BIObus Alumni

Adrian Boskovic

Adrian Boskovic Adrian was born and raised in Toronto. Being an avid angler and spearfisherman from an early age is when he developed a deep appreciation for marine biology. His passion for wildlife and outdoor hobbies have lead him to constantly be immersed in nature and share this passion and knowledge with friends. He began his career at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario as a photographer and is looking forward to start working in the field with the BIObus team. Adrian is currently working towards completing his undergraduate degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology at the University of Guelph in December of 2015.

Agata Pawlowski

Agata earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Guelph in 2006 and joined the Biodiversity Institute as a laboratory technician shortly thereafter. She acted in the role for about 2 years before deciding to pursue a Master’s degree, which she earned in Resource and Environmental Management from Dalhousie University in 2010. Agata rejoined BIO to act as the BIObus driver and crew chief of the 2012 Canadian National Parks expedition. She loves fieldwork and traveling, making BIOBus a perfect fit for her. Her favorite insect order is Hymenoptera and she hopes to one day manage her own hives.

Allison Brown

Allison BrownAllison completed her BSc in Biological Science at Brock University, where she took several insect diversity and behaviour courses. It was during this time where her interest for insects, and amphibians, grew. She undertook a thesis project in larval anuran behaviour and this spurred her to pursue a Master’s degree in Integrative Biology at Guelph. After completing her MSc work on behavioural plasticity and personality of larval damselflies, she took a position in the Archives of the Collections department at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario. She really enjoys interacting with and sending specimens to taxonomic experts from museums around the world and even visiting museums to collect specimens to add to the International Barcode of Life project. She is excited to be a part of the BIObus team this year and get out to the field!

Beverly McClenaghan

DSCN7278-e1399998718934Beverly recently graduated from her undergraduate degree in zoology at the University of Guelph where she developed a strong interest in insects. Last summer she participated in an exciting field entomology course to Vietnam. She enjoys lots of outdoor activities including hiking, birding and of course, looking for insects. She is looking forward to getting back out in the field again this summer and travelling out West on the bus!

Carlene Gallant

Blog-bio-photo_Carlene-225x300Carlene Gallant is from a small farming community (Mt. Pleasant) outside of Brantford, Ontario, who just finished her bachelor’s degree at the University of Guelph in Wildlife Biology. She developed a keen interest in Entomology as a child, which encouraged her to take several insect related classes during her undergrad. After a particularly thrilling field entomology course in Ecuador, she decided to begin pursuing entomology as a career and was hired at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario as a summer student. She enjoys any activity outdoors, particularly rock climbing and searching for insects or reptiles/amphibians. Being a member of the BIObus team is a dream come true!

Chris Ho

Chris studied Wildlife Biology at the University of Guelph, and is fascinated by all forms of nature from banana slugs to blue whales, with a special interest in invertebrates. His academic interest lies in evolutionary ecology and animal behaviour. As a part of his 4th year thesis he worked for the insect systematic lab at the University of Guelph where he is working on a taxonomic review of Eastern Canadian Rhagio (Rhagionidae: Snipe Flies). He started to work for the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario in January 2011 in the Bioinformatics department. Chris lives for field work and the biobus presents an amazing opportunity to explore new places and collect exotic fauna for the Barcode of Life Datasystems (BOLD) reference library.

Dan Engelking

Dan EngelkingDan grew up on the outskirts of Parry Sound, Ontario. As a child, he was able to explore the woods and lake around his house which sparked his life-long interest in wildlife. There was no rock he wouldn’t check under, no log he wouldn’t flip over, no pile of dirt he wouldn’t sift through, not being deterred by the multiple wasp stings he would receive for his curiosity. Fast forward a few years and Dan learned he could do this sort of thing as a career. He is currently enrolled at the University of Guelph for an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. Dan started working at BIO at the beginning of his 3rd semester as a student and is loving it! Dan is extremely excited for his upcoming summer with the team and can’t wait to hop on the BIObus for his next adventure.

danielle wright

Danielle WrightDanielle is a 5th year Marine and Freshwater Biology student who is now a BIObus veteran. She has a fascination with learning new things and thoroughly enjoyed the field work and travel opportunities that the BIObus offered. With her new attraction to bugs she enjoys teaching the public (especially children) about what we do at BIO! Her favourite bug order is Lepidoptera, although she has recently started liking arachnids too. This summer she is working primarily in the Imaging department, taking photographs of the specimens we collect, but will be venturing out into the field as well.

