Our Team

Laura S. Lynes, LLM

Laura S. Lynes, LLM

President/CEO

Laura is the co-founder of The Resilience Institute. She holds a master of law with distinction in climate change law & policy and a master degree in intercultural and international communications. She is a graduate of the Oxford Adaptation Academy and a Focal Point of the UNFCCC Nairobi Work Programme. Laura recently received the Dean’s Excellence Award at Strathclyde University Law School and prior to that, the American Sociological Association’s Jane Goodall Fellowship for her work on perceptions on inclusion of large carnivores in communities.

Shawn Marshall, PhD

Shawn Marshall, PhD

Board Chair

Shawn brings valuable expertise in climate change science and research to his role as a board member at TRI. He is a glaciologist and climatologist with broad interests in Earth and environmental sciences, having studied glacier-climate processes and glacier response to climate change in western and Arctic Canada, Iceland, and Greenland. He served as a Canada Research Chair in Climate Change at the University of Calgary from 2007-2017. Shawn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Geophysics and Astronomy from the University of British Columbia. In his current role as Chief Scientific Officer for Environment and Climate Change Canada, he provides advice on how to encourage a culture of scientific excellence, harness opportunities for partnerships and collaboration with external researchers and networks and leverage external science perspectives on science priorities.

Barrie R. Nault, PhD

Barrie R. Nault, PhD

Vice Board Chair

Dr. Barrie R. Nault is the Distinguished Research Professor and Director of the Informatics Research Centre at the University of Calgary. He was previously on faculty at The Ohio State University, the University of California, and the University of Alberta. He received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Nault is a Distinguished Fellow of the INFORMS Information Systems Society. His research interests include productivity of information technology; environmental incentives for new technology conversion; use of the Smart Grid; ownership, incentives, and investment in virtual organizations and supply chains; and net-neutrality and a two-tier Internet. Dr. Nault has published his research in academic journals such as Information Systems Research; Management Science; Production and Operations Management; Strategic Management Journal; Marketing Science; Journal of Monetary Economics, and Organization Science. He has also written reports for the National Research Council, and has held grants from the NSF in the U.S. as well as NSERC and SSHRC in Canada.

Andy Dobson, PhD

Andy Dobson, PhD

Board Member

Andy is a world-renowned epidemiologist and professor at Princeton University whose work extends to the ecology and economics of land-use change, wildlife-human interactions and ecotourism. His primary research is concerned with the ecology of infectious diseases and the conservation of endangered and threatened species. Andy’s research focuses on the population and community ecology of infectious diseases in a variety of endangered and fragile ecosystems: the Serengeti in East Africa, the coastal salt marshes and grasslands of California and the eye’s of the finches in the back yards of New England. He also works on the interaction between climate variability and the transmission of pathogens in muskoxen and caribou in the Canadian Arctic. Each study focuses on a different aspect of interactions between pathogens and their hosts that has allowed him to develop sections of a larger body of theory that deals with the role of infectious diseases in natural populations and communities. Andy is a graduate of the Aldo Leopold science communications program and is an elected Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science.

Therese Greenwood, MA

Therese Greenwood, MA

Board Member

Therese has more than two decades of experience in strategic communications, media, public engagement, and stakeholder relations with public sector organizations in Ontario and Alberta. The recent recipient of an Executive Certificate in Public Sector Leadership from Queen’s University’s Executive Education program, Therese is interested in working with highly engaged teams whose strong relationships and effective story-telling reflect strategic community priorities. She has also worked as a reporter, editor, broadcaster, and journalism teacher, and holds a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario. Originally from the Thousand Islands region, Therese has lived in Wood Buffalo for the past four years.

