Looking for past board members? Find them here!

Kiley Best – Executive, Chair, Board Member 2016-2022, Newfoundland & Labrador

Kiley Best is involved in education and outreach through her full time work with the Center for Fisheries Ecosystems Research and OceanNET at Marine Institute, aquatic invasive species research and the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium board of directors Vice Chair. Fisheries research through family events and graduate student recruitment, Invasive species education in high school curriculum field labs, and encouraging ocean investment and conservation through action at the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium. Kiley is involved in all aspects of coordinating, designing, fundraising and executing these initiatives. She looks forward to being involved with CaNOE to help achieve its goals.

Bryan Martin – Executive, Treasurer, Board Member 2020- 2022, Prince Edward Island

Bryan Martin grew up near the Bay of Chaleur in northern New Brunswick and, despite living, studying, or working in all four of the Atlantic Provinces, has never strayed far from the ocean. Having little kids near the ocean prompted Bryan to get involved with the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium, which is where his adventure with ocean education began.  His education and work experiences have taught him about ecology, geomorphology, and ocean systems. Bryan currently works as the Clocean Engager with the Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council, shedding light on emerging ocean topics within the community of off-reserve Aboriginal People in the Maritimes. Bryan currently lives within a stone’s throw from the ocean in PEI with his wife, two young girls, and “little” black dog.

Kayla-Marie Kulczycki – Board Member 2019-2022, British Columbia

Kayla-Marie Kulczycki is a recent graduate from the University of Victoria where she completed a double major in Anthropology and Environmental Studies. This summer, she had the opportunity to work for CaNOE as a summer student and now wishes to continue by joining the board. Kayla-Marie is interested in sustainable development policy, particularly surrounding coastal societies and ocean resources. She is also passionate about environmental education and has experience working in a teaching capacity across the Greater Victoria area, delivering programs through World Fisheries Trust’s Seaquaria Ocean Education program. She looks forward to growing and working with CaNOE to promote ocean literacy across Canada.

Lucija Prelovec- Director at Large, Board Member 2018-2022, Nova Scotia
Lucija is currently a Communication Specialist with DeepSense in Nova Scotia. She has a background in marine biology and science communication. Her previous experience in various informal education institutions has helped fuel her passion in marine science communication and advancing ocean literacy in Canada. In 2020, she became an Ocean Bridge Ambassador and had the opportunity to meet so many youth passionate about ocean conservation. She has been involved with CaNOE since the 2016 Ocean Literacy Conference and has been chairing the Communications Working Group. She looks forward to continuing steering CaNOE and bringing it up to the level of its international equivalents.

Maia Hoeberechts- Director at Large, Board Member 2018-2022, British Columbia

Dr. Maia Hoeberechts is the Associate Director, Learning and Community Engagement at Ocean Networks Canada (ONC). She and her team lead ONC’s organizational commitment to meaningful, ongoing engagement of Indigenous communities; develop formal and informal ocean learning opportunities for youth and adults; and conduct community-based research, citizen science, and community-based monitoring programs. Her work brings her to small coastal communities in British Columbia, Nunavut, and other regions of Canada. Maia is passionate about science outreach and has been involved in programs targeted to researchers, students, children, members of the general public, and increasing involvement of underrepresented groups in science and engineering. She is currently the Women in Engineering Chair for the IEEE Victoria Section. Maia holds a PhD in Computer Science in the area of computability theory and a BSc in Philosophy and Computer Science from Western University. In her spare time, she enjoys scuba diving, travel, reading, organic gardening, and any activity which allows her to play with robots.

