Our Team

Jessica Scott (she/her)

Senior Manager, Whales Initiative

Jessica has been a member of the Whales Initiative at Ocean Wise since 2017, when she joined as the BC Cetacean Sightings Network (BCCSN) Coordinator. Jessica has been the Project Manager for the BCCSN and WRAS since 2018 and has most recently been promoted to Senior Manager for the Whales Initiative. She holds a BSc in Biology from the University of Victoria and her MSc in Marine and Fisheries Ecology from the University of Aberdeen where she studied the effects of commercial fishing on the diet and body condition of harbour porpoises in the North Sea.

Dr. Chloe Robinson (she/her)

Senior Manager (Conservation Impact), Whales Initiative

Chloe started at Ocean Wise in summer 2021, in the role of Research Manager for the Southern Vancouver Island Cetacean Research Initiative (SVICRI). She has most recently been promoted to Senior Manager of Conservation Impact for the Whales Initiative. She holds a BSc in Zoology, MSc in Environmental Biology and a PhD in Molecular Ecology from Swansea University. Chloe’s research at Ocean Wise involves the application of non-invasive tools for cetacean monitoring, namely acoustics, DNA, and land-based citizen science.

Karina Dracott (she/her)

Research Manager, North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative

Karina started as a Research Assistant with Ocean Wise in 2017, before being promoted to Research Manager for the North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative (NCCRI) in 2020. After finishing her undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Victoria she moved to Iceland to complete her Masters in Coastal Resource Management from the University of Akureyrei. Previously, Karina interned with the Canadian Hydrographic Service as a geospatial analyst and most recently worked in South Africa for Sustainable Seas Trust on issues of marine waste. Her primary research focus is on marine mammal species at risk with an emphasis on harbour porpoise and humpback whales in Northern BC.

Ashley Bachert (she/her)

Coordinator, North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative

Ashley joined Ocean Wise in spring 2022 as the Coordinator for the North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative (NCCRI). Prior to joining Ocean Wise, Ashley held several progressive roles within marine research and biology through various roles and internships, some of which include marine naturalist with Prince of Whales, observing and studying Flatback turtles in Australia, conducting baseline data monitoring programs in the remote Kimberly Region of Western Australia and the Great Barrier Reef, and intern with the marine mammal team at the Aquarium of Niagara. She holds a BSc in Marine and Freshwater Biology with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Guelph.  

Amy Migneault (she/her)

Research Biologist, North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative

Amy started at Ocean Wise in spring 2022 as a Research Biologist for the North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative (NCCRI). She holds a BSc in Marine Biology from Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, and an MSc in Marine Biology from University College Cork, Ireland. For her MSc. Amy studied the diving and foraging behaviour of leatherback sea turtles. She has previously worked as a marine biologist in both Canada and Ireland, contributing to multiple conservation related projects from protecting deep sea corals to studying the distribution and health of large marine animals. In her current role at Ocean Wise, Amy is involved with several projects in Northern B.C, with a focus on studying humpback whale and harbour porpoise populations. 

D’Leen Betts (they/them)

Haida Gwaii Outreach and Research Assistant, North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative

Bio coming soon!

Aaron Purdy (he/him)

Outreach and Education Lead, Southern Vancouver Cetacean Research Initiative

Aaron joined Ocean Wise in 2019 as the Outreach and Education Lead for the Southern Vancouver Island Cetacean Research Initiative (SVICRI). He works to promote the BCCSN, educate BC residents about whale conservation, and coordinate community-led research in the Southern Vancouver Island area. Since completing his BSc in Zoology from the University of Calgary, Aaron has worked both as a researcher and educator in the non-profit sector. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2019 with a MSc in Zoology where he studied the diving physiology of Steller sea lions.

Kayla Jones (she/her)

Coordinator, BC Cetacean Sightings Network

Kayla joined Ocean Wise in 2021 as a Research and Outreach Assistant with the Southern Vancouver Island Cetacean Research Initiative (SVICRI) after having completed her BSc at the University of Victoria in 2020. In this role, she contributed to projects related to harbour porpoise behaviour in Boundary Pass and use of the WhaleReport app among citizen-scientists while leading outreach events across Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands. As of 2022, Kayla has been the Coordinator for the BCCSN. In her current role she works to educate stakeholders on the WhaleReport Alert System and the importance of mitigating vessel disturbance to cetaceans, organizes and participates in events that promote whale conservation, and processes cetacean sighting reports submitted to the BCCSN. 

Rachel Baker

Outreach & Research Assistant, Southern Vancouver Island Cetacean Research Initiative

Bio coming soon 

Bobby Dhaliwal

Research Assistant, BC Cetacean Sightings Network

Bobby joined Ocean Wise in 2018 as a member of the Children and Youth Programs team before finishing his BSc in Biology at UBC and joining the Whales Initiative as a Research Assistant in 2022. He works to educate residents on the southern coast of BC about whale conservation and encourages the reporting of cetacean sightings by attending community festivals and conducting outreach wherever water is near. He also supports research initiatives by processing data from the WhaleReport app and creating pilot projects to investigate potential future research opportunities. 

Dr. Lauren Dares

Research Scientist, BC Cetacean Sightings Network

Lauren joined Ocean Wise in 2019 and currently works for Ocean Wise on a contract basis alongside her role as a Postdoctoral Fellow for Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).  She supports the Whales Initiative team with sightings data analysis, GIS mapping and management of the BCCSN database.   Prior to starting with the BCCSN, Lauren completed her PhD at Trent University, focusing on the ecology and conservation of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in Hong Kong and Taiwan.   

Breaking out of the sea of sameness – Introducing Ocean Wise’s new brand