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Tanya Edwards – Executive Director

Tanya grew up in a small fishing community on the south coast of Newfoundland, spending most of her time next to the ocean or enjoying nature in the back country. She gained a strong respect and appreciation for our natural areas from a very early age which influenced her to embark on a career in marine science and conservation. Tanya holds a Masters of Environmental Science and a BSc in Biology from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. Having three children of her own, it is very important to Tanya that we protect our natural areas and the species they support to ensure they are available for future generations.

Tanya joined the NL chapter of CPAWS in 2004. She has considerable knowledge and experience in conservation, community engagement, stakeholder consultation and mitigating the environmental impacts of human development. Tanya is dedicated to protecting Newfoundland and Labrador’s natural areas. Outside the office, Tanya loves to explore nature whenever she can. She enjoys camping, kayaking and exploring new trails with her husband, 3 children and dog, Max.

Contact Tanya at


Suzanne Dooley – Conservation Director

Suzanne has worked in the environmental non-government organization (ENGO) sectors with respect to conservation for the past 15 plus years. Her aptitude to network and work with local stakeholders has been instrumental in the set up of local stewardship groups for protected areas and its species and enhancing awareness for both the marine and terrestrial environment. Suzanne’s strong ecological principles and enthusiasm for the environment translates through her leadership. Outside of the office, Suzanne can be found snowshoeing, bush crafting, and mountain biking with her family and dogs.

Contact Suzanne at


Mikaila Bickford – Ocean Conservation Manager

Mikaila’s infatuation with the ocean started young, and despite growing up in Toronto she devoured as much information about the marine world as possible. After working as a scuba instructor for several years, she decided to pursue a career in ocean conservation and attained her Master’s of Marine Management at Dalhousie University.

She then continued her studies at the Centre of Geographic Sciences with an Advanced Diploma in GIS. Mikaila now combines her backgrounds in anthropology, marine management, and data science to contribute innovative solutions for ocean conservation and sustainable management practices.

Contact Mikaila at

SofiaK Staff Photo

Sofia Karabatsos – Conservation Coordinator


Among her family and friends, Sofia is known as someone who loves the outdoors. In Ottawa, she grew an appreciation for rural life, community, and surrounding systems. Over time, Sofia sought opportunities to learn more about ecosystem function and conservation practice, leading her to various local conservation groups, a BSc and MSc with a conservation focus, and research and monitoring work with a wide array of species classifications, from garter snakes to roseate terns to woodland caribou.

Her research on migratory large ungulates also solidified a foundation in Geographical Information Systems for landscape scale assessments and visual communication of trends in population spread on the landscape, ultimately informing conservation practices. Sofia continues to look for opportunities that bring her back outdoors whenever she can, including hiking, skiing, biking, and canoeing.

Contact Sofia at

Cassidy Downey

Cassidy Downey – Conservation Assistant

Cassidy is a 2021 graduate from Dalhousie University with BSc in Marine Biology and a minor in Oceanography. She also completed a certificate in Aquaculture and Environment to really cover her bases. 

Although raised in Newfoundland, Cassidy’s love for the ocean wasn’t uncovered until her second year of university where she took an aquaculture class to try and combat her immense fear of the ocean, but she ended up loving the course so much that she switched her entire degree. Since then, Cassidy likes to say that she is “along for the ride”, meaning that her plans are never set in stone, and she loves jumping at any opportunity presented!

In her free time, Cassidy can most often be found playing with her puppies, or outside on a beach with her camera somewhere, regardless of the time of day or season.

Contact Cassidy at

Caitlyn S

Caitlyn Simmons – Community Engagement Coordinator

Caitlyn has been passionate about the outdoors, sustainability and conservation from a young age. This passion is what inspired her to pursue studies within the environmental field. 

She graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geography and also has a Bachelor of Arts from University of British Columbia. She spends her spare time outdoors backpacking, camping, and hiking with her dog, cooking, or just relaxing indoors with her cats.

Contact Caitlyn at



Dan Ficken

Dan Ficken – Chair

Dan has been a member of the CPAWS-NL board for more than a decade and is an avid enthusiast of the outdoors. Seeing our areas of wilderness protected and managed in a sustainable way is of upmost importance to Dan, as being outdoors in forests, coastlines, and on mountainsides is to be in his happy place. Dan has always been an avid admirer of nature and spent much of his childhood observing the natural world clambering on rocky beaches, walking up rivers in rubber boots, or collecting grasshoppers and spiders in grassy fields. He was interested in protecting the environment as a teenager and learning about sustainability as a young adult and thus earned a B.Sc. at MUN in 2003 and an advanced diploma at the Marine and Fisheries Institute in 2005.