Lyne Morissette- Director at Large, Board Member 2018-2022, Quebec

Lyne Morissette, PhD, is a conservation biologist and marine mammal researcher with a long record of accomplishments and research collaboration all around the world. She has a world-renown expertise in marine mammal ecology, conservation, and biodiversity and has published her work in the most prestigious journals such as Science. She has traveled the world to pursue her research and she’s actively involved in Canada but also in the Caribbean, Africa, Scandinavia, and beyond. She is also the host of different TV shows, radio shows, podcasts and education and ocean literacy programs in schools in Québec and other countries. In 2017, she was one of the chief scientist of Canada C3 expedition and was involved in ocean education and scientific popularization. She is an advocate for processes and projects where research, conservation, and education can serve to protect the oceans for future generations.

Patrick Wells- Director at Large, Board Member 2018-2022, Newfoundland & Labrador

As a fisher, guide, and teacher of over 25 years, I represent a wide variety of perspectives about our oceans. I have a significant amount formal and informal instruction experience focused on activity-based learning in aquatic habitats. I have a genuine concern for our changing ocean and have a strong desire to improve citizen ocean literacy. I am interested in the study of ocean literacy, and as part of a local research project, I am encouraging teachers to adopt a “sustainability stance” towards our oceans. In the context of the literacy groups of NMEA and CaNOE, I have developed a keen interest in measuring ocean literacy. It is my personal goal to find or develop teacher resources that enable teachers to increase the ocean literacy of their students and grow a grassroots movement within teacher associations towards the 7 principles of Ocean Literacy. I would like to work for CaNOE as a director at large and expand my support for the education and outreach committee. Thank you, Pat (Ph.D. Student, Science Department Head – Holy Spirit High School, Fishing Guide, CBS, NL, Canada).

Mirjam Held- Director at Large, Board Member 2019-2022, Nova Scotia

Mirjam is currently a student in the Interdisciplinary PhD Program at Dalhousie University investigating how the Inuit knowledge system can enhance the current decision-making regime in Nunavut fisheries management. Her research areas include co-management, Indigenous and western worldviews, decolonization and policy learning. In addition to her science background (geography, marine biology) she is also a trained and experienced math and science teacher (mainly secondary/high school). Most recently, she enjoys teaching German to adult learners at Dalhousie University. She is excited at the prospect of using her teaching skills and experience to advance ocean literacy through the work of CaNOE.

Audrie-Jo McConkey – Director at Large, Board Member 2019-2022, Nova Scotia

Audrie-Jo is a senior instructor at Dalhousie University, Faculty of Agriculture. She currently instructs the courses in fish physiology, fish nutrition, fish production, fish health; and has developed components within the courses aquatic ecology and shellfish production. She has been in this role for 15 years; previous employment included fisheries observer, fish hatchery technician and working for the salmon association. She developed an Aquaculture Student Society on campus and would like opportunities to engage the students in ocean-related activities. She is also a scout leader and enjoys educating our youth on the value of our ocean. Growing up in a commercial fishing family, she hopes to pass along the value of the ocean to other generations; something that she is grateful that has been passed along to her.

Warren Lake- Director at Large, Board Member 2020-2022, Alberta

Warren Lake is a born and raised Calgarian who considers himself to be a Biology teacher always in transition: he is searching for ways to reconnect high school teenagers to the natural world.  Warren Lake continues to take students to Bamfield every 2 years and has now established a trip to Kluane Lake in the Yukon with the Arctic Institute of North America to highlight northern science and adventure travel. The journey to shine a light on unique and important ecosystems will continue to be a challenge that shifts and flows with the topics that abound in environmental education and in the need to build a greater sense of nature literacy in high school students. 

Ruby Banwait- Director at Large, Board Member 2019-2022, British Columbia

A champion of ocean conservation, Senior Aquarium Biologist, Ruby Banwait, explores many aquatic environments from the Salish Sea to the Arctic Ocean. A Royal Canadian Geographical Society Fellow, she helped launch the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium in Newfoundland, Canada, a seasonal, capture-and-release, educational facility. Ruby’s desire to restore abundance in our oceans motivates her to connect people to the sea.



