Board of Directors

The Board consists of the Executive and up to 10 additional Directors-at-Large, and meets monthly, except in December and August, to discuss and plan activities to keep the club functioning. Membership on the Board is limited to 6 consecutive years, but can be renewed after a one-year absence. The Board makes decisions regarding expenditures and activities on behalf of the membership, except where a vote by the membership at large is required, e.g., changes to the Constitution, etc. Board activities are recorded in minutes, which are available to members if requested.



The Executive consists of 4 members: President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. Positions on the Executive are restricted to 2 year terms.

Doug Fraser — President

Doug is a retired high school biology teacher from northeastern Ontario and the current president of Nature Nanaimo. Before starting his teaching career, Doug studied Wildlife Biology at the University of Guelph and spent two years living at the Wildlife Research Station in Algonquin park where he worked on a moose research project for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

As an educator, Doug had the opportunity to accompany groups of students far and wide – studying rainforests and coral reefs in central America, the Amazon and New Zealand and Australia as well as studying climate change impacts in the Arctic as part of the 2008 Cape Farewell Expedition. Doug’s passion for biodiversity and evolutionary biology has also inspired him to visit Darwin’s home and organize group trips to the Galapagos islands.Doug has also co-authored 20 science textbooks for the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador. Doug Fraser is passionate about environmental issues and promoting a better understanding of science and has been a regular speaker at science teacher conferences, having spoken on a wide range of topics from biodiversity and climate change to genetic engineering and science in society.

Doug and his wife Susan left the cold northern Ontario climate in 2015 to be closer to their two children and to enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of Vancouver Island with hummingbirds every day of the year! Doug is a nature lover and very concerned about our natural environment. When he isn’t spending time hiking or taking nature photos Doug is busy in the garden. Doug also teaches courses as part of the VIU Elder College program.

Staffan Lindgren  Vice President and Past President

Staffan was born in Norrköping in southeastern Sweden, and it was there he developed his interest in nature. At age 11, his family moved to Piteå, a small town on the Gulf of Bothnia coast in northern Sweden known to some as the birthplace of Daniel Solander, one of Carl Linnaeus’ disciples, and famous (particularly to New Zealanders and Australians) as the naturalist on Captain Cook’s first voyage. Staffan went to university at Umeå University 210 km south of his hometown, and finished his Fil.Kand (B.Sc.) at Uppsala University. After a few years as a failed PhD student in endocrinology back in Umeå, he got the opportunity to go to Canada, where he completed a Master of Pest Management (MPM) and Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. John Borden. The courage to go off on his own was in large part because of a year spent in Lake Odessa, Michigan, as a high school exchange student. After a short stint as a post-doctoral fellow at UBC, he became Research Director of a fledgling pest management company in Delta, BC, where he stayed for 10 years before getting the opportunity of his life in 1994. From mid-1994 until the end of 2015 Staffan was a Professor at the University of Northern British Columbia, in the Spruce Capital Prince George. He is now Professor Emeritus at UNBC living with his wife of 30+ years in Nanaimo, BC.

Staffan’s interests are very broad, including pretty much any life form, but by profession he is an entomologist with particular interest in forest entomology, biodiversity, and plant insect interaction. He is perhaps best known for the invention of the so-called “Lindgren funnel trap“, which is extensively used in forest entomology in North America. Recreationally, Staffan spends his time bird watching, photographing animals, kayaking and flyfishing (although the latter has suffered a bit lately). You can find more information by following him on ResearchGate or Twitter (@bslindgren). His blogs on entomology occur mostly at the Entomological Society of Canada blog site, and there are some blogs from his time caring for the UNBC Reef Tank (since his retirement called the B. Staffan Lindgren Reef Tank courtesy of his dear colleagues at UNBC). You can also see some of Staffan’s photographs on Flickr. But blogs about most things of interest to him will be posted here.

Sinjin Dixon-Warren —  Treasurer


Sinjin is a newcomer to Nanaimo, having moved back to BC from Ontario in 2021, to retire.  Sinjin and his wife, Irene, lived in Ontario for about 30 years, mostly in Ottawa.  Sinjin has a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Toronto and a BSc in Chemistry from Simon Fraser University. He was born in Saskatchewan, but spent his high school years in Maple Ridge, BC. As a member of Nature Nanaimo, Sinjin is interested in learning more about biology, and especially the ecology of the Nanaimo region. 

