The Alberta Invasive Species Council (AISC) is a not-for-profit society dedicated to informing and educating Albertans about the destructive impacts invasive species have on our environment, economy, and society.
We endeavor to foster partnerships with jurisdictions, agencies and groups to collaboratively develop integrated, long-term management programs, and to engage and empower people to take action against invasive species in Alberta.
Megan Evans – Executive Director, M.Sc., P.Biol.
Hailing from Newfoundland with her teen years spent in a small New Brunswick town, Megan moved to Calgary in 2001. She soon decided that pursuing further education was the right path for her. Megan obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and a Masters degree in Ecology both from the University of Calgary. Her first full time role working with invasive species was as an Invasive Plants Technician with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. In this role Megan oversaw the invasive plant management program, developed a regional strategic plan, implemented education and outreach initiatives and worked closely with local stakeholders. She went on to oversee the regional Forest Health program, which involved survey and control of forest insects and disease and participating on the provincial whitebark and limber pine recovery team. During this time she was also a board member for the Alberta Invasive Species Council and the Entomological Society of Alberta.
Megan spent the last three years working as an Ecologist with Alberta Parks in southwestern Alberta where she established an invasive plant management strategy and a holistic in-house invasive plant management program, which included native seed harvesting, restoration work and an integrated approach to invasive plant management. Megan’s interest in invasive species is rivaled only by her love of native bees, which is evident in her work with the Alberta Native Bee Council.
Jay Byer – Chair
Barrhead County, and Summer Villages. Jay Byer is a native Albertan, having grown up northwest of Edmonton and has a bachelor of science in agriculture degree from the University of Alberta. He has more than thirty years in the agriculture field, the most current with Barrhead County as a Assistant Agricultural Fieldmen. Jay has always had a passion for growing things and has participated in the Master Gardener program at the University of Alberta. When he is not helping with weed management at Barrhead County, he is out at his cottage with his wife, Carol, or riding motorcycles when the season permits. He has been on Council at the Summer Village of Rochon Sands, and helps them and Summer Villages in general with their invasive species management programs.
Matt Gibson – Treasurer
Matt has approximately 10 years of environmental experience, working both as a consultant and as an oil and gas professional. He holds a bachelors of science degree specializing in Physical Geography and Environment from the University of Calgary, and is a practicing Professional Agrologist (P.Ag.) registered in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Matt has always had a close relationship with invasive species management throughout his career, whether it is the front line person providing invasive species management or as a manager working with a team of professionals who manage contractors providing invasive species management services. He is currently employed with Encana, managing a group of professionals who work at the field level to focus on among other things, invasive species surveillance, control, and management. Matthew is an avid boater, traveler and family man who enjoys spending time in the mountains in the winter and at the lake in the summer.
Karen Anderson – Director
Karen has a BSc in Environmental and Conservation Sciences with a double major in Land Reclamation and Conservation Biology from the University of Alberta. She started her government career with Environment and Parks in Willmore Wilderness Park conducting breeding bird surveys, vegetation surveys and deploying wildlife cameras. A self-proclaimed plant nerd, she has worked in protected areas throughout the province focusing on species-at-risk, range and riparian health and invasive species. She recently moved to Kananaskis to continue developing her range management and grassland restoration skills with Alberta Parks.
Todd Green – Director
Todd is an import to Alberta from small town Manitoba, making his way westward after gaining a diploma in AgriBusiness in Brandon, Manitoba.
Selling fertilizer and chemical led him to a job with the County of Newell as the Assistant Agricultural Fieldman and later moving into the Director of Agricultural Services role, a role Todd has filled for 12 years.
Maintaining and containing weed and pest infestations continue to be the foundation of the Agricultural Services Department in Newell. The goal is to work with ratepayers to maintain a vibrant agricultural industry in the County of Newell.
James Leskiw – Director
James graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. He has worked for Parkland County as the Supervisor, Agricultural Agronomics since 2006. Prior to working for the County, James has held other positions dealing with weed control in Municipalities, Private industry and Provincial government. James is a member of the Alberta Institute of Agrologists and the Society of Local Government Managers. He has served terms on the Executive of the Association of Alberta Agricultural Fieldmen and the Alberta Weed Regulatory Advisory Committee. James has a great passion for the outdoors-fishing, hunting and camping as much as he can and serving as an Ambassador for Pure Fishing Canada.