David Sauchyn, PhD

David Sauchyn, PhD

Board Member

Dr. Dave Sauchyn is Director of the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative at the University of Regina and Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies. His main research interests are 1) the climate and hydrology of the past millennium and how this knowledge of the past can inform our understanding of future climate and water supplies, and 2) planned adaption to minimize the adverse impacts of climate change on the natural capital of western Canada. Dave has been principal investigator of more than 50 research projects and has written or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. During 2011-16, he co-directed an interdisciplinary study of the vulnerability of agricultural communities to climate extremes in Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Brazil and the Canadian Prairies. Dave is lead author of the prairies chapter of the national assessment of climate change due for release in 2020.

Dr. Henry (Harry) Penn

Dr. Henry (Harry) Penn

Senior Program Lead

Dr. Henry Penn has a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies: Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Loughborough University with over a decade’s experience developing and leading community-based participatory research and infrastructure projects to address food-water-energy security and climate resilience in rural and remote locations across the circumpolar north. His experience includes strategic planning, climate mitigation and energy, infrastructure planning, delivery, operations, and maintenance. Henry is an advocate for open communication, makes collaboration the foundation of his project management approach, and focuses on creating opportunities for youth and underrepresented groups in research. Henry was previously manager of the Kluane Lake Research Station and science and sustainability program manager at the Arctic Institute of North America responsible for an experimental facility that tested major investments in new technologies and developed good practices for lowering the environmental footprint of remote research station facilities across the circumpolar north. With both professional and lived experience in northern and remote environments, Henry brings a unique community-focused approach and understands what is required to collaboratively deliver projects.

Marley Kozak, MPlan

Marley Kozak, MPlan

Program Lead – National Partnerships

Marley holds a Master’s degree in Environmental and Regional Planning from the University of Calgary. She has spent close to a decade building respectful, mutually beneficial relationships with a diverse group of partners including Indigenous communities, governments, academia, environmental interest groups, and industry, to address major trends, issues and knowledge gaps related to the condition of the environment. She has collaborated with partners to develop and implement community-based monitoring programs, knowledge co-production and citizen science initiatives to enhance environmental stewardship and build climate change resiliency and adaptation in communities.

Sandra Lunder

Sandra Lunder

Philanthropy Specialist

Sandra is a philanthropy specialist with a passion for giving back to the community. She has a background in business and social work and over 20 years of experience in fund development and fundraising team management. Sandra excels in connecting donors to meaningful organizational causes and creating positive, impactful change. She has worked with organizations such as Youth Central, Alberta Health Services, and Calgary Stampede Foundation. She brings a holistic perspective to sponsor and donor partnerships with a goal of building strong, resilient communities.  Sandra is a long-time resident of Alberta, Canada, and loves spending time outdoors with family and friends.

Tina Elliott, MES

Tina Elliott, MES

Project Manager

Tina holds a Master’s degree in Environment and Sustainability from the University of Saskatchewan. Through her Master’s research, she focused on developing a post-disaster learning framework and community guidebook that focuses on the social dimensions of lived disaster experiences. Her undergraduate degree in Women’s and Gender Studies supported this work — and all she does — to critically examine power structures and promote equity, agency, and empowerment. She aims to blend her academic research experience with her experience in frontline, community-based agencies to foster evidence-based, practical climate adaptations. Tina is passionate about working collaboratively toward a sustainable, equitable future with all people in her home community of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis and beyond.

Elliot Fox

Elliot Fox

Indigenous Community Liaison

Elliot is a member of the Kainai (Blood Tribe) First Nation (Blackfoot Confederacy) who has worked in the field of natural resource conservation in southwest Alberta for the past 27 years as a fish, wildlife, forestry, rangeland and climate adaptation technician, and as a land manager with the Kainai  and Piikani First Nations. Elliot is a graduate of the Renewable Resource Management (Environmental Science) Program at Lethbridge College.  Elliot is also a member of the Kainai Ecosystem Protection Association (KEPA) Steering Committee and the Kainai Iinnii (Bison) Rematriation Advisory team, who were instrumental in returning a cultural herd of Plains Bison to Kainai lands in February 2021, after a 140-year absence. Elliot is also working as the Assistant Project Manager for the Blackfoot Confederacy Native Trout Recovery Project as a technician/consultant. Elliot is deeply concerned about global warming and is working with TRI and Alberta Indigenous communities to facilitate the development and implementation of local action plans to prepare to address climate change and adaptation, utilizing Traditional Indigenous Ecological Knowledge combined with the best western science. Elliot enjoys spending his leisure time with family, hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, camping and eating great food in and around the Rocky Mountains and Blackfoot Territory.