Elizabeth Darling

Liz SearsElizabeth grew up in a small town on the outskirts of Ottawa, Ontario and spent most of her childhood years outdoors. She completed her BSc. in Marine and Freshwater Biology as well as her MSc. in Comparative Animal Physiology at the University of Guelph. After going on the Marine Biology field course during her undergraduate degree, Elizabeth acted as Teaching Assistant on the course twice more during her graduate work. Her love of the field and of biological systems led to a full time position at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario in September of 2014. She has previously worked at the University of Ottawa on mercury pollution levels in several aquatic habitats as well as at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on modifying corn to increase green fuel production. Elizabeth has also enjoyed volunteering with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority in Ottawa as well as Let’s Talk Science in Guelph.

Emily Berzitis

EmilyBerzitisPhoto-e1401454635192Emily grew up in Nova Scotia and came to the University of Guelph to pursue an undergraduate degree in Ecology. Halfway through this degree, she participated in the Arctic Ecology field course which introduced her to the world of arthropods and DNA barcoding (and where she climbed into the tire of a tundra vehicle!). Her undergraduate thesis focused on DNA barcoding in spiders and this experience at BIO fostered her interest in research. She pursued her PhD in Environmental Biology, looking at the effects of climate change on plant-animal interactions. She is excited to be back at BIO with the opportunity to encourage others to appreciate and explore biodiversity.

Forest Dussault

BIObus photoForest is an undergraduate student born and raised in Mississauga heading into his 4th year for a B.Sc in Biological Sciences. He has a strong interest in genetics, ecological relationships, and the evolution of life. Since a young age an avid interest in biology has driven his hobbies and educational path. Nature photography, hiking, insect collecting, and late nights on Wikipedia are some of the many things known to pique his interest. The BIObus presents an exciting and unique opportunity to expand his knowledge and experiences. Here’s to Eastern Canada!

Grace Bannon

Grace is a recent graduate of the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science degree. She is interested in zoology on both ecological and molecular levels. Grace cultivated an interest in entomology and was introduced to DNA barcoding while participating in an Arctic Ecology field course last summer. She is eager to join the BIObus crew and anticipates seeing many exciting creatures this summer.

Graham Ansell

20130423-0003-400x290Graham has always had a fascination with insects. Dubbed “the bug guy” in school, he has yearned to be an entomologist ever since he discovered the word in grade two. Driven through high school by a love of music and science, he is currently half way through his undergrad, and hoping to do further studies in invertebrate zoology.

Jay Cossey

Jay Cossey came to BIO with a background in Commercial Photography and Graphic Design. His lifelong passion, however, has been insect photography. When the opportunity arose, Jay jumped at the chance to work with BIO as a nature photographer and one of the BIObus team leaders. This is a dream job for Jay, traveling North America, collecting and photographing invertebrates for DNA Barcoding. When not out in the field, Jay works in BIO’s Imaging Lab, photographing the numerous specimens collected during the previous season.

Jennifer Gleason

Blog-bio-photo_Jen-297x300Jennifer is a recent graduate from the University of Guelph. She has always had a strong interest in wildlife and the outdoors, which led her to pursue a B.Sc. majoring in Zoology. As a child, her passion for nature resulted in long days spent outside exploring, from searching for frogs and snakes to overturning rocks to get at the “creepy crawlies”. Her interest in entomology was encouraged by working with BIO for a year as a student and on her undergraduate thesis studying damselfly nymphs.

Jesse Sills

Jesse Sills Jesse grew up in London Ontario, and decided to come to the University of Guelph to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Zoology. Jesse has loved all kinds of animals since a young age and is passionate about the conservation of biodiversity. This was brought on by a childhood full of outdoor activities, along with the many learning experiences she had at U of Guelph. Jesse particularly enjoyed learning about invertebrates and their incredible diversity, which sparked an interest in working with BIO. Jesse has just completed her degree, and she is excited to be a part of the BIObus team and learn as much as possible about insects!

Jill Bergstrome

Jill is in her final year of a zoology and ecology degree at the University of Guelph.  As a newbie entomologist this is Jill’s first time collecting insects in the field. With a chronic condition of wanderlust, the BIObus is the perfect way to investigate Canadian arthropods and satisfy her itchy feet.

Jillian Smith

Jill discovered a passion for nature at a young age; pursuing numerous outdoor activities and an education in biology. She completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Guelph in Molecular Biology and Genetics supplemented with a background in Zoology. After working in a biology lab throughout her undergraduate degree , she decided to complete a Master s in Integrative Biology studying genome evolution in mammals. Upon completion of her education she volunteered for the Biodiversity Institute during the 2009 BIObus field expedition in Eastern Canada’s National Parks. The experience was incredibly rewarding, sparking interest in Entomology and DNA barcoding, leading to a full-time position working with the BIObus. She is looking forward to the 2010 field season, hoping to someday visit all of Canada’s National Parks.

