Meet Our Staff

Christina Collard

Program Leader, Administration
& Fundraising

ccollard@riverinstitute.ca

Jeff Ridal

Executive Director
jridal@riverinstitute.ca

Pam Maloney

Fund Development Officer
pmaloney@riverinstitute.ca

Jennifer Lauzon

Assistant Administrator
jlauzon@riverinstitute.ca

Crystal Martell

QA/QC Officer
cmartell@riverinstitute.ca

Luc St. Pierre

Lab Coordinator
lstpierre@riverinstitute.ca

Cristina Charette, M.Sc.

Education Coordinator
ccharette@riverinstitute.ca

Lexy Harquail

Environmental Educator / Biologist
lharquail@riverinstitute.ca

Bojian Chen

Research Scientist
bchen@riverinstitute.ca

Stephany Hildebrand

Research Assistant / Technician
shildebrand@riverinstitute.ca

Josh Filion

Project Support Specialist
jfilion@riverinstitute.ca

Zachary Zwanenburg

Web Developer & IT Support Technician
zzwanenburg@riverinstitute.ca

Elsie Lewison

Developement Officer
elewison@riverinstitute.ca

Georgia Bock

Remedial Action Plan Coordinator
gbock@riverinstitute.ca

Jennifer Jarvis

Administrative Assistant
jjarvis@riverinstitute.ca

Emilie DeRochie

River Strategy Coordinator
ederochie@riverinstitute.ca

Emma Ridal

Assistant Web Developer & Communications Support
eridal@riverinstitute.ca

Mackenzie Wylie-Arbic

Research Assistant
mwyliearbic@riverinstitute.ca

Courtney Holden

Research Scientist
cholden@riverinstitute.ca

Jamie Hilworth

Project Support Technician
jhilworth@riverinstitute.ca

Matt Windle

Program Leader, Research & Technical Services
mwindle@riverinstitute.ca

Mary Ann Perron

Research Scientist
maperron@riverinstitute.ca

Brian Hickey

Research Scientist
bhickey@riverinstitute.ca

Leigh McGaughey

Program Leader Research & Community Engagement
lmcgaughey@riverinstitute.ca

Bailey Ruest

Research Assistant/Biologist
bruest@riverinstitute.ca

Elizabeth Grohmann

Biologist/Field Technician
egrohmann@riverinstitute.ca

Elizabeth Hall

Research Assistant/Biologist
ehall@riverinstitute.ca

Alanna Akkermans

Environmental Educator/Biologist
aakkermans@riverinstitute.ca

River Institute Board of Directors

Trea Tuck

HET Law, Henderson, Eastwood, Tuck: Chair

Glen Grant

Community member;
First Vice Chair

Jackie Baird

Cornwall Electric: Treasurer

Stephen Alexander

Community member; Secretary

Directors

Debora Daigle

Community member

John Gleed

Community Member

Diana Rourke

Manager BASF Plant

Scott Gagnon

OPG

Scott Lecky

Ramada Hotel

Mireille Lemire

RBC

Jean Marc Gladu

Community member

Kirsten Gardner

Warden and United Counties of S. D. & G. Representative

Jennifer Haley

St. Lawrence College, Representative

Todd Bennett

City of Cornwall Representative

Chief April Adams-Philips

Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Representative

River Institute Foundation Board of Directors

Patrick Finucan

Chair

Meagan McDonald

Vice Chair

John McDonald

Secretary

Maureen Adams

Treasurer

David MacKinnon

Member

Trea Tuck

River Institute Representative

Research Scientists

Dr. Brian Hickey

Program Leader Education / Research Scientist
bhickey@riverinstitute.ca

I received my graduate training in biology at York University where I studied behavioural and physiological variation of red (Lasiurus borealis) and hoary (Lasiurus cinereus) bats in response to changing environmental conditions. Since then, my research has involved both basic and applied aspects of this question. My current research efforts are directed at evaluating the responses of fish and wildlife communities to habitat degradation (habitat loss and mercury contamination), restoration efforts and ecological effects of water level variation. In addition to research, I oversee public education and outreach programs at the River Institute.

Research Interests

My research involves a wide range of taxa including bats, birds, fish and invertebrates, with a unifying theme to understand the role environmental variation plays in the responses of individual animals, and how these responses ultimately structure animal populations and communities.

Dr. Leigh McGaughey

Research Scientist
lmcgaughey@riverinstitute.ca

Leigh is an ecologist, who started her career in South Africa where she completed a BSc (1994), BSc Honours (1995) and MSc (2000) degrees in Biological Sciences. In 2001 she moved to Australia and worked as a Research Assistant at Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute as part of the Abalone Research team to provide scientific support to the fishing industry. In 2005 she took up a scholarship for her PhD studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada, where she built an ecosystem model of a sub-Antarctic system which was used to explore past population dynamics and climate change scenarios. In 2010, Leigh was employed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, based in Italy, as a Postdoctoral Grantholder where she worked on developing indicators for both fisheries and conservation applications.

Research Interests

Leigh’s expertise include invertebrate biology, stable isotopes, ecosystem modelling, remote sensing, ecosystem indicators and ecosystem services.

Dr. Mary Ann Perron

Mitacs Post-Doctoral Fellow
maperron@riverinstitute.ca

I am a freshwater biologist with expertise in wetland ecosystems and urban ecology. I grew up in a small town in northern Ontario and spent my free time outdoors, usually on the water. I completed my B.Sc. Honours in Biology with a specialization in conservation and restoration ecology from Laurentian University in Sudbury (2010-2014). I then went on to complete my Ph.D. in Biology specializing in wetland ecosystems, entomology and urban ecology from the University of Ottawa (2014-2020). I have experience teaching in the classroom and in the field as well as running workshops for youth organizations. I am a certified wetland evaluator with skills in wetland plant identification, multivariate statistics and spatial analyses. I am currently involved in leading citizen science programs and collaborate in international efforts in insect conservation.

Research Interests

My research interests include wetlands, Odonatology (study of dragonflies and damselflies), conservation biology, botany, urban ecology, freshwater ecology, biostatistics and spatial analyses. I also have a keen interest in natural history.

Matthew Windle, MSc.

Research Scientist
mwindle@riverinstitute.ca

I am a biologist with experience in environmental science, freshwater ecosystem ecology, spatial analyses, contaminant analyses, and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). I completed a BSc in environmental science from Queen’s University, and a M.Sc. in Biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. In addition to my work as a Research Scientist at the River Institute, I am also a professor in the Environmental Technician Program at St. Lawrence College. I possess certifications for open water SCUBA, the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP), Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) fish identification workshops, advanced operations and flight reviewer status for RPAS from Transport Canada, and the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System (OWES).

Research Interests

My research focuses on the ecological health of aquatic ecosystems, including studies of nearshore fish communities, species-at-risk, aquatic invasive species, contaminated sediments, and coastal wetlands. As a certified advanced drone pilot and Geographic Information Systems instructor, my research incorporates remote sensing and spatial analysis tools to study shifting trends, habitat interactions and large scale processes of freshwater ecosystems.