Amica Antonelli, MEDes

Amica Antonelli, MEDes

Advancement Specialist

Amica is passionate about progressive approaches to sustainable community development, sustainable agriculture, and ecological restoration. She has expertise in leadership, environmental planning, communications, and community outreach. With over 20 years of experience in the fields of resource management and community planning, she has worked on resource management projects in British Columbia, Alberta, and South Africa. Amica has a Master’s degree in Environmental Design. She provides advancement and communications support for TRI.

Eli Panning-Osendarp, BA

Eli Panning-Osendarp, BA

Programming & Logistics Coordinator

Eli has a background in social science with experience in research and project management. He graduated in 2017 with a bachelors degree in human geography from the University of British Columbia. Since graduation, Eli led the development of a Vital Signs report for the Banff Canmore Community Foundation (2019). The report provided a snapshot of numerous biocultural indicators to judge the overall wellbeing of the Bow Valley – a mountain community in Canada. Eli has received training related to advancing Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation goals and in climate change adaptation and project management.

Avery Bowe, BA (She/Her)

Avery Bowe, BA (She/Her)

Visual Storyteller and Communication Coordinator

Avery Bowe has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with distinction from the University of Alberta. In academia, Avery is interested in the intersections of the arts and sciences and how an interdisciplinary approach can help us find new directions in confronting complex issues like climate change. As a Visual Storyteller at TRI, Avery uses graphic design and illustration to communicate TRI’s work to the public and to help develop an image that reflects the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of TRI’s programs.

Michaela Sidloski, PhD

Michaela Sidloski, PhD

Research Associate

Michaela Sidloski is a PhD Candidate in Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. In her research, she is examining how intersectional feminist theory can be applied in community climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning processes to produce more effective, just, and equitable outcomes. With an educational background in Regional and Urban Planning, she draws on specializations in cartography, GIS, and critical community-engaged scholarship in her work. Above all else, Michaela is passionate about learning, unlearning, and relearning; she strives to approach every situation as a student, inside the classroom and beyond.

Advisors

Steven M. Vamosi, PhD

Professor, Population Biology, University of Calgary.

Steven is Professor of Population Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary. He is also the Scientific Director of the Biogeoscience Institute, overseeing the vision and mission of the Barrier Lake and RB Miller field stations in Kananaskis Country. Steven is an evolutionary and conservation ecologist with broad interests in the origins, maintenance, and loss of biodiversity. His research focuses on native (and often at-risk) semi-aquatic and aquatic vertebrates in western Canada, with recent work on bull trout in Alberta and the Yukon, Chinook salmon in the Yukon, long-toed salamanders in Alberta, and rough-skinned newts in British Columbia. He has over 65 peer-reviewed publications in a broad range of journals and books and is a long-time Associate Editor for two journals (Journal of Applied Ecology, Ecology and Evolution). Steven is committed to working collaboratively towards a more sustainable future for the lands, plants and animals, and people of Treaty 7 Territory and beyond.

Kansie Fox

Environmental Protection Manager, Blood Tribe Land Management

Kansie Fox, or Apaitsitapiakii (Weasel woman), is Blackfoot (from Kainai / Blood Tribe) and Dine (from the Navajo Nation) and was raised on the Blood Reservation. Her father is Richard Fox Jr. and her late mother is Mary Ann Fox. She is blessed with raising her two amazing teenagers who reside with her in Lethbridge. Kansie is the Environmental Protection Manager with the Blood Tribe Land Management Department on the Blood Reserve. Her work involves communicating with Chief and Council, the Blood Tribe community, Kainai Ecosystem Protection Association, the Blackfoot Confederacy and environmental organizations and institutions to protect and sustainably manage Tribal lands. Kansie graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah with a Bachelors degree in Conservation Biology. She has completed the National Aboriginal Land Managers Association Professional Development program to receive the Professional Lands Management Certification. In addition, is certified in 40 hours advanced wilderness first aid and basic Geographic Information System (GIS). Kansie assists with co-chairing the Kainai Ecosystem Protection Association.