Maliya Cassels —  Secretary

Maliya has a background in biology, with a BSc from UVic, and is currently completing an MSc from Memorial University of Newfoundland. In St. John’s, she served as the treasurer for the MUN Biology Graduate Student Association and volunteered with the CPAWS Puffin and Petrel Patrol and the East Coast Trail Association. She has spent several years in various field biology roles, including as a bird surveyor in the cloud forest of Costa Rica, conducting snow goose monitoring in Nunavut, and forest surveys near Smithers, BC. Maliya moved back to the west coast a year ago and is excited to get involved in conservation and stewardship projects in beautiful Nanaimo. She currently works in Crown Lands for the BC Ministry of Water, Land, and Resource Stewardship. 


Sally Hofmeier  Membership Director

Born in England, and immigrating to Canada in the late 60’s, Sally has an undergraduate degree in Zoology and Biochemistry and a Master of Science in Fire Ecology. She was an instructor and coordinator at the College of New Caledonia in Quesnel for many years before retiring and recently relocating to Nanaimo.  In Quesnel, Sally was involved as a volunteer in several community groups including the Quesnel Trail and Nature group, Baker Creek Enhancement Society, Friends of the Library and the Stephen Lewis Foundation group.  She is looking forward to being involved in activities with Nature Nanaimo.

Sheila Duguid – Director at Large

Helen Colvin – Director at Large

I have studied various aspects of the natural world for all of my life. I have a teaching degree and music college qualifications. I lived in Ontario for almost forty years and for much of  that time, I was a member of  the Hamilton Naturalists Club, the Bird study group, a weekday bird watching group called The Larks and a multi season birding group The Pipits, as well as volunteering at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton and Burlington.  I am gradually becoming more familiar with the birds, animals and plants here on the island.

Jennifer Jenkins — Director at Large

Jennifer also known as Leigh by her family is very grateful to live and work on Snuneymuxw Territory for the past 30 years.

She brings to the board 25+ years working in the human services field with indigenous communities in Coast Salish Territories.

Growing up she loved spending time at beaches looking in tidal pools searching for shells, crabs, and octopus. When Jennifer was nine her family moved to Northern Alberta and she dreamed of always being back by the ocean. Jennifer has two daughters that she raised in Nanaimo to always love and appreciate the natural world. She has always loved nature and takes every opportunity to be outside and learn something new.  

In 2015 she made some big life changes and embarked on following a nature path career. Currently she is in her last year of  obtaining her masters of Science in Wildlife Biology, Conservation and Sustainability with a concentration on Marine Biology/Ecology and Wetland Ecology. Jennifer is a firm believer in ongoing education and has also obtained education in: Ocean Governance, environmental monitoring, restoration ecology, marine naturalist, horticultural therapy, wetland assessment, amphibian and reptile salvage, avian nest sweeps and water testing.

One of her favourite places in Nanaimo is the Nanaimo River estuary.

She lives in the Nanaimo River watershed area with her husband on a five acre  hobby farm where they enjoy gardening and spending time with all their critters.

Jennifer loves kayaking, boating, snorkeling, photography, birding, tidal pooling, reading nature books, ocean literacy and especially her new grandson, Robin.

She is very grateful to be a part of the Nature Nanaimo Board of Directors. 

Rick Harbo — Director at Large

Rick Harbo is retired after 36 years with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as a Habitat Protection Biologist and Resource Management Biologist, South Coast, Nanaimo, B.C. He is currently a citizen scientist, instructor at Elder College, and a volunteer Research Associate, Invertebrate Zoology section at the Royal B.C. Museum.

Rick has written several marine life guides and his photographs are used in university textbooks (McGraw-Hill) worldwide.  He has a new, third edition (2022) of the award winning Whelks to Whales

Field guides ( are available at bookstores and online and include

  • Award winning, Whelks to Whales. Coastal Marine life of the Pacific Northwest. 3nd Edition 2022
  • Pacific Reef and Shore 2nd Edition 2017
  • Shells and Shellfish of the Pacific Northwest. A Field Guide.

Judy Wickland— Director at Large

Marilyn Nelson— Director at Large