Our Team

Ian McAllister

Ian McAllister
Executive Director

Ian is a co-founder of Pacific Wild. He is an award-winning photographer and author of six books, and his images have appeared in publications around the world. He is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and a recipient of the North America Nature Photography Association’s Vision Award and the Rainforest Action Network’s Rainforest Hero award. He and his wife, Karen, were named by Time magazine amongst “Leaders of the 21st Century” for their efforts to protect British Columbia’s endangered rainforest. He lives with his family on an island in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Karen McAllister

Karen McAllister
Conservation Director

Karen has been involved in wildlife protection in British Columbia for over two decades. Initially, she worked on frontline campaigns to protect Vancouver Island’s endangered rainforest, moving north in the 1990s to begin efforts to protect the central and north coast of B.C. She coauthored The Great Bear Rainforest with her husband Ian, and is a conservation director of Pacific Wild. Karen and Ian live with their two children on Denny Island.

Krista Roessingh
GBEAR Partner – Programs Coordinator

Krista has enjoyed working with Pacific Wild in various capacities since she came to Denny Island in 2008. She first came to the central coast as a graduate student to study the nesting habitat of Sandhill Cranes. Prior to that she studied wild elephant corridors in southern India and worked on Culturally Modified Tree surveys in Quatsino First Nation territory on Vancouver Island with her partner. She has an MSc. in Ecology (Pondicherry University, India) and one in Geography (University of Victoria, B.C.), a BSc. in Geography (UVic) and a diploma in Ecological Restoration (UVic). Krista and her family’s love of sailing and old-growth forests drew them to the Great Bear, but she’s since become enamoured with bogs as well, which are common on the outer coast. She lives with her family at their home on Denny Island, where she is slowly building a fantastic food garden

Lindsay Marie Stewart
Creative Director

Lindsay was introduced to the Great Bear Rainforest in 2012 while filming her first documentary film in Bella Bella, B.C. Lindsay is a National Geographic Explorer, the founder of the Natural Connections Project and a member of the New York Explorers Club and Blue Earth Photo Alliance. Her Masters of Arts degree in Intercultural & International Communications, combined with a B.A. and two diplomas in communications/print media/photojournalism, complement the visual advocacy efforts for our B.C. coastline.

Colette Heneghan

Colette Heneghan
Donor Outreach & Event Management

Colette’s professional background is in archaeology and teaching youth and adults with a BA(Hons) History/Archaeology from Anglia University, Cambridge. After several years in Asia and Europe teaching multiple variations of English language learning, she moved back to the west coast and up to Denny Island in the Great Bear Rainforest.

Colette joined Pacific Wild in early 2011 with social media/outreach campaign work at the time of the Great Bear RAVE and the No Pipeline, No Tankers movement. As Pacific Wild has evolved, Colette’s role has grown to include event organization.

Geoff Campbell
Design & Visual Media

Having grown up on central Vancouver Island, Geoff has always held a close connection to the land and waters of the Pacific Coast. His work with Pacific Wild began in 2013 while studying communication design at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. His work with Pacific Wild includes brand development, graphic design and media assets management. Geoff’s current homebase is international.

Megan Humchitt
Marine Protection Campaigner & Heiltsuk Community Liaison

Megan is a member of the Heiltsuk Nation and lives in her hometown of Bella Bella, BC. Growing up she spent much time with her family out on the ocean learning about her ancestral territory and Heiltsuk culture and traditions. Her Dad is a Heiltsuk hereditary chief and has actively protected wild salmon, herring stocks and stood up against clearcut logging.

Megan has just completed an Indigenous Tourism program through VIU and was part of a research team this past summer collecting information about sea otters in the Great Bear Rainforest. She continues to spend much of her time exploring new and familiar places. Her passion for protecting the lands and ocean emanates from her cultural roots and deep connection to this place she calls home.

More than ever we need to work together to protect the Great Bear Rainforest and Megan is excited to be working with Pacific Wild.

Laurie McConnell
Systems Wrangler and Community Outreach

Laurie spent her twenties exploring the BC coastline every summer aboard a 26′ wooden sloop sailboat and discovered a love for the wild marine environment and all the creatures within it.

She relocated to the Sunshine Coast and has spent 30 years involved in the community across a variety of organizations and initiatives. She has a journalism degree and a background in communications, and studied art and creative writing as tools to transform the way we communicate around charged topics. Community engagement and outreach and supporting other team members through her skillset are her greatest areas of interest.

She is delighted to be working in her great love of BC’s unique coastal geography and culture. This is her dream job, helping protect such a critical piece of British Columbia and engaging in outreach and development to further Pacific Wild’s goals in the Great Bear Rainforest and Sea.

Deirdre Leowinata

Deirdre Leowinata
Visual Communications Director

Deirdre started as a biologist, completing her B.Sc. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour at the University of Ottawa in 2012 where she specialized in butterfly ecology and physiology. Her degree, and a brief stint surveying caribou birthing sites and walking wolf trails through the seismic lines of Fort Nelson, BC, ignited a passion for novel science communication. This led to a post-graduate certificate in Environmental Visual Communication through a joint program between Fleming College and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

After mixing a career in non-profit communication and short film, she found a perfect balance with us on the central coast, where she can alternate playing outside with cameras and spending hours in a dark room editing visuals and scheming. She is thrilled to have evaded having to choose between science and storytelling, and also for the opportunity to do something positive for the world. 

Deirdre is difficult to find, but is sometimes spotted behind a whirr of hard drives on the S/V Habitat, or lying in a bed of sphagnum moss.

Martha Jordan

Martha Jordan
Administrator, Pacific Wild Alliance Inc. (US)

A long time advocate for the health of the planet, Martha feels extremely fortunate to be associated with the dedicated and adventurous souls of Pacific Wild. Growing up in the mountains of NW Montana, she spent summers with her siblings exploring a pristine mountain lake, always appreciating the gifts of clear water and never ending forests. She attended Whitman College and University of Montana.

She got a real taste for the Pacific Ocean during six years in Hawaii, where, along with raising children, working at the local school, running a science club, and attending university, she fell in with the paddling crowd. Hawaiian culture honors this sport of silent teamwork working in unison to glide a 400 lb canoe through clear turquoise waters. And she absorbed the Hawaiian traditional love and respect for the ocean.

Martha has worked with her husband in environmental endeavors related to energy efficiency for many years, including co-generation from small hydro, commercial anaerobic digestion, and fuel efficient powerboats and ships. They live near Seattle in Sammamish, WA.

Vanessa Minke-Martin
Marine Science and Communications Specialist

Vanessa’s appreciation for fishes and the ocean began at a young age, chasing Northern pike in Lake Superior with her grandfather and spending summers in rural Newfoundland communities in the years following the Northern cod moratorium. She has a Master of Science (University of British Columbia), a certificate in Environmental Visual Communication (Fleming College), and a Bachelor of Knowledge Integration & Biology (University of Waterloo). Her research interests include thermal ecology of fishes and species-at-risk management, and she has taught place-based environmental education around the Salish Sea.

Vanessa’s first visit to the Great Bear Rainforest was on a trimaran called Nice Tri in the summer of 2018, and she looks forward to many more.

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