Sarah Roberts

Senior Fundraising Lead at Circle Economy | Fundraising Advisor

Sarah Roberts is an enthusiastic and successful independent consultant fundraising for outstanding causes with 20 years experience fundraising for outstanding causes, including MSF and Greenpeace, and New Energy Nexus. Sarah’s fundraising efforts have enabled positive social change across a range of environmental and social issues all over the world, in particular in Australia, Brazil, China, India, SE Asia, South Africa, UK, Netherlands, and Switzerland. Sarah is a passionate advocate for practical, community-focused solutions to environmental issues. For example, she is actively engaged in growing and protecting solar in Australia through her leadership on the Solar Citizens Board. Sarah is thrilled to support the Resilience Institute as an advisor helping to further our mission through championing indigenous knowledge systems and weaving traditional owners’ stories of resilience and adaptation to the climate movement.

Joseph Braun

Documentary Filmmaker

Joseph has spent the whole of his career crafting stories that resonate with the public. He specializes in telling stories that humanize cultures, causes, and brands. Director of the soon-to-be-released feature documentary film “Ticking Time Bomb: The Truth Behind Takata Airbags,” Braun’s film and TV journey launched in Hollywood more than 20 years ago. There, he began his career in post-production, working on hit episodic dramas, such as NBC’s “Third Watch,” the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning “ER,” and FOX’s hit American teen drama, “The OC.” Braun is the founding producer of the Atlanta-based Best 30 Seconds Productions, creating documentary films, immersive podcasts, as well as short-form commercials for national brands. Braun is intent on utilizing his considerable directorial and production experience to tell stories that humanize the dilemmas and choices we face to save our future.

John Colvin, PhD

University of Oxford, Environmental Change Institute / Emerald Network

consultant and researcher in integrated and adaptive approaches to sustainable development. Dr. Colvin’s expertise is in social and institutional learning processes, including monitoring and evaluation, particularly in the context of climate change adaptation, water resources governance, ecosystem services, sustainable livelihoods and sustainable urban development. A former UK policy maker, he has over 14 years experience of working in international development for a variety of organisations including bilaterals, multilaterals, government ministries, research institutes and NGOs. A specific area of expertise is in multi-stakeholder participatory processes underpinning social innovation, systemic intermediation and inter & trans-disciplinary research practices. 

Nikolaus Demiantschuk

Partner, DBH Law

Nick has been with DBH Law for almost 30 years practicing in the areas of financing, commercial real estate and real estate development and corporate and commercial law. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s law school, and has been a panel member for the Legal Education Society of Alberta and a lecturer for the Alberta Bar Admission Course. He is also the Honourary Consul General for the Republic of Austria in Alberta.

Fiona Jones

Alberta, Canada

Fiona is a sustainability professional with 40 years of experience in private industry in the financial and energy sectors. A graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, Fiona has held roles in financial risk management and governance, compliance and ethics, climate change and energy policy, climate risk disclosure, and, most recently, led the Sustainabilty team for a large integrated oil company. She believes that, at its core, organizational sustainability is about a company’s ability to understand, respond, and adapt to a changing external environment and in doing so remain relevant, and generate value, regardless of which version of the future unfolds.  In that role she developed and integrated long-term climate change scenarios and risk assessment into the corporate strategic planning process, producing Canada’s first corporate strategic climate risk disclosure report. She has also advised the Carbon Disclosure Project and accounting standards boards on oil and gas climate change risk disclosure. A systems thinker that thrives on complex issues, non-linear concepts and “wicked” challenges, she has participated in multiple alliances and other engagement with ENGO’s and civil society to advance progressive policy and social change.

