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AC CDC Staff


Sean Blaney, Executive Director and Senior Scientist
I grew up in Belleville, Ontario in a family interested in nature, especially birds. My intense early interest in birding led to eight summers of employment during high school and university in the interpretive program at Algonquin Provincial Park, where I developed a strong interest in field bot any. After various biological fieldwork jobs in Ontario and a Master’s Degree studying the Comparative seed ecology of native and exotic old field plants at University of Toronto, I came to the Martimes as the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre’s Botanist in 1999. Since then I have had the privilege of travelling throughout New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island studying plants in the field, and working daily to further document the status and distribution of the region’s vascular plants, mosses and lichens.

In 2014, I became Executive Director of the AC CDC. In this position I oversee all staff and activities, do strategic planning and project development, and interact with our Board of Directors, NatureServe and NatureServe Canada and other partners. I also retain primary responsibility for the Maritimes Botany program, and serve on the COSEWIC Vascular Plants Species Specialist Committee, the National General Status of Wildlife Working Group, and the Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora Recovery Team in Nova Scotia.
Colin Chapman
Colin Chapman, Botanist / Lichenologist
I am originally from Ottawa, Ontario. Fortunately my family was big on camping and hiking, so I naturally gravitated towards studying our natural heritage. At the University of Ottawa I studied hybridization between certain Arctic plants; this is where my love of plants and their crazy life strategies really took off. After my B.Sc. I shifted my focus south with a Master of Environmental Science at the University of Toronto. I spent an amazing few years in the Carolinian and Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest zones, where I made many significant discoveries during biological inventory with Royal Botanical Gardens and Credit Valley Conservation.

As a new member of the AC CDC team, I look forward to discovering the Maritimes’ best kept plant and lichen secrets. Atlantic Canada has an exciting biodiversity, and I count myself lucky to be able to explore and contribute to its understanding and appreciation.>

John Klymko, Zoologist
I grew up in Kitchener, Ontario. From a young age I had a general interest in nature, but it wasn't until high school and the offer of a free t-shirt to participate in the Baillie Birdathon that my passion for field biology really took off. After that I devoted all my summers away from school to something biology related - naturalist at Algonquin Provincial Park and a research assistant for botanical, entomological, and herpetological studies.

After completing my Master's degree in insect taxonomy I worked in environmental consulting for a few years. In 2009 I moved to the Maritimes to be the zoologist at the AC CDC. Since joining I have been the director of the Maritimes Butterfly Atlas , a citizen-science project that documents to the distribution of our butterfly species across the Maritimes. I have also conducted numerous inventories of pollinators, dragonflies and butterflies, and have participated in a variety of bird and plant studies.

Sarah Robinson, Ecologist
I was born and raised in Nova Scotia, exploring its natural wonders from an early age. My love for the outdoors inspired me to pursue an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science at Saint Mary’s University then a Masters of Biology at Dalhousie University. I have an interest in natural as well as urban ecology and during my schooling worked on a variety of projects including documenting changes in mud flats and saltmarshes in the Bay of Fundy, green roofing using native species, and documenting ecological values of vacant urban lots.

I started working at AC CDC in 2009, working on a variety of botanical and ecological projects, including rare species inventories, vegetation monitoring protocols and non-forested ecosystem classification. During my time with AC CDC, I have also acted as Data Manager and have recently taken on the role as web designer and manager.

James Churchill, Data Manager
Born in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, my earliest memories of childhood involve late-night frog hunts in the Kentville Ravine and attending Barred Owl banding nights with Bernard Forsythe. Following a stint chasing Gulf Coast Toads in Belize (BScH Biology, Acadia University), I fell in love with birds while helping to run a migration monitoring station, and learning to earbird in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia (Smithsonian Conservation Research Center). This led to an in-depth exploration of American Redstart off-territory movement and extra-pair fertilization success in northern Alberta (MSc Environmental Biology and Ecology, University of Alberta). Then, following an around-the-world trip, I gained extensive GIS experience through the Applied Geomatics Research Group, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada and various consulting positions.

As Data Manager at the AC CDC (since November 2013) my main role is to maintain the CDC data system in a state that allows reliable and efficient access to highly-accurate geospatial biodiversity data for the numerous data users across the Maritime Provinces. In this role, I fulfill hundreds of annual data requests, carry out GIS projects involving geospatial analysis, mapping, programming and tool development…and squeak in some time to help design and implement bird surveys.

Adam Durocher, Data Manager (NL)
I grew up in Belle River, Ontario with an intense love of maps from as far back as I can remember. Drawing maps, fantasizing about visiting the islands, points and peninsulas I would note, and a never-ending appetite to learn about far-off places led me to develop a love for Geography and History that would then lead me into my BSc Physical Geography Degree at the University of Windsor. It was at the University of Windsor that I would discover Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and find the course that I wanted my life to take.

After complimenting my university education by attaining an advanced diploma in GIS from the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, I accepted the Assistant Data Manager position with the AC CDC at their satellite office in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador in 2008. During the several years I have been with the AC CDC in Newfoundland and Labrador, I have now moved up to Data Manager through handling incoming data requests, data entry, database maintenance and providing GIS and database help to my colleagues within our office at the Wildlife Division. Much of this is only possible because of the database management and biological knowledge I have additionally gained during my time here in Corner Brook with the AC CDC.
Jean Breau
Jean Breau, Financial Manager and Executive Assistant
I grew up in Memramcook, New Brunswick where I presently live with my family.  My parents built their home on part of the 180 acres of farm and woodland that belonged to my grandparents.  This was my playground as a child.

My entrepreneurial father had some influence on my decision to pursue a career in Business.  After my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, I obtained my Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Université de Moncton.  In 1995, I relocated to Southern Ontario where I worked for different companies that allowed me to develop a broad set of knowledge that is now very valuable in my current position.  In 2007, the lure of the Maritime way of life, the peaceful scenery, and a need to reconnect with family brought me back to New Brunswick.

Since September 2014, I have been working at AC CDC as the Financial Manager and Executive Assistant.  I look forward to the challenges ahead and enjoy working with the outstanding staff.  Their passion for nature allows me to reconnect with my childhood roots.