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Board of Directors

Christine Thuring

President / Co-Chair

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. As a Green Roof Professional and a plant ecologist, she is keen on enhancing conditions for biodiversity in the built environment.

Christine is a founding board member of the Society and was an active director right from the start. She co-established and continues to co-edit The Quarterly Buzz newsletter. In 2021-2022, Christine served as Secretary and contributed to much of the Society’s outreach programming (e.g., BC Society of Landscape Architects, BC Landscape and Nursery Association, UBC's Friends of the Garden, Langley Environmental Partners, Lynn Valley Garden Club). She enjoys working on projects with beeple and learning about native bees. In 2023, she helped create forage resources for specialist bees in BC, and is part of the 2023 MeadowMakers Program.

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Paula Cruise

President / Co-Chair

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.

Sky Jarvis


Sky 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.   

Lincoln Best


Lincoln leads the Oregon Bee Atlas and Master Melittologist programs in the faculty of Horticulture and through Extension at Oregon State University. He hosts an annual BC Native Bee Course in the southern Okanagan, Canada's bee biodiversity hotspot. Stay tuned for details about the 2023 course.


Bonnie Zand


Bonnie 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 Melittologist Program, leads the native bee study group and 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.  

Valerie Huff


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


Maureen Marriott

Co-Editor of the Quarterly Newsletter

Maureen worked for 25+ years at the University of British Columbia administering and marketing adult continuing education. Now she is keen to continue learning more about BC’s amazing biodiversity, and to donate her time to organizations working to further conservation efforts and environmental education. 

Jen Woodin

Co-Chair of the Fundraising Committee

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.

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Tamara Litke


Tamara is a master gardener with substantial experience working in community, school, and botanical gardens in BC. She has worked on urban greening projects, public education initiatives and outdoor experiences, and produced place-based curriculums. She has a deep understanding of native plants and best practices to support habitat and pollinator recovery. She holds an Honours Specialist degree in Art and Art History and a BFA in Ceramics, and a Masters of Education in Sustainability.

Jade Lee


Jade Lee is a photographer/artist and an enthusiastic learner. She is self-taught, displaying a passionate and thorough approach to her craft. Jade's keen interest lies in taxonomy and the diversity of Hymenoptera, particularly bees and wasps. Currently enrolled in the Master Melittology course, she eagerly anticipates revisiting the WaspID course in January.

Utilizing photography as a tool for insect and arachnid study, Jade aspires to contribute to conservation efforts. Her ultimate goal involves creating a Vancouver Island-specific field guide to pollinators and their support systems. Actively engaging with the public through daily participation in online forums, particularly on Facebook, Jade administers a large group dedicated to identifying insects from around the world. She provides answers to questions and fosters conversations to destigmatize arthropods.

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Julia Taylor


Julia is a lifelong resident of the PNW and lover of all organisms who call this region home--especially our native pollinators. She has worked, studied, and volunteered in the conservation realm for nearly a decade, and recently completed her Bachelor of Science from UBC specializing in ecology, biodiversity, and sustainable food systems. There, she conducted bumblebee biodiversity surveys at UBC Farm and on blueberry farms around the Fraser Valley, falling further in love with the diversity of native bees and their habits. Julia also has experience in science communication and social media outreach through her time coordinating online content and condensing academic articles with UBC's Centre for Sustainable Food Systems' BC FoodWeb, and has great passion for sharing environmental knowledge with audiences of all backgrounds. Julia has a deep interest in fostering public engagement in ecological issues and strives to build community around critters big and small.

Founding Board Members

Sarah Johnson

Founding President

Sarah is a PhD student at Simon Fraser University studying bumble bee ecology and conservation in British Columbia. She has an MSc in Ecology from the University of Calgary and has worked in plant-pollinator research and native bee conservation across Canada for almost a decade, in academic, non-profit, and volunteer settings.


Martina Clausen

Founding Member

Martina is an agroecologist with a background in environmental engineering, originally from Switzerland. She has an MSc from UBC studying the conservation of native bees in agricultural landscapes and was a member of the development team for EYA’s Pollinator Citizen Science Program.

Riley Waytes

Founding Member

Riley is a terrestrial ecologist with LGL Limited based in Sidney, BC, working on surveys of bumble bees and other arthropods in disturbed and reclaimed environments. He has an MSc from the University of Calgary studying native and managed pollinators in canola. He is involved with the Victoria Natural History Society and the Entomological Society of BC, and volunteers with the Royal BC Museum.

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Leslie Williams

Founding Member

Leslie Williams is the Director of Operations of The Sharing Farm Society in Richmond, and Apiary Manager of Hives For Humanity in Vancouver. Through community education and planting projects for pollinators, she advocates for native bee health, habitat, and diversity.

Tyler Kelly

Founding Member

Tyler is currently the lab manager for the WoRCS lab at UBC, led by Dr. Claire Kremen, where he works with a collective of experts in agricultural sustainability and biodiversity. He has a MSc from SFU studying plant-pollinator networks in Garry oak habitats, and has worked in wildlife biology for almost a decade.


Chanta Ly

Founding Member

Chanta has an extensive background in administration and currently works at a law firm in downtown Vancouver, but in her heart, she is a passionate nature enthusiast. She has a wide range of volunteer experience in conservation and restoration and has tended a pollinator garden since 2015.

Brian Campbell

Founding Member

Brian is a master gardener, master beekeeper, adult education instructor at VanDusen Gardens, and consultant and advisor for many other native bee-related projects throughout the Greater Vancouver Area. His main position is at West Coast Seeds as the purchasing and production coordinator, and he has had a lifelong passion for native bee biodiversity, education, and conservation. 

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Jasna Guy

Founding Member

Jasna is an artist, educator, and citizen scientist with a passion for pollinators. Since 2012, her art practice has involved extensive study of the relationships between plants and their pollinators, and the floral resources (pollen and nectar) that pollinators require.

Marika Ai-Li (愛丽)

Founding Vice-President

Marika is wild about native bees and flowers! She's a led a variety of pollinator education, stewardship and native bee community science programs across Coast Salish territories over the past decade. She now lives in K'omoks territory working with Project Watershed as a Restoration and Monitoring Lead. Marika formerly worked for the Coastal Douglas Fir Conservation Partnership and the Environmental Youth Alliance where she managed projects focused on species-at-risk conservation, habitat restoration and land-based education programs. She holds a BSc in Applied Biology, Plant & Soil Sciences from UBC and is completing the Restoration of Natural Systems Diploma at UVic.

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Lori Weidenhammer

Founding Member

Lori is a Vancouver 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.


Former Directors

Cassie Gibeau

Melissa Haynes

Jens Johnson

Jennifer Lipka

Ian Tait

Joshua Thompson

Lori Weidenhammer

Erin Udal

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