Jizel M. Miles

Jizel is a 4th year undergraduate in the B. Sc. Honors Zoology program at the University of Guelph. She is originally from Mississauga, ON with a very strong interest in Spanish culture and language, as well as tigers (they are a FASCINATING species!!). This is her second year working at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO) and her 1st year on the BIObus. She has a knack for adventure and cannot wait for all the interesting discoveries the BIObus team will come across along this exciting road-trip.

joey addesi

Joey AddesiJoey is quite a simple guy really, he just loves being outdoors and has a thing for animals and plants, he always has. The proto-naturalist made himself known as soon as he could crawl. It all started off in a fairly normal manner with little to worry about the boy who collected small and unfortunate creatures like spiders, beetles, frogs and toads and stuffed them into jam jars, tanks, buckets and ice-cream tubs. It is, after all, a healthy occupation for an eight-year-old. Driven by his natural curiosity with the world around him, Joey has completed a B.Sc. degree in Ecology at the University of Guelph. He never expected his career to take the monumental leap it did. Doing what he does at BIO, he gets to meet some of the natural world’s most exquisite creatures he never dreamed of ever seeing. Having worked at BIO since 2013, Joey has met some of the most dedicated and amazing people and will get to visit some of Canada’s most extraordinary places this summer with the BIObus team.

Jon Williams

 Jon was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario before heading off to the University of Guelph to obtain a degree in Zoology. To friends and family he’s always been “the bug guy”.  He’s been working for the University of Guelph for the past year in different capacities including: mounting insects in the Insect Systematics Lab, assisting with pest management research in Harrow, Ontario, and now working at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario. Never having travelled west of Ontario before, Jon is very excited to have the opportunity to see so much of Canada and catch insects along the way!

Josh Persi

Josh PersiJosh just finished his second year of undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph where he’s pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Sciences degree with a major in Ecology. His passion for nature was fostered early on in his childhood through family camping trips where just about everything was new and interesting. This is Josh’s first summer working outside of his hometown of Newmarket, ON but he’s excited to be the newest addition to the BIO team. Although he will be helping with other departments within BIO, Josh will mostly be assisting our resident spider expert Gerry. Knowing relatively little about spiders, Josh is really excited to learn as much as he can. He genuinely enjoys learning and will most likely be continuing his education in ecology after completing his undergrad. But before getting to higher education, he thinks being a part of this BIObus is a great way to learn as well as develop as a person and team member. In short, he’s very excited to be working with BIO’s great team!

Kareina D’Souza

Kareina D'SouzaKareina has been fascinated by animals her entire life, which lead her to complete her undergraduate degree in Zoology in April of 2014. After graduating, Kareina was offered a position as a Husbandry diver at the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada but wanted to stay involved in research. In order to do that, she worked on a research project through the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario examining non-invasive sampling of freshwater mussels and will be continuing that project this summer as a summer student with BIO. Kareina will be beginning her Masters degree in Resource and Environmental Management this fall at Dalhousie University and aims to use that degree to be help protect diversity and be a conservation advocate.

Katelyn Lutes

BiobusblogpictureKatelyn is an undergraduate student going into the 4th year of her Honours program in Environmental Science, at the University of Guelph. Her major in Natural Resources Management has allowed her to develop a strong interest in agriculture and soils.  Katelyn has learned about insects and their unique behaviours through taking entomology courses at the university.  This has inspired her to pursue her interest in insects further.  After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans on continuing her education to obtain a Master’s degree in agriculture, entomology or a field that allows her to apply both of those interests.  Katelyn is originally from Cambridge, Ontario but now resides in Guelph to attend school.  She thoroughly enjoys participating in outdoor activities and has a strong appreciation for all living things.  Katelyn is thrilled to have the amazing opportunity to travel out east with the BIObus this summer!

Kylee Ronnenberg

Kylee RonnenbergKylee is about to complete her B.Sc. in Biological Science with a minor in German Studies at the University of Guelph. She has always loved being outdoors and is very interested in plants and animals. She grew up in a small farming community, which lead to her exploration of the wilderness surrounding her. She started working at BIO in September 2013, and has met many amazing people who are passionate about insects and entomology, which inspire her to continue learning about insects. Biology, evolution, and genetics are what she is enthusiastic about when it comes to learning, but through working at BIO, she appreciates and admires entomology. She is excited and looks forward to completing field work for the first time this summer on the BIObus.

Martin Zlatkin

DSCF0229-280x300Martin is in the last year of his undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology at the University of Guelph. At a young age Martin has always been fascinated with insects, so much so that when his parents gave him a box of toy bugs for his 6th birthday he said “My dream has come true.” Martin loves spending his time outdoors and plans canoe trips to Algonquin Park every summer with his friends and family. He’s fascinated with everything that creeps and crawls and so Martin is always on the lookout for new and interesting bugs. After spending part of his summer studying insects in Vietnam, Martin will be joining the rest of the crew on the BIObus for his first time.