Philip A. Loring, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Environment, and Geomatics Arrell Chair in Food, Policy, and Society

Dr. Philip Loring works as the Global Director of Human Dimensions Science for The Nature Conservancy. He is an interdisciplinary social scientist, storyteller, and educator with interests in stewardship, food systems, climate, and justice. Dr. Lorings academic training is in anthropology, ecology, and cross-cultural studies, and he has extensive experience convening and funding diverse communities of practice and deploying participatory, solution-oriented research. Dr. Loring is also a widely published and cited academic, with over 60 peer-reviewed papers appearing in top journals such as Nature Sustainability and Biological Conservation. His goal is to help communities around the world envision, implement, and communicate radical, system-level change.

Brooklyn Rushton, MCC, PhD

Candidate and Sustainable Tourism Professional

Brooklyn Rushton is a PhD Candidate at Wilfrid Laurier University and sustainable tourism professional with a focus on finding innovative and community-based solutions to sustainability challenges. With a background in wildlife biology and conservation and additional qualifications in regenerative destination management and climate change adaptation, she adeptly combines academic insight with practical application. Her approach is characterized by a systems-thinking perspective, addressing complex issues, and contributing to meaningful policy and community-oriented changes.

Noreen Plain Eagle

Manager of Lands, Piikani Nation

Noreen Plain Eagle is from the Piikani First Nation located in southern Alberta where she has been the Lands Manager since 2016. She is from one of the oldest Blackfoot families known. She has seven (7) brothers, three (3) sisters and her parents are the Late Beatrice Big Bull (Potts) and the late Roy Big Bull. She was born and raised on the Piikani Nation where she has lived most of her life with exception attending school in the state of Washington. She achieved a Kanawayihetaytan Askiy (Let Us Take Care of Our Land) Certificate from the University of Saskatchewan and an Achievement Award from NALMA for implementing community programs and creating programs that addressed Rangeland Health. She is an inspiration and change agent within the community who is working to strengthen Piikani’s resilience to climate change.

Rasha Hassan

Events and Communications Manager Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo

Rasha is the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo’s Events and Communications Manager. She is passionate about promoting inclusivity and celebrating diversity, and she has experience planning memorable events that unite people from different backgrounds. Rasha is committed to using the power of events to promote harmony and an appreciation for diversity. She has a great awareness of cultural quirks and a passion for crafting unique experiences. Having experience working in different countries and different fields including finance, administration, and event planning, Rasha has honed a skill set that includes meticulous planning, seamless execution, and effective communication with diverse stakeholders.

Bala Nikku, PhD

Associate Professor, School of Social Work and Human Service, Faculty of Education and Social Work, Thompson Rivers University

Dr. Bala Nikku (he/him) currently lives, works, and plays on the traditional, unceded Secwepemcul’ecw territory in Kamloops with his wife and two daughters. Bala was born in Budithi village in Andhra Pradesh, India, where his parents, siblings, and extended family live. Bala is a social work faculty member at Thompson Rivers University who is passionate about understanding and nurturing community resilience to disasters. Before coming to Canada in 2018 from Asia, Bala worked with communities and taught in schools of social work in Nepal, India, and Malaysia. He held adjunct positions in Thailand and was a COFUND Senior Research Fellow of IHRR at Durham University, UK, in 2016. Bala leads two SSHRC-funded research projects to understand maker spaces and circular economies, making cultures, disaster patterns, community choices, and ecological changes catalyzed by natural and political disasters. Bala’s research, grounded in community science approaches, co-produces insights about practices of human displacement and the choices people make when rebuilding their lives after natural disasters. Bala came to The Resilience Institute as a project participant and coordinator of the Voices of Resilience BC project where he explored, learned, and shared about his own personal understandings of resilience and how to build it.