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Candidates for 2022-2023 Board of Directors


Vice President





President / Co-Chair

Christine Thuring 2.JPG

Christine Thuring

Christine is a founding board member of the Society and has been an active director from the very beginning. In 2020, she co-established and continues to co-edit the newsletter, The Quarterly Buzz. In 2021-2022, she gave many presentations on behalf of the Society, including Friends of the Garden (UBC), Langley Environmental Partners, Lynn Valley Garden Club, BC Society of Landscape Architects and BC Landscape and Nursery Association. Christine served as Secretary in 2021-2022. She is prepared to step up into the role of President.

With a background in environmental science and plant biology, Christine’s work portfolio weaves together an appetite for ecological understanding with an ambition to make the world a better place. While her career began in applied plant ecology, for the last 20 years Christine has worked predominantly in the urban context via her expertise in green roofs. As a plant ecologist keen on enhancing conditions for biodiversity, she has always considered native bees her primary clients.

Vice-President / Co-Chair


Paula Cruise

Paula Cruise has been a member of the Native Bee Society of BC since its founding in 2019 and joined the Board of Directors in 2020. Her interest in wild bees grew as a natural extension to her passion for gardening. She spent four years planting Indigenous gardens for pollinators and people through her work with Hives for Humanity, a non-profit society based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside that seeks to create equitable access to nature and meaningful opportunities to share in its gifts and in its stewardship. Now living on the Sunshine Coast, Paula is very excited to learn about the amazing biodiversity of bees in the Pacific Northwest through Oregon State University’s Master Melittologist program. She contributes to the Society’s education and outreach programming through grant writing and administrative tasks and is committed to supporting the Society’s continued growth through financial stability, targeted research, diverse membership, accessible programming and fruitful collaborations for the protection and promotion of BC’s biodiversity.

Vice President



Sky Jarvis

Sky was a member at large for the Native Bee Society of BC in the previous year. She graduated the Natural Resource Conservation program at UBC in 2021 and currently works for a Community Forest in the rural town of Barriere. Sky lives in Kamloops with her partner, Mathew, a bee keeper, and their child Cedar. Through various paid and volunteer positions sky has experience participating in board meetings and functioning in a secretary role to draft agendas, take meeting minutes, and assign action items. Sky has supported the Native Bee Society through spearheading public education articles within the Quarterly Buzz newsletter and hopes to continue supporting the Society’s growth.




Nikki Donkersley

Nikki is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and has an extensive background in accounting and finance.  She dedicated twelve years of her professional career to working in the non-profit sector for a registered charity.  Nikki joined the Native Bee Society of BC as Treasurer in February 2022, combining her enthusiasm for bees with her love of numbers.   Nikki and her husband live in Dawson Creek, BC with their two teenage sons.  When she is not "crunching the numbers", she can be found working in her garden or at the school gymnasium cheering on her son's basketball team.   




Lori Weidenhammer

Lori is a performance-based interdisciplinary artist and educator. She is the author of a book called Victory Gardens for Bees: A DIY Guide to Saving the Bees published by Douglas and MacIntyre. Lori works with students of all ages on eating locally and gardening for pollinators. On occasion, she likes to dress up in silly costumes and talk to bees. She worked with Tyler Kelly and curator Lincoln Best to create and maintain the iNaturalist BC Bee Tracker Project. She is a recipient of the Entomological Society of Canada’s Norman Criddle award for her work as an amateur naturalist. This year Lori would like to focus on creating educational materials that can be used by the public in many situations to deepen their understanding of native bees and their habitat needs. She would like to find new ways to bring inclusive and accessible artistic creation into the process of connecting folks to BC native bees.


[Photo by Darren Kirby]


Lincoln Best

Director – Research and Education

I have been actively documenting the native bee fauna and its floral relations throughout British Columbia and Alberta for 20 years. Currently I am part of the Faculty of Horticulture at Oregon State University where I am the Pollinator Taxonomist in the Pollinator Health Lab for the Oregon Bee Atlas and Master Melittologist. We have been successful in bringing the Master Melittologist program to British Columbia through the Native Bee Society of BC. This is a self-paced, step-wise educational program that provides a comprehensive education about bee biodiversity and ecology.

The Oregon Bee Atlas is the largest citizen science project of its kind, where hundreds of volunteers actively survey the state and produce tens of thousands of museums specimens representing hundreds of species of native bees, sampled from over 1400 flowering plant species, and counting. This has led to the development of WA and ID Bee Atlases as well.  I’m also working to curate the historical bee collection at the Oregon State Arthropod Collection and provide taxonomic support to many other research labs and government agencies. In BC I host the annual BC Native Bee Course in Penticton, and other related specialty courses throughout the province. I collaborate widely in BC on research and education with various post-secondary institutions, NGO’s, First Nations, and artists.

