Photo: Shanti Davis

2016 Presenter Bios

In order of presentation:

Dr Mark Drever is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences at the University of British Columbia, and the shorebird/waterbird biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment and Climate Change Canada, where he works in the Population Assessment Unit. His work has taken him around the world, but he also conducts research close to home, right here in BC, where he studies the importance of stop-over habitat for migrating shorebirds. Mark’s research and expertise were instrumental in the creation of the Tofino Wah-Na-Jus Hilth-Hoo-Is Mudflats preserve – a site of regional importance in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.


Jill Robinson is the Executive Director of Habitat Aqcuisition Trust. She has a BSc in biology from St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia and went to Memorial University of Newfoundland for an MSc in seabird biology. Originally from Shanty Bay, Ontario, she has previously been involved in a multitude of wildlife research projects in many remote corners of the world. Jill studied seabirds in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska and Newfoundland, monitored shorebirds in Churchill, Manitoba, studied sea turtles in Naples, Florida and collected data on forest biodiversity in tropical rainforests of Ecuador and Costa Rica.

Throughout the years, Jill has developed many interests in both the arts and the sciences, and loves travelling as often as possible. During her degree in biology in Nova Scotia, she began performing in public, playing her own music at open mic events and small local gigs whenever possible. Following her BSc, she traveled to the west coast, playing solo gigs in the small town of Ucluelet, on Vancouver Island. Continuing her passion for biology, she spent many years working in remote field stations in Ecuador, Florida and Alaska, always bringing a guitar along with her, and continuing to write from the inspiration of her travels and experiences. Hear a sample of her music here:!/artists/Jill-Robinson

Chef Ian Riddick is the Executive Chef at Long Beach Lodge's Great Room. "I am continually motivated by the beauty of the Canadian landscape and strive to translate that into the art of cuisine," says Chef Riddick. The people that supply some of the best raw ingredients in the world are all right here on Vancouver Island. Chef Riddick and his team take these ingredients and showcase them in the Great Room at Long Beach Lodge Resort.


Jess Findlay has been leading wildlife photography tours and workshops for many years, and his experience as both a naturalist and an artist clearly come in his own work. This workshop will introduce and develop the skills to take your photography to the next level. Improve your technical proficiency, compositional development and creative eye, but also learn more about your subjects and their environment at this great event. Check out Jess’ website to explore his photography and find more information on workshops and guided tours he offers throughout the year


Ariane Batic is the Raincoast Education Society's Field School Coordinator. She has worked with Raincoast Education Society since 2013, where she has coordinated and led outdoor programs in Ahousaht, Hot Springs and Tofino, and she has initiated public events like Plankton Discovery Days and Beach Seines. She has also worked as a Marine Sciences Educator at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, and as an Arctic Seabird Biologist with Environment Canada.


Dr Barbara Beasley is a coastal ecologist and ornithologist with a strong background in animal behaviour and marine and rainforest ecology.  Her current research projects include work in the areas of human/wildlife interactions, and species at risk.


Adrian Dorst has lived on the west coast since 1972. Since then he has conducted numerous bird surveys for a variety of agencies, and was a co-author of Birds of Pacific Rim National Park, published in 1978. He was also, for many years, a professional nature and wilderness photographer with several books under his belt, including the best-seller, Clayoquot; On the Wild Side and Reflections at Sandhill Creek; Meditations On the Wild West Coast. Since 2001, he has been leading bird trips and guided nature walks in the Tofino/Long Beach area.


Mark Maftei's passion for seabirds has taken him around the globe, from Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic to South Georgia Island in the Southern Ocean. Although he specializes in Arctic species, Mark’s recent work has focused on learning more about some of BC’s most interesting and enigmatic seabirds including rhinoceros and Cassin’s auklets - two species which breed and winter in our waters. Mark spent many years living in Bamfield and now resides in Victoria where he works for the Wildlife Research Division of Environment Canada studying colonial seabirds. In addition to his work with the government, Mark is also a founding member of the High Arctic Gull Research Group, a collaborative team of scientists currently conducting research on some of the rarest and least-known seabirds in the world.


Sarah Gellard Tyne is a resource management officer with Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.  She is a member of the ecological integrity monitoring team, and among her favourite work is leading the migratory shorebird monitoring and beach patrol programs.

Andy Murray is a Naturalist and Tofino Sea Kayaking lead guide. He loves to share his passion and expertise on tours, and has worked as a kayak guide in Tofino for over 15 years. He is a dedicated birder and watches the ebb and flow of nature as a year-round resident of Tofino.