Our Team

Kelsey Gil

Kelsey has been passionate about the ocean and marine life for as long as she can remember, despite growing up in the prairies. In her journey to study marine life, Kelsey completed a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in animal biology and studied at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre where her love for all marine life – big and small, continued to grow. She obtained her Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of British Columbia, studying internal anatomy of whales and biomechanics of whale feeding strategies. Kelsey continued to work at UBC after her Ph.D. as a teaching postdoctoral fellow, which gave her the opportunity to continue research as well as lecture/teach a course (Biomechanics 425). Kelsey has recognized that the most important thing she can do to help our oceans is share her knowledge and help educate people about how important our oceans and all of their inhabitants are, to demonstrate how much we stand to lose if we don’t take action.

Sari McCall
Program Liaison

Sari brings a wealth of experience working in education administration. Sari is passionate about the ocean and has spent decades working with organizations to reduce the environmental impact on marine life. Sari is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with schools and coordinating our team.

Rhiannon Moore
Science Advisor

Rhiannon works for the City of Victoria, and previously worked as a Researcher at Ocean Wise. Her research focused on microplastic pollution in beluga whales and their prey in the western Canadian Arctic. She published the first evidence of microplastic pollution in cetaceans within North America, was named one of Canada’s top 30 under 30 sustainability leaders, later receiving the Garfield Weston Award for Northern Research. Her passion for science communication and waste reduction paired with the sobering findings of her research enabled her to shift her career from ocean research to waste reduction policy communication. Rhiannon now works for City of Victoria’s Zero Waste team.

Maddie Leigh Smyth

Growing up in New Zealand, Maddie has always had a deep respect and admiration for the
ocean and everything about it. At University she was lucky enough to travel to the Solomon
Islands and Vanuatu to study ecology and marine plastics, and it was on these trips that her
passions for marine conservation began.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Environmental Sciences from Auckland University of
Technology, she moved to London to travel the world and work as a nanny, where she’s been
based for the past 4 years.

When not in the water, paddle boarding, swimming or attempting to surf, she loves to hike and
trail run, travel, especially in her self-converted van, and loves all things creative including her
newest obsession; knitting!

Jaimie Dickie

Jaimie is a former Speech and Language Therapist from New Zealand now based in Canada.
Her love for ocean activities such as swimming and sailing has fuelled her passion for protecting
the ocean and marine life. Jaimie is excited to be involved in a program that encourages kids to
learn about ocean conservation, believing that inspiring more people to connect with the ocean
can promote greater care for this resource.

Jacqueline Webb

Jacqueline has grown up spending summers in the water and winters on the ski hills. With her love of spending her time outdoors, she found a passion for the environment. She is an undergraduate at Queen’s University, majoring in environmental science. Environmental sustainability and marine life conservation have always fascinated Jacqueline. In addition to her academic pursuits, Jacqueline has actively sought opportunities to engage with environmental issues and contribute to conservation efforts. She has volunteered with local organizations dedicated to cleaning up the beaches and promoting sustainable practices in her community. In the future, Jacqueline hopes to pursue a career in environmental science, working towards a healthier and more sustainable planet.

Max Abu-Laban

Max was born and raised in Vancouver, and has grown up swimming, sailing, exploring, and
otherwise enjoying the natural bounty of the Coast Salish lands and waters. His deep love of the
planet and its oceans led him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Environmental & Sustainability
Studies at Acadia University, participating in progressive student politics and environmental
initiatives during his time there.

He has also been engaged in environmental education, teaching young people about our
precious environment, and is excited to continue this journey with Ocean Ambassadors on the
coastline he calls home.

Summer Leaders
Ocean Parsons

Ocean was born in Vancouver British Columbia, he grew up spending countless days on the beach while his parents worked as local lifeguards. As an elementary school student he attended the Ocean Ambassadors school camp and had a really good time! Later on in the year he got accepted to the Ocean Heros Worldwide Bootcamp at UBC. he has been stand up paddle racing from 10 years. He loves to SUP surf in Tofino with his family.

