Our Team

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Ecology Ottawa is run by a small team of staff and a dedicated volunteer steering committee, in addition to many hard-working volunteers.


Robb Barnes – Executive Director

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Robb Barnes is the Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. Before joining Ecology Ottawa as a volunteer in 2013, Robb worked in the non-profit, public and private sectors. Robb brought advocacy experience to Ecology Ottawa from his time in politics and non-profits, and policy experience from his time as a management consultant working closely with various levels of government. Robb is passionate about environmental and animal welfare issues, community organizing and urban design. Robb holds a Masters in Public and International Affairs, where he focused on the intersection of ecological economics and urban sprawl.

Contact Robb at robb.barnes@ecologyottawa.ca

Velta Tomsons – Living City Program Manager


Velta is a self-proclaimed life-long nature lover. Velta decided to take action to protect Ottawa’s environmental landscape in 2013 when she began volunteering with Ecology Ottawa. Now, with over 6 years of community engagement and public education experience under her belt, she is leading Ecology Ottawa’s Living City campaign. In her spare time, Velta has found ways to green the indoors through her indoor plant company, TerraVelta, thus spreading photosynthesis-y goodness around the Ottawa area!

Contact Velta at velta.tomsons@ecologyottawa.ca\

Ginette Hupe – Greenspace Protection Organizer


Ginette is passionate about helping Ottawa become an environmentally responsible, green and sustainable city to promote the health and wellbeing of wildlife and local communities. Ginette has a deep love for animals and the natural world, and obtained a PhD in Biology from the University of Ottawa. Her interests include animal behaviour, sensory physiology, gardening, drawing, playing with her pet dog and rats, and supporting grassroots community engagement. She is thrilled to be a part of Ecology Ottawa’s Living City team and is very excited to be helping to develop the Keep Nature in our Neighbourhoods campaign!

Contact Ginette at greenspaceprotection@ecologyottawa.ca

Erik Pervin – Office Manager

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Erik is the Office Manager for Ecology Ottawa. His passion for environmentalism developed while working at Carleton University’s Geomatics and Landscape Ecology Lab (GLEL), and his love of the planet and all those on it blossomed as he worked through his Bachelor’s of Humanities. Recently his passion for the outdoors led him to join Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Events Staff

Contact Erik at erik.pervin@ecologyottawa.ca

Jay Arias – Community Organizer

Jay is the community organizer leading the 2019 Federal Elections campaign at Ecology Ottawa. He volunteered with the organization during his high school years and came back for a Co-op placement with the University of Waterloo. He has helped with the Green Space Protection campaign during the summer as a canvass lead and is now organizing the campaign for the elections. With his passion for the environment and great interests in politics, along with his candidacy for Honours in Geography and Environmental Management, Jay is eager to create a meaningful impact in the elections and in the organization.

Contact Jay at jay.arias@ecologyottawa.ca

Emilie Grenier – Climate Change Campaign Organizer

Passionate about everything relating to the outdoors, Emilie has been spending all of her free time climbing, running, skiing, paddling and camping since her early childhood. The amazing benefits she has discovered of spending time in natural environments led her to use the knowledge acquired through the Master’s in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership from Carleton University (class of 2020) to help mitigate the impacts of climate change and human activity. 

Contact Emilie at emilie.grenier@ecologyottawa.ca

Our Current Interns

Marie-Lou Haran

Marie-Lou is a student from Sciences Po Aix (France). She joined our team in August 2019 for a 5 months internship, until December 2019. She is in charge of the silent auction and helps for the volunteer management for the Eco Gala 2019. She also helps with the organization of the Ottawa-area debates as part of GreenPAC’s 100 Debates initiative, where at least 100 debates on environmental issues will take place across Canada.

Contact Marie-Lou at marie-lou.haran@ecologyottawa.ca

Clara Cuny

Clara is studying at Sciences Po Rennes (France) in the field of study devoted to sustainable development and transitions. She is doing an internship at Ecology Ottawa until January 2020. In charge of organizing the September 27th Global Climate Strike, she participates in the coordination of events to continue this movement and inform young people about environmental issues. 

Contact Clara at clara.cuny@ecologyottawa.ca

Our Past Interns


Juliette Benoit

Juliette is a student from Rennes 2 University (France). She is doing an internship at Ecology Ottawa until July 2019. She is in charge of our Tree Give Away Program most of the time but she also likes to offer her help for other Ecology Ottawa campaigns. Juliette just is completing an interdisciplinary Masters related to literature and culture, and is really passionate about environmental issues, and incorporating these interests into her future education.


Héloïse Pereira

Héloïse is a student from Sciences Po Rennes (France). She is doing an internship at Ecology Ottawa from March until July 2019. She works with the Living City team on the Green Infrastructure program, and will be active in our door-to-door petitioning. She is also in charge of the bilingual team.