Sofia Goulart – Director at Large, Board Member 2021-2023, Ontario

Sofia is a graduate of the BSc program at Dalhousie University with a major in Marine Biology and a certificate in Science Communication. She is currently pursuing a MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College London UK. Using her marine science background as a starting point, Sofia hopes to study the relationship society has with climate science and use this research to improve how organizations, scientists, and government communicate with the public. Sofia joined CaNOE in 2019 and began working as a summer employee in 2021. Sofia understands the ever-growing importance of ocean literacy throughout Canada and hopes to continue working with CaNOE to contribute to the network in a meaningful way.

Megan Chan – Director at Large, Board Member 2021-2023, Ontario

I grew up in Mississauga, Ontario far from the ocean, but watching nature documentaries, reading science magazines and ocean science blogs inspired me to pursue an ocean-related career. I received my Masters in Coastal and Marine Management from the University of the Westfijords, Iceland and worked in informal ocean education for 7 years– from being part of the opening team at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. One of my favorite experiences was sailing on the E/V Nautilus as a Science Communication Fellow for the Ocean Exploration Trust! In my current role, I’m supporting the establishment of a First Nations-led National Marine Conservation Area in the largest inland sea in the world (Hudson Bay and James Bay).

Cayley Elcombe – Director at Large, Board Member 2021-2023, British Columbia

I live and work on the traditional and unceded territory of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh people, also known as Vancouver, BC. I found out about CaNOE and the wonderful work it does through my Ambassadorship with Ocean Bridge in 2020. I work as a Program Specialist for the Ocean Bridge Direct Action program, helping youth across Canada learn about ocean literacy, and gain experience hands-on in the field. I come from an educational background in Biology, specifically focused on marine conservation, and my work background is in Marketing and Communications – I love combining those experiences with my passion for knowledge sharing. I believe I can bring youth perspectives to the table and to the forefront of ocean literacy.

Carter McNelly, Director at Large, Board Member 2021-2023, Newfoundland & Labrador

Carter McNelly is a student at Memorial University where he is completing a joint major in Marine Biology. Last October, Carter joined the membership working group and now hopes to continue on the board. He is currently a Junior Analyst in Marine Conservation for Parks Canada and is working on the ocean literacy file for the agency, helping to foster more OL initiatives at all the sites. Carter is interested in marine conservation policy and community wellbeing, specifically Indigenous communities. Carter has always been passionate about ocean education and has experience in leadership positions, founding and chairing the Ocean Sciences Undergraduate Society for the last 2 years and is an Ocean Bridge Alumni (2020).  He looks forward to continuing to grow with CaNOE and spread ocean literacy across the country. 

Anika Smithson, Director at Large, Board Member 2021-2023, New Brunswick

Anika Smithson is originally from Southern Ontario but currently resides in Fredericton, NB. Living on the coast is where she fell in love with the ocean. Her love for nature and the outdoors and passion for science led to her pursuing an Earth Science degree at Carleton University, an Adventure Guiding Certificate from North Island College, and a Masters of Community Development at Acadia University. Currently, she works for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-New Brunswick Chapter (CPAWS-NB) as their conservation campaigner where she combines her knowledge of natural environments and experience in outreach and facilitation to advocate for more protected areas in New Brunswick. Outside of academics and work, she was an Ambassador of the Ocean Bridge Program in 2020/2021.

Tatum Freigang – Director at Large, Board Member 2021-2023, Nova Scotia

Tatum Freigang’s love for the environment started from a young age. Born and raised in Richmond, B.C. Tatum knew she always wanted to be near the ocean, which led her to move to the east coast to obtain her bachelor’s degree in finance at Dalhousie University. Later realizing her passion and purpose lies in helping to protect and advocate for the environment prompted her to apply for the Canadian Conservation Corps, a program under the Canadian Wildlife Federation, where she is currently a participant. Tatum hopes to bring her unique background and teaching experience to CaNOE to help support accessible ocean education. Tatum enjoys exploring the ocean through snorkeling, has her PADI open water certification and enjoys participating in community shoreline cleanups.