our team

It takes a village

The Boreal Wetland Reclamation Assessment Program is led by a team of scientists and students who investigate effects of environmental disturbance on aquatic systems.

Jan Ciborowski, PhD

Principal Investigator Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary

Dr. Jan Ciborowski received his PhD from the University of Alberta studying how the flow patterns in a river interact with aquatic invertebrate swimming and drifting behaviour to determine the organisms’ microdistribution. He broadened his research in aquatic ecology as a professor at the University of Windsor, developing interests in aquatic ecotoxicology and studying the role of benthic invertebrates in the transfer of contaminants from sediments into the food web. Working first in western Lake Erie and later in wetlands of the Great Lakes and the Alberta oil sands region, he has been interested in the effects of environmental disturbance on aquatic systems, especially how our use of the landscape affects vegetation, invertebrates & fishes, and the food web in wetlands and at river mouths.

Jeremy Hartsock​, PhD

Research Scientist / Post-Doc Fellow
Jeremy is a postdoctoral researcher in the Jan Ciborowski Lab. He is a boreal wetland ecologist, and his research interests center on examining plant community composition in peatlands and constructed wetlands on oil sands mine sites. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors, running, and taking pictures of wildlife.

Mir Mustafizur Rahman, PhD

Research Scientist
Mustafizur is a Geospatial Scientist, developing innovative geospatial solutions for understanding and monitoring the physical environment at different scales, whether within multi-faced and diverse urban settings or broader natural settings. The ultimate goal of his research is to continue working towards a flexible and holistic approach for the use of geospatial tools in large-area resource management.

Brenten Vercruysse​

M.Sc. Student
Brenten is from Kingsville, Ontario, a small town on the western shores of Lake Erie. He began working on his master’s thesis project at the University of Calgary in September 2019. He enjoys spending time outdoors and recently picked up wildlife and landscape photography. He spent many of his previous summers around bodies of water and has always been drawn to aquatic ecology.

Ashlee Mombourquette​

M.Sc. Student
Ashlee Mombourquette is from Calgary, Alberta and recently graduated from the Environmental Science Degree Program at the University of Lethbridge. In her spare time she is often hiking, camping, fishing, and identifying flora and fauna along the way. When she is unable to make it out adventuring, she is learning to play the guitar or reading literature about peatlands and fungi.

Liam Mebesius​

M.Sc. Student
Liam Mebesius is from Chilliwack, BC, and recently completed his third year of environmental science with a concentration in biological sciences, at the University of Calgary. In his spare time, he enjoys going on hikes to practice his plant identification skills.

Steven Blair​

M.Sc. Student
Steven Blair was born in Edmonton and moved to Calgary at the age of three. He has a degree in Geology, and is continuing his education in biology at the University of Calgary. Some of his interests include sports, whether playing or watching them, travelling to new and foreign places and hiking in the great outdoors.

Elizabeth Gillis​

Summer Assistant
Elizabeth is from Calgary, Alberta. She is in her fourth year of a BSc in Ecology at the University of Calgary. When she's not studying or working, she enjoys camping, hiking, canoeing, skiing, and any other outdoor experiences that she has the opportunity to try.

Emily Moore​

Summer Assistant
Emily is a fourth-year environmental science student at the University of Calgary, currently residing in Chestermere, AB. In her free time she loves cycling, reading, and heading out to the mountains whenever she can!


Jacob Kraft

Summer Assistant 2022

Jacob is a second year Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology student at U of C and he has grown up and currently reside in Chestermere, Alberta. He interests revolve around sports and the outdoors. When he is not studying, he can be found kicking a soccer ball around, hiking, hunting, fishing or photographing wildlife. 

Faith Nayko

Faith Nayko

Summer Assistant 2022

Faith completed a Bachelor of Science in Geomatics Engineering and a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Calgary this spring. She will begin a master’s thesis program in Geomatics engineering researching digital imaging systems at the university this fall. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking in the mountains, reading, and exploring local shops and restaurants around Calgary.

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Richard Zeng, PhD

Research Associate

Richard is working in role of Geospatial Research Technician, providing technical support for team members as well as developing software tools to manage and analyze geospatial data generated during research activities. Richard has rich experiences in remote sensing and
GIS on both software development and data processing. He is interested in web-based geospatial data analysis, machine learning applications in remote sensing and drone related data automation.

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Maverick Fong

Geospatial / GIS Technician

Maverick has graduated degree in Surveying and Information Technology.  He has years of oversea surveying experience using total stations, GNSS, and UAV to collect data; create and maintain geospatial data, create maps in the ArcGIS enterprise environment in the past employments.  He also finished in the Bachelor of Applied Technology Geographic Information Systems at SAIT.  Integrating the field surveying experiences with GIS skills has made him ready for the challenge of real-world applications.

Extraordinary experiences

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Our Core Values

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Learn more about the opportunities to get engaged with our project