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Meet The Team



Janine Van Der Linden

Janine’s love for nature has started as a young girl growing up in South Africa, surrounded by bush. Janine is finishing her BSc in Ecology and plans on pursuing her masters in Ecological Restoration. She believes that it is important to try and restore disturbed and damaged sites as close to their natural state as they were before. Janine hopes to inform and educate all willing to listen about the important role plants play both in nature and in the community.


Vice President

Jennifer Roth

A life-long passion for understanding the natural world has driven Jennifer to pursue a B.Sc. (Hons) in biological sciences at MacEwan University. Although her interests are widespread across zoology and ecology, botany has always held a unique attraction for her. She hopes to provide an educational framework that allows others to question how they understand plants. Thus challenging the view that plants are relatively passive participants within a given ecosystem - but are capable of complex interactions that can drive other organisms' evolution. She is interested in fostering a holistic understanding of plants, by incorporating botanical research with historical and artistic perspectives, to allow others to reflect on how plants have influenced human knowledge and culture over time.


Secretary &

Director of Education

Brittany Tonsi

Following the completion of her B.Sc (Hons) in biological sciences at MacEwan University, Brittany has continued her professional development in education. In 2021, she received her B.Ed at the University of Alberta. Brittany actively prioritizes experiential and inquiry-based learning opportunities. She believes in providing a framework for students to connect personal relevancy to their education so that students not only understand the basics of biology but have the skillset to utilize that knowledge in situations that impact multiple facets of their everyday lives. Brittany has been involved with multiple organizations, both in program development and delivery, to bring science classrooms outside. In her free time, she also enjoys playing her clarinet.



Caity Seifert

Caity always loved science in school but growing up she spent most of her time reading fantasy and science fiction novels, learning about the inner workings of strange planets and creatures. In high school she had not yet decided on her career, so she followed a path she knew appealed to her. It was through her science degree that her appreciation of nature really took off. What she treasured in those books was reflected in the world around her too, and it was her ecology classes that really opened that perspective. Plants were of particular interest since, to her, they had some of the most fascinating adaptations and qualities, in addition to the ability to harness significant control over the environment and ecosystem dynamics. Through school trips to a tropical rainforest and ecology labs to local ponds and forests, it was plants that always captured her attention, encouraging her to learn the identification of many of the regionally common plants. She continues to expand on this knowledge and has intentions to harness that connection with the natural world in her future endeavours with the society and beyond


Director of


Nicklas Baran

Throughout his entire life, Nicklas has had a passion for natural and built ecosystems, and a special place in his heart for plants. He strongly believes in public education and community outreach as an effective means of spreading awareness and fostering stewardship of Alberta’s natural environment. Nicklas has completed an Honours degree in the Biological Sciences at MacEwan University and is currently working on a Masters’ in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Alberta. Nicklas is experienced in plant sciences research of multiple disciplines and has sought to pursue an interdisciplinary and holistic view of the built and natural environments as a Planning student. Nicklas is a strong proponent of the notion that humans are a part of the global ecosystem and that both environmental and social issues are interconnected. He is most interested in environmental planning, sustainable development, climate change resiliency, and land-use planning.


Program Director

Alyssa D. Maurier

On her way to finishing her B.Sc. in Ecology and Earth sciences, Alyssa has always been enchanted by the numerous, intricate pieces that contribute to the world we see today.
While the original goal of her degree was to gain knowledge regarding the scientific community's processes in conservation, she grew an appreciation for how science is communicated to the public. Going forward, Alyssa aims to share the ecological knowledge and wonder provided by her professors at MacEwan and is deciding on further education.
In her mind, the unrecognized stewards of the Earth are our plants. By combining effective communication and education, her and her colleagues aim to realize and inspire diverse community discussion concerning contemporary ecological issues—and what actions can be taken to ameliorate them.

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