Growing up, Ally spent most of her free time outside exploring nature. Her family lived on Lake Ontario and she loved exploring in nearby forests and streams. During her adventures in nature, she would notice garbage on the ground, and would grow frustrated, wondering why people would carelessly disrespect nature.
At the age of eight, Ally decided she wanted to make a difference and help preserve nature and the spaces she loved spending time in. Her nominator Rosalind told us that “[Ally] truly believes that nature is a powerful teacher and source of inspiration, and that a positive and active relationship with wild spaces awakens the environmental advocate within all of us.“
This desire to make positive environmental change has followed Ally into all aspects of her life. In university, she brought what she learned in the classroom out into the world. She volunteered with waste reduction initiatives in her student residence to help educate the campus community and divert materials from the landfill. Her outreach also took on a creative and fun approach to informing the public. Through her work with Common Energy, she organized flash mobs and interactive educational booths.
Ally recognizes the beauty and fragility of marine and terrestrial ecosystems which surrounded her every day, and has dedicated her time towards conservation and education efforts. In academia, she has dedicated her studies to producing cutting-edge scientific research designed to improve the health of our oceans. Outside of the lab, she is dedicated to bringing people outdoors and giving them the same experiences that helped create her relationship with nature. She organizes shoreline cleanups and zero waste initiatives.
Ally believes that people are willing to protect things they have a relationship with. Through initiatives such as CPAWS’ Wild Ambassadors and MEC Outdoor Nation, she works to encourage people to get outside and develop their own relationship with nature. Her enthusiasm for nature gets people excited about exploring the wilderness, and experiencing a part of their country they had not yet venture into.
Lately, Ally has become more involved with the zero waste movement. Specifically, she has been re-thinking the purchases we make out of convenience, and what changes she can make, and encourage others to make when purchasing everyday items. Part of her involvement with this movement includes helping a friend start a zero waste store.
Ally aims to continue a career in scientific research, but in a way that allows her to incorporate her creative side. She admits there is a lot she wants to experience before she decides what direction to take her career. She knows she wants to explore citizen science, photography, tourism and travel, and see where these career options take her.
Completed her Bachelors of Environmental Science, where she studied the migrations of juvenile sockeye salmon as part of the RIvers Inlet Ecosystem Study
Completed her Masters of Science in Zoology with Project Seahorse at the UBC Fisheries Centre where she investigated small-scale seahorse fisheries in Vietnam.