Lori Morgan – Director
Lori believes in a proactive approach to invasive species, where education and awareness are necessary building blocks for success. She graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business Management. In addition to education, a farm background and curious nature has allowed her numerous opportunities in different agriculture production industries, public relations, communications, and most recently weed and pest management. Lori enjoys spending time outdoors, teaching her cats new tricks, traveling, and adventures with her husband.
Doug MacAulay – Director
Doug is a native of Barrhead where he grew up on a small farm and has always had a passion for both Agriculture and Biology. This interest brought him to the University of Alberta where he acquired a Bachelor’s of Science Degree. Doug started his career with Agriculture and Forestry in 2001 where he gained experience in weed science, entomology, plant pathology, agriculture extension, agroforestry, grant programming, agriculture research and most recently working with the Agriculture Service Board Program. Doug loves the outdoors and on his days off can be found either tenting with his wife Melanie and their four children, gardening, studying insects, pulling invasive weeds or coaching cross country skiing.
Leah Predy – Director
Leah has a BA in English and a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Alberta. She began her career working as a Rangeland Agrologist with the Government of Alberta for five years and now works as an Agrologist with Envirowest Engineering, based out of her hometown of Ponoka. Leah moved back to her family farm in 2017, and when she is not at work, she is helping on the farm, tackling weeds in her way-too-big garden, starting (and hopefully finishing) any number of projects, hiking, and camping.
Lisa Schaubel – Director
Lisa is the Decontamination Specialist with the provincial Whirling Disease Program with Alberta Environment and Parks. Lisa came to Edmonton last year from Grande Prairie where she was a Regional Fisheries Biologist and previous from Thunder Bay, Ontario, where she was an Aquatic Research Analyst with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Lisa has a M.Sc. in Aquatic Ecology from Lakehead University, Thunder Bay and Biological Science Undergraduate degree from Carleton University, Ottawa. Lisa has a passion for understanding and preserving aquatic resources and has spent summers surveying the Great Lakes and their tributaries for invasive sea lamprey, working with industrial partners to reduce the impact of landscape development on the aquatic system as well as researching aquatic invertebrate community dynamics. In her spare time, she is hiking and camping with her husband and her giant poodle in the summer and skiing in the winter.
Dave Stepnisky – Director
Dave has been working with the Alberta government for over 15 years, where he presently manages several habitat programs including the Aquatic Invasive Species Program within Alberta Environment and Parks as the Director of Fish and Wildlife Habitat Policy. Dave has a Masters degree in Conservation Biology from the University of Alberta, a Diploma in Endangered Species Management from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Forest Management from the University of Alberta. Dave has a keen interest in Invasive Species Management, which started well before his work in the government, when he worked internationally for an NGO on the Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius. In that capacity he really had a chance to get his hands dirty doing everything from pulling invasive plants and grasses to euthanizing invasive rats and mongoose. Dave is excited to be part of the AISC board of Directors and work with Albertans who care about invasive species management in Alberta.
Jeannie Suffern – Director
Jeannie is the co-owner of Aqualine Aquatic Plants & Waterfeatures, located in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Her mission is simple: promoting the growing of aquatic plants in Alberta, where the winter season is long and cold and the summer season is short but the daylight hours are long. She shares her passion for water lilies with her customers and delights in introducing them to the world of tropical water lilies. Jeannie is also a director for the International Water Garden and Water Lily Society (IWGS) and the Colchester Agriculture Society.
Ashley Tkachyk – Director
Ashley has a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and is working as an Ecologist for Alberta Parks in the Northeast Region of Alberta, based in Lac La Biche. She has always had an interest in invasive species; however, being in this role has ignited the flame further. She currently represents Parks on the Provincial Aquatic Invasive Species Committee and has recently obtained her pesticide certification for Land use and Industrial applications, with a very strong interest in the Integrated Pest Management Approach.
Natalie Horne – Social Media / Invasive Species Specialist
Natalie has always had a strong passion for environmental sciences which began in her home country of Australia where she has an Anthropology and Archaeology background (B.A). She moved into the Information Technology sphere before the travel bug took ahold and she began traveling the world. Her adventures took her to a number of countries where she worked in a variety of industries before making Canada her home in 2012. Her love for the natural resource field again came to the forefront after a move to rural Northern Alberta where she fell in love with the Boreal Forest. She has worked in the Safety, Oil & Gas and Construction Industry before moving into the Natural Resource areas of Weed Inspecting, Forest Health and joining the AISC as a Social Media and Invasive Species Specialist in 2018. She continues to foster her love of the outdoors and hopes to assist in educating and servicing Albertans through education on Invasive Species and their Management.