I will bring my energy and expertise in research, education, and outreach to the NBSBC, and leverage my network to the Society’s benefit. There is enormous potential for the society to provide strong science-based research, education, and outreach, and I hope to develop programming and projects that inform stakeholder groups and lead to landscape-based solutions to our environmental challenges.


Bonnie Zand

Bonnie Zand is based out of the Comox Valley, on Vancouver Island. She works in the intersections of pollinators and agriculture, running an IPM consulting company, Bonnie’s Bugs IPM, and leading the Vancouver Island Pests, Pollinators and Beneficials Project. Bonnie is the BC instructor for the Master Melittolgist Program, and loves to help others learn how awesome bees are.   Bonnie also contributes to pollinator conservation through outreach to garden clubs, bee clubs, and school groups, as well as through her work with the endangered Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly.  

Bonnie is excited to be continuing with the board for a second year, and intends to continue to run the Native Bee Study Group, support the BC Master Melittologist program, manage memberships, and provide website, social media and grant writing support to the society.


Tamara Litke

Tamara is an outdoor educator focused on place-based learning about bees, plants and people.  She has led projects in community, school, and botanical gardens in BC. She has developed urban greening projects, public education initiatives, and produced curriculum and events for people of all ages. She has a comprehensive knowledge of native plant nurseries and best practices to support habitat and pollinator recovery. She has an Honours Specialist degree in Art and Art History, a BFA in Ceramics, and a Masters of Education in Sustainability.  Her current PhD studies in Ecology and Consciousness focus on connecting with our natural relationships.


Neill McCallum

An educator, consultant, naturalist, and father, Neill has a deep interest in the environment and doing whatever we can to help preserve it. Neill teaches in Richmond,BC, and has organized the City Nature Challenge for the City of Richmond for the past four years. "Bees are fascinating, important organisms that need our support and understanding!". Neill lives in Vancouver, BC and specializes in raising mason bees!

I would love to help the society with social media, and anywhere else I can.

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Erin Udal

Erin Udal is a Teacher, and Animator for Farm To School BC. Erin has a passion for nature, and uses her B.Sc. in ecology and evolution, as well as a B.Ed in Secondary Science as an educator and community facilitator. Erin's work with pollinators has spanned 10+ years and includes working in field and lab research on Vancouver Island, the lower mainland, and the Okanagan areas of BC. She is passionate about citizen science, and has built multiple public pollinator conservation projects and programs across the lower mainland. She lives on Gabriola Island.


Maureen Marriott

Maureen has worked for many years at the University of British Columbia and Emily Carr University of Art + Design in the field of adult continuing education. Now she is passionate about learning more about BC’s incredible biodiversity, and to donate her time to organizations working to further environmental conservation, restoration, education and advocacy.


Continuing with co-editing the Quarterly Buzz, and hopefully in 2023 being able to attend and contribute to in-person events and outreach. I would also (possibly) be interested in helping with the grant application process.


Marika Ai-Li (愛丽)

Marika is the Manager of Programs & Stewardship at the Environmental Youth Alliance. She oversees EYA's urban habitat restoration projects, native plant nursery and environmental education programs for youth facing barriers. She is a passionate native bee educator who has also led a variety of restoration, research and citizen science projects relating to native bees over the past decade. 


Marika has a BSc in Applied Biology, Plant & Soil Sciences from UBC and is currently completing UVic's Restoration of Natural Systems program. Beyond academia, she greatly values the traditional knowledge, community-based learning and guidance from mentors that she has been gifted along her journey.


Marika has been involved with the NBSBC since the very first meeting, and was Vice President for two years. She is grateful to be returning as a Member at Large in 2022.

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Jen Woodin

Jen is an artist, educator, meditation mentor and bee-enthusiast, aspiring to awaken kindness and wisdom within society. In 2015 she co-founded the Hudson Valley Bee Habitat(HVBH), pollinating public engagement with bees, the environment, and each other - helping both humans and bees thrive. Jen is currently teaching at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she shares her interest for art, bees, and seeds of engagement.

The roles she is interested in supporting are grant writing, strategic planning and education/outreach.



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Valerie Huff

I am a restoration botanist and native plant conservation advocate with a keen interest in pollination networks. I live in Nelson BC and am a founding member (and current treasurer) of the Kootenay Native Plant Society. I am fascinated by complexity of plant-pollinator relationships, and am involved in numerous restoration projects with a pollinator focus.  


I’m interested in bringing a plant perspective and expertise to the conversation about native bee conservation. I strongly believe that they go hand in hand and am excited by the potential for cross-pollination.

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