Our Team

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


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Robb Barnes – Executive Director

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 connections between 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 six 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

Erik Pervin – Director of Operations

Erik is moved by his love for adventure. Although breathtaking landscapes and urban exploration both serve as outlets for this passion, he envisions a future where these two worlds are more radically integrated. His interest in environmentalism developed while working at Carleton University’s Geomatics and Landscape Ecology Lab (GLEL) and he found his voice advocating for increasingly sustainable business practices as chair of Mountain Equipment Co-op Ottawa’s Environmental Integrity Committee. He now spends a great deal of time working on the administration of Ecology Ottawa, and leads Council Watch. 

Contact Erik at erik.pervin@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 to help mitigate the impacts of climate change and human activity. 

Contact Emilie at emilie.grenier@ecologyottawa.ca

Natasha Jovanovic – Living City Organizer

Natasha is passionate about the natural world and fascinated by the societies that live within it. After completing her Bachelor’s in Sociology and Geography at the University of Ottawa, she knew her career would focus on environmental protection and restoration. Natasha’s interests include agroecology, biodiversity, and social movement theory which she was able to research during an ethnographic field trip to Brazil. During her free time, Natasha enjoys swimming, cycling, and crafting. ­­

Contact Natasha at living.city.campaign@ecologyottawa.ca

Jackie Adelson – Development Officer

Jackie is a recent graduate of Carleton University’s Bachelor of Global and International Studies. Jackie’s passions of politics and environmental sustainability are channeled through her work as Development Officer. With a degree and experience in the non profit industry under her belt, she is incredibly excited to continue fundraising for Ecology Ottawa and making a difference in her community.

Contact Jackie at jaclyn.adelson@ecologyottawa.ca

Our Current Interns

Autumn Jordan

Autumn is a recent graduate from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Biology and currently pursuing her Master’s in Bioenvironmental Monitoring and Assessment. During her studies, Autumn focused on ecology and conservation biology, her interests in these fields was sparked by her love for nature and all the other flora and fauna that live within them. Autumn works alongside Emilie as the Outreach Coordinator for the Active City Breathe Easy Campaign.

Contact Autumn at: autumn.jordan@ecologyottawa.ca

Our Past Interns

Raymond Aust

Raymond is a Queen’s University student currently pursuing a major in Global Development. He is doing an internship at Ecology Ottawa starting May and until the end of August.

Contact Raymond: raymond.aust@ecologyottawa.ca

Liza Odokiienko

Liza Odokiienko is a Carleton University student. She is majoring in Global and International Studies. Liza is doing an internship at Ecology Ottawa starting January and until the end of April. During her internship, she is working as Hold the Line campaign organizer. Liza actively participates in social events, works closely with many volunteers, and coordinates the campaign.

Contact Liza at liza.odokiienko@ecologyottawa.ca

Elise Leiser

Elise is a student from Sciences Po Grenoble (France),  doing an internship from March until June 2020 at Ecology Ottawa. She is working for our Active City campaign on the “Breath Easy” project which engages the community to measure the air quality in Ottawa. She is also involved in the Living City campaign. Elise is currently taking a gap year in her studies to help with projects  like ours, before starting a master in Sustainable Development in September. 

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. She organized the September 27th Global Climate Strike and currently participates in the coordination of events to continue this movement and inform young people about environmental issues. In charge of the Council Watch campaign, she attends City Council and Committee meetings at City Hall.

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.

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

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.

Katie Gibbs

Katie Gibbs is a scientist, organizer and advocate for science and evidence-based policies. While completing her Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa in Biology, she was one of the lead organizers of the ‘Death of Evidence’—one of the largest science rallies in Canadian history. Katie co-founded Evidence for Democracy, Canada’s leading, national, non-partisan, and not-for-profit organization promoting science and the transparent use of evidence in government decision making. Katie has also been involved in international efforts to increase evidence-based decision-making and advises science integrity movements in other countries and is a member of the Open Government Partnership Multi-stakeholder Forum.

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 in the North Atlantic waters. For over 20 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 now the National Climate 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.

Charlee Heath

Charlee is a recent graduate of a Joint Honours in Communications and Political Science from the University of Ottawa. With the public service, she worked on environmental and science policy specific to the Canadian Arctic, with Polar Knowledge Canada and with the Canadian International Arctic Centre at the Canadian Embassy to Norway. While at Polar, she organized the Women in Northern Science panel discussion on increasing diversity and accessibility in northern science. She is excited to apply this experience and her passion for environmentalism to working with Ecology Ottawa. Charlee is a Young Director in the Girls on Boards 2020 cohort. Girls on Board places community-minded, motivated and trained young women (aged 18-25) on non-profit governance boards in their communities across Canada, challenging the status quo of low female representation on governance boards.”

Kate Reekie

Kate started volunteering with Ecology Ottawa in 2009, and has been a supporter of the organization ever since.  She has worked in the sustainable development field for over twenty years, principally with Global Affairs Canada and the former Canadian International Development Agency, and has spent over ten years living abroad in Costa Rica, Japan, Kosovo, Honduras, and Vietnam.  While thinking globally, Kate has also been one to act locally, volunteering over the years with a wide range of Ottawa-based non-profits including CKCU-FM, Great Canadian Theatre Company, Citizens for Safe Cycling, Peace and Environment Resource Centre, and Samba Ottawa.  She is currently active on environmental and waste management issues with the Glebe Community Association while pursuing graduate studies in sustainability at Harvard University. 

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.

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.

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. He believes that in order to build a better world, we need to learn how to build a better city.

Jennifer Auten

Bio Coming Soon…