian SETAC member since 2005. In October of 2016 became a member of the Board of Directors. Other L-SETAC involvement includes, member of the Laurentian SETAC Pub Night Committee since 2009 (Chair 2013-2016), the Women In Science Committee (2016), Annual General Meeting Committee (2016) and recently a member of the Short Course Committee. As a SETAC member I have been fortunate to participate in meetings at both the North American and Laurentian level. I have also attended meetings in Europe and South America. I am currently a Research Associate in the Department of Biology at the University of Waterloo and a researcher with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). I received my Bachelors of Science from the University of Guelph (1996). After gaining some work experience in Fisheries biology and while continuing to work at ECCC, I received my Masters of Science (2003) and Doctorate (2012) from the University of Waterloo in Aquatic Toxicology. While working at ECCC, I have been involved in research projects that include: understanding the recovery of ecosystems from pulp and paper mill effluents, Great Lakes Areas of Concern and Athabasca Oil Sands; whole-lake exposure to a synthetic estrogen; aquatic cumulative effects assessment framework development for the Grand River watershed, and the response of fish to remedial actions at selected sewage treatment plants. I believe that it is our obligation as scientists to convey the importance of science to the public and to educational institutions. To that end I volunteer on the Grand River Conservation Authorities’ Fisheries Management Implementation Plan Committee and am involved in educational outreach through the Ontario Forestry Envirothon program, the e3 Outdoor program at Brantford’s Pauline Johnston High School, the Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program, rare Charitable Research Reserve and Trout Unlimited. By participating in SETAC I have gained invaluable experience in meeting and engaging world class researchers. It has provided me with opportunities for collaborations with other agencies, invitations for participation in expert working groups and general networking. Participating as a member in SETAC meetings is much more than professional or academic. SETAC has provided me with opportunities to learn and develop research and networking skills that I use every day at work.

Trudy Watson-Leung

Board Member

I have been the sediment toxicologist with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Aquatic Toxicology Unit for over 16 years. There we work on method development, guideline development and compliance and risk assessment toxicity testing with water, sediment and pure chemicals. I completed my B.Sc. at the University of Waterloo with a focus on freshwater ecology and stream macroinvertebrates as bioindicators. In between my B.Sc. and M.Sc. I completed stream inventories in northern British Columbia which mapped the required forestry setbacks from streams in the interior. My M.Sc. in Zoology at the University of Toronto Mississauga was on the impact of road salt on pond invertebrate community structure. Over the years I have been a member of SETAC and L-SETAC, attending many AGMs and periodically participating in L-SETAC social and volunteer events. Now that my children are a bit older I am excited to be able to participate as an active member of the vibrant L-SETAC community. I am also very excited to be a co-chair of the SETAC North America conference in Toronto in 2019, which, with the help of the L-SETAC chapter, is going to be amazing.

Erin Leonard

Board Member