Madelyne Honcharuk

In my free time I love to play hockey, paint, and volunteer. Whenever I’m at the beach, swimming is always at the top of my list!

Sophie Curran

Sophie was born in Vancouver and has always loved being close to the Pacific Ocean and beaches, where she swims, kayaks and paddle boards. She first discovered Ocean Ambassadors through a field trip with her elementary school. The program got her started in SUP and furthered her interest in creating awareness about climate change and micro plastics. She volunteered last year with Ocean Ambassadors and is looking forward to being a Camp Leader this summer.

Florence Norton
Program Coordinator

Florence was born in Hertfordshire, England and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from the University of Birmingham, UK. She is also a qualified teacher with a PGCE from the Institute of Education, part of University College London. Florence has 6+ years of teaching experience and is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring together her passion for the environment and education through delivery of school and summer workshops on the beach (what a great classroom setting!) Florence has a huge enthusiasm for teaching the future generations. She relishes the opportunity to encourage interest in both the local and wider global environment, helping others understand the threats which it faces and possible mitigation and prevention measures that can be implemented to reduce these.

When not teaching Florence loves to spend time in the great outdoor playground that British Columbia provides, taking part in activities such as hiking, camping, road trip adventures and photography.

Lauren Krzus

Lauren grew up on the coast of Western Australia down the road from the Indian Ocean, where her love for the water began. Growing up snorkeling, surfing and wading through rock pools inspired her to complete a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and Conservation Biology at the University of Western Australia.
This passion for ocean conservation presented opportunities around the world from coral monitoring in Mexico, scuba diving remote reefs of Borneo, assessing fishery sustainability in BC and determining rates of coral acidification in northern Western Australia. Laurens love of the ocean is her motivation to share sustainable practices around ocean pollution and marine conservation.

Erica Huston

Erica grew up in sunny southern California, spending as much time as
possible outside and at the beach. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in
Business Management, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation, as well as several
certifications in Yoga Teaching, Integrative Energy Therapy,
Ayurvedic Massage, and Restorative Justice Facilitation. Her
interdisciplinary background has provided her with work in project
management, education, and health services that serve diverse communities
and cultures.

She recognizes how important our surrounding nature is to our personal
health, and brings that to her work at Ocean Ambassadors Canada. She is
motivated by creating experiences for people to care for themselves and
their environment. Her love and connection to the ocean fuels her role as a
teacher and leader in creating sustainable action to protect what we love
and be involved in the causes we care about.

Nima Mostaghimi

Nima Mostaghimi holds an honours degree in Environment and Resource Studies from the University of Waterloo. He is driven by a passion for understanding ecology and how human society fits within the environmental system. His recent experiences as an Assistant Field Instructor for the University of Waterloo and an Outdoor Educator for Mt Seymour have sprouted an interest in facilitating experiences for children and adults to cultivate a connection with the outdoors.

Alice Hamer

For as long as I can remember I have always had a very close connection to nature. From horse riding to sailing with my dad on the ocean. It has played an integral part in who I am and I have forever strived to give something back to a world which has given me so much fulfilment. I decided at an early age to study the environment, taking biology and geography classes through high school and finally Ecology and Conservation at University in Lancaster, England, where I wrote a thesis on sustainable agriculture. My 2nd University year abroad in Australia was the highlight of my academic career as it sparked my interest in coastal and marine ecology and its importance in worldwide conservation. After being a practical conservation volunteer and participating in a number of Environmental Non-Profit internships in South America, I moved to Canada in 2017 on a 2 year visa at the age of 21 and soon became involved in outdoor environmental education and guiding with children. To me working with children is not only fulfilling and enjoyable but important in creating an environmentally conscious society for our future. Developing the ocean plastic education workshops with OAC has been an incredible privilege and I have constantly been inspired by the plastic problem solutions our younger generations are thinking of.