Nate Jones

Nate is currently working towards an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology at the University of Guelph and will be starting his fourth year in the fall. Nate grew up in Port Dover, Ontario, and has always been a frequent visitor of Lake Erie. This is where Nate’s passion for all things wild was ignited. Nate was very interested in insects at a young age, and was particularly fascinated with the massive swarms of insects that would cover his home town. Nate is looking to continue his study of insects and is considering a career in the field of entomology. The BIObus is a great opportunity for Nate to further his education into the world of insects. Nate’s excited to get started!

Rachael Derbyshire

Rachael has had an interest in biology and ecology since she was a very young child. This passion is what inspired her to pursue an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology at the University of Guelph. Although she had always been interested in insects, a field entomology course in Arizona really got her engaged in the world of bugs. She then went on to volunteer for the Canadian Pollination Initiative at the University of Guelph, work as a field technician in a tall grass prairie ecosystem studying insect communities, and complete an undergraduate thesis on monarch butterfly migration before switching avenues and pursuing a M.Sc. in Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph focusing on the Gray Jay, a resident bird of Canadian boreal forests. Now she is back in the world of bugs, having started as a Collections Technician at BIO in 2015. She looks forward to getting back into the field with the six-legged ones this summer!

Shannon MacDonald

Shannon MacDonaldGrowing up in a small town nestled in Ontario’s lake country, Shannon has always felt most at home around nature. Following her interest in animals both big and small, Shannon entered the University of Guelph in 2010 as a Zoology major with a Microbiology minor. In the summer of her third year, Shannon got the opportunity to travel through Europe, allowing her to acquire a new appreciation the world’s biodiversity and the importance of its conservation in the process. Upon returning to school, she was given the chance to join the BIO team as a student assistant in the lab and – most recently – a summer student in the collections department. Shannon is excited to be working with BIO this summer and is looking forward to learning more about Ontario’s incredible invertebrates.

Smera Sukumar

Smera-e1367337078701-281x300Smera is a recent graduate from the University of Guelph in April 2013. Her curiosity and passion for wildlife from a young age encouraged her to explore the wonders of the animal kingdom, leading her to earn a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Zoology. Entomology captured her eye in University and drew her to BIO. She has been a student working at BIO since July 2012. This is the first time she will be on the BIObus and looks forward to conducting field work and exploring new areas of Canada.

Spencer Walker

From a very early age Spencer had known that he wanted to pursue a career in zoology due to an inherent love of everything that had to do with animals, long before he know what the field was actually called. This fascination in wildlife and nature never left him and as a result the only school he every wanted to attend was the University of Guelph, just a stone’s throw from his hometown of Mississauga, Ontario. After earning his bachelor’s degree he decided to stick around. A field course in the arctic ecology of Churchill, Manitoba led him to the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario where he has worked as a laboratory technician for the past two years, photographing the vast array of invertebrate diversity the world has to offer. Now he gets a chance to experience his dream of getting down and dirty with fieldwork as he visits the majestic and picturesque national parks of Canada while on the BIObus!

thanushi eagalle

Thanushi EagalleThanushi completed her BSc in Zoology and MSc in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Guelph. Her interests range from urban gardening, traveling to painting, but it was a field entomology course in Arizona during her second undergraduate year that sparked her interests in identifying and learning more about insects. Since the field course she has taken many entomology courses at the university and had some fun adventures doing field work in New Hampshire catching butterflies, in Algonquin Park collecting arthropods and in Churchill doing her field work for her MSc. After completing her MSc on parasitoid wasp diversity and body size along a latitudinal gradient, she joined the Collections department at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario and is now looking forward to more fun filled field work adventures this summer.

Vanessa Breton

While growing up in the country, Vanessa developed a keen curiosity of the environment around her. From a very young age, you could constantly find Vanessa climbing trees, turning over rocks and teaching her friends about the wildlife she found around her. With her passion for nature and education in mind, Vanessa chose to attend teachers college in 2011 after gaining her B.A. in International Development at the University of Guelph the year before. Currently Vanessa works for the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario doing Education and Outreach which allows her to share her enthusiasm for environmental education with multiple classrooms, students and teachers across Canada!

Vincent Belluz

Vincent spent his childhood living in British Columbia and Indonesia. During these years he had the amazing opportunity to travel around the world, which helped to mold a life-long passion for nature. He is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Guelph with goals to become a professional entomologist. Vincent is thrilled to be part of the adventures with the BIObus team!