Dan’s career, which has included periods working in the non-profit sector for many years, has always been focused on environmental protection and sustainable resource and fisheries management, and his background supports his current interest in being involved with CPAWS. Beyond exploring the outdoors and experiencing the true Newfoundland and Labrador fresh air, Dan’s hobbies and favorite things to do include landscape photography, birdwatching, visiting parks, plotting routes on maps, playing guitar, growing flowers and veggies, skiing and snowshoeing, drinking coffee, and having fun with his young son.

David Rendell

David Rendell – Secretary


David Rendell is a retired Professor of Physics from Memorial University where he started as an undergraduate in 1951 and where he spent his full professional career after graduating from Dalhousie University (B.Sc (Hon), M.Sc.) and University of British Columbia (Ph.D.). He and his wife, Joan, have three grown children, and enjoy the times spent with five grandchildren. He has always been active in a wide range of volunteer activities, following a long-standing family tradition of such contribution to the community.

Over the past 55+ years, these have ranged from the Jeunesses Musicales of Canada, (St. John’s Centre), Anglican Homes Inc. (seniors housing),  Nfld. and Labrador Computer Services Ltd., Avalon Consolidated School Board, Eastern Newfoundland Science Fairs Council, Newfoundland Natural History Society, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (National Board of Trustees 1985-92), Youth Science Foundation of Canada, and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – Newfoundland Chapter. He is also active in the Baha’i community, both locally and nationally.

Simone Cominelli – Vice Chair

Simone was born and raised in northern Italy and is a PhD student in Geography at Memorial university. He has worked in the field of marine mammal conservation as a researcher, consultant, and volunteer in Europe and across Canada. His research focuses on understanding the impacts of noise pollution on marine species, including the endangered Southern Resident killer whales of British Columbia, and, more recently, North Atlantic right whales.

Since moving to Newfoundland in 2015, he became a keen hiker and an active volunteer, grew a passion for wildlife photography, and met his better half while walking on Signal Hill on a foggy day.


Evan Edinger – Director

Evan is a professor of Geography, Biology and Earth Sciences at Memorial University, specializing in marine geology, marine biology, palaeontology, and marine conservation.   He loves outdoor sports, Newfoundland music, and wilderness.  He lives in Torbay with his wife and three children.

Jeannine Winkel – Director

Jeannine was born and raised in Germany. Following receipt of her M.Sc. (Biology) from Ruhr University Bochum in 2008, she spent a year in Iceland working on horse and sheep farms and another year in Canada (in Kelowna, BC and Rocky Mountain House, Alberta) before moving to Newfoundland for her summer job as an interpreter on Molly Bawn Whale and Puffin Tours in June 2010. Because she fell in love with the land, the people, the scenery and whales and other wildlife of Newfoundland, she moved here permanently in 2011. Currently, Jeannine works as an interpreter for Molly Bawn every summer and as a seabird observer for CWS, going offshore for weeks at a time to count and identify all the birds the ship is passing. She has been a board member with CPAWS since 2014 and volunteers with the Puffin and Petrel Petrol and the Atlantic Shorebird Survey. Her favourite way to monitor the birds is on the back of Newfoundland Pony Woody.

Elizabeth Dollmont – Director

Elizabeth is a current student at Memorial University who is working towards a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a specialization in Ecology and Conservation. She is from a small town called Freshwater, NL but has lived in St.John’s for the past 4 years. Elizabeth was recently a member of the Memorial University Biology Society as a General Representative and she looks forward to becoming a member of the CPAWS-NL team!


Stanley Oliver – Director

Stanley Oliver was born and raised in Labrador. Stan is an Inuit who is an avid hunter, fisher, and outdoorsman. He currently holds the position of Manager with the Labrador Office of Indigenous & Northern Skills Trades. He holds a Diploma from Memorial University as Resource Technician, a Certified Engineering Technician with the NL Association of Engineers and numerous certificates in Indigenous Governance and Administration. 

His in-depth knowledge of Labrador and Indigenous rights is often requested on the local, provincial, and national level. He currently sits on the National Indigenous Advisory Committee for the Canadian Environment Assessment Agency and the NL Provincial WERAC.

He will tell you his philosophy “is to create free-detailed oriented work environments, that focuses on positive collaborative partnerships with government and business with out loosing sight of grass roots concerns.”

On the personal side, Stan is the father of a thirty-one-year daughter and the foster parent of a First Nations eight-year girl. He continues to volunteer in his community and province for the last thirty-five years.

Marjorie Evans – Director
Marjorie EvansWith a BSc from Carleton University, Marjorie worked as a geologist before moving to St. John’s in 1982 and retiring early.  Since joining the Wilderness Society she served on a succession of other ENGOs here, including NLEN since 1993.  Her particular interests are preserving “wild” areas, waste management, transportation, and supporting all ENGOs.  She is also involved with the Women’s Association of MUN and enjoys walking, gardening, and reading.