Albertine Vandenbussche


Albertine is a student from France who joined our team in April 2019 for a 4 month internship. She is working for our Active City campaign, notably for our project on Light Rail Transit (LRT) connectivity to promote active transportation in Ottawa. Albertine is currently in her last year of a bachelor’s degree in political science and is going to study Environmental Policy next year.

Marion Riedel

Marion is a student from Sciences Po Lille (France). She is doing an internship at Ecology Ottawa until January 2019. She worked on the volunteer management for the Eco Gala 2018 and she now works on the Green Infrastructure program. You can contact her at marion.riedel@ecologyottawa.ca.

Justine Lemoine

Justine studied public policies and strategies for the environment in France. She spent some time in Japan and in the UK. She is the Francophone Coordinator for Les Amis des Parcs program. You can contact her at lesamisdesparcs@ecologyottawa.ca.

Agathe Dublanchet

Agathe is a student from Sciences Po Toulouse (France). She is doing an internship at Ecology Ottawa until December 2018. She works on the francophone program Les Amis des Parcs with Justine and sometimes assists with general communications. You can contact her at agathe.dublanchet@ecologyottawa.ca.

A Few of Our Volunteers

Nancy Biggs – Online and Active City Organizer


Nancy studied Biology at Carleton University and has a graduate degree in Environmental Science from Monash University, Australia. Now retired, after 35 years in medical research, Nancy volunteers at Ecology Ottawa, helping with data entry and is involved with the complete streets initiative. She believes climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and that Ecology Ottawa, in striving to make Ottawa a more sustainable and livable city, will benefit current and future generations.

Heather Dunlop – Online Organizer

Heather has been a keen environmentalist from the age of 15 when she became involved with a local recycling program. To recycle glass, it first had to be colour sorted and then ground into cardboard boxes and trucked to the recycling depot where boxes of it (and hours of work) were exchanged for a few dollars. Although distracted by other pursuits (biology, nursing, library science), her love of the natural world was never far from the surface. Heather is an avid canoeist, naturalist, and would be gardener. She volunteers at Ecology Ottawa, helping with data entry, and is particularly interested in local initiatives to make it easier for people to adopt a sustainable lifestyle in Ottawa.

Steering Committee

Elizabeth Bernstein

Liz is the Executive Director of the Nobel Women’s Initiative. Previously, Liz served as coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Make Poverty History Canada. She sits on the board of directors of Mines Action Canada and the Lowertown Community Association, as well as the Ecology Ottawa board.

Katia Gianneschi

Katia Gianneschi has over 25 years of experience as a communications specialist in human rights and development. Katia has provided strategic communications advice and media training to Oxfam Canada, the Canadian Council for international Co-operation, Make Poverty History and Amnesty International Canada, among others. Katia is a life-long volunteer. She was on the national executive committee of Amnesty International, part of the media team for the Ottawa United Way campaign and provided peer support at a second-stage shelter for women.

Pam Foster

Pam has worked for the United Nations Environment Program, Environment Canada, Friends of the Earth, the Halifax Initiative, and South Asia Partnership. Pam is currently director of campaigns and communications at the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. Pam is also the founder of Centretown Movies and the initiator of Imagine Ottawa.

Maureen Hollingworth

Maureen is a freelance editor and writer, with more than 30 years experience in international development, peace and environmental issues. Maureen is also a member of the Ecology Ottawa board of directors.

Stefan Reinecke

Stefan studied civil engineering at the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto. He was also involved in starting Ottawa’s first pilot-scale community fine paper recycling program. Stefan spent four years working for an environmental engineering company and he currently works with a sustainability consultancy in Ottawa.

Charles Hodgson

Charles Hodgson

Charles began volunteering with Ecology Ottawa in the summer of 2011. He has been involved in many of Ecology Ottawa’s initiatives including monitoring City Council, researching the City of Ottawa’s stances and progress on a variety of issues, and writing Ecology Ottawa publications. As well, Charles has helped out doing technical work with our database and website. He is now working on the Climate Change campaign.

Dale Marshall

Dale grew up in northeastern Quebec, roaming the boreal forest that began at his family’s backyard fence and, during the one month it was possible, splashing around the North Atlantic. or 15 years, Dale has worked on environmental protection, mostly related to energy and climate change. Policy research and advocacy in Vancouver and Ottawa was followed by two years in Cambodia to assist people and communities most vulnerable and impacted by climate inaction. Dale is also the National Program Manager at Environmental Defence, working to move Canada towards greater action and responsibility on climate change and towards clean, modern renewable energy technologies, while phasing out all fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas.

Jennifer Auten

Graham Saul

Graham Saul has more than 25 years of experience working on social and environmental justice issues. His background includes five years with Oxfam International in Maputo, Mozambique, and five years in Washington, D.C., with the Bank Information Centre. Since returning to Canada in 2004, he has worked as the International Programme Director for Friends of the Earth Canada and Oil Change International, and was the Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada. Graham was a founding member and Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa, a grassroots environmental organization focused on the City of Ottawa. He believes that in order to build a better world, we need to learn how to build a better city.