Our Team. Your Team

Senior Experts, You Can Rely On

Combining the expertise of top senior scientists and consultants, MSES builds a network of independent practitioners that combine the newest scientific advances for applications in industry and government. The MSES structure minimizes overhead and administration while maintaining a flexible and responsive team. Associates work with each other in various combinations on many projects worldwide, thereby ensuring the work experience of a world team.

The following profiles demonstrate that all associates of the MSES network have:

  • Years of working experience in the industry
  • High academic degrees of international standing
  • A record of expert services and testimony at the international level
Dr. Komers Ecology

Dr. Petr E. Komers, Ph.D.

Ecology and Environmental Science Management

Dr. Petr Komers has led ecological assessments in Canada, USA, Europe, Asia and Africa. His experience includes multimillion dollar industry and research projects, leadership of international and multidisciplinary teams, and development of environmental standards. As part of his 20+ years of working experience he resided in 6 countries, is fluent in 6 languages, worked with proponents, governments, stakeholders and NGOs. He routinely acts as an expert witness, a referee of scientific manuscripts, and as an examiner at university thesis defenses.

Areas of expertise

  • Wildlife ecology and landscape level ecosystem analysis
  • Assessment consultation and advice
  • Design and management of applied science
  • Environmental planning, protected areas management and research

Key Publications and Projects

Stewart, A., and P.E. Komers. 2017. Conservation of wildlife populations: factoring in incremental disturbance. Ecology and Evolution. 2017: 1-9. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3015

Belvederesi, C., M.S. Thompson, and P.E. Komers. 2017. Canada’s federal database is inadequate for the assessment of environmental consequences of oil and gas pipeline failures. Environmental Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1139/er-2017-0003

Komers, P.E. and Z. Stanojevic . 2013. Rates of Disturbance Vary by Data Resolution: Implications for Conservation Schedules Using the Alberta Boreal Forest as a Case Study. Global Change Biology 19(9): 2916-2928.

Komers, P.E. and G.P. Curman. 2000. The Effect of Demographic Characteristics on the Success of Ungulate Re-introductions. Biological Conservation 92: 187-193.

Komers, P.E. et al 2010. Participatory Management In The Canadian Oil Sands. ‘IAIA10 Conference Proceedings’ Submission ID: 56; 30th Annual Meeting of the International Association for Impact Assessment 6-11 April 2010, Geneva – Switzerland (www.iaia.org) Proceedings of the Cumulative Effects Management Conference, Calgary, November 2000.

Independent Third Party Review and auditing of EIAs for Oil Sands and Diamond mine operations in Alberta and NWT.

Countries of Working Experience

Canada, USA, England, Sweden, Switzerland, Kenya, Namibia and Pakistan

Ms. Stewart Ecology

Ms. Abbie Stewart MSc. P.Biol

Landscape Ecology, Wildlife Biology

Ms. Abbie Stewart is a terrestrial ecologist that has been working as an environmental consultant since 2001. She routinely conducts EIAs, provides third party reviews, leads academic research projects, and gives lectures on wildlife impact assessment. Ms. Stewart’s core expertise is in the ecology of moose and other large mammals, and the development of bio-statistical analyses. As a project manager of large multi-disciplinary EIA reviews, she has assimilated information from discipline expert reviewers with a focus on developing integrated reports that address the questions and concerns of either Aboriginal communities or review boards. She earned a Master’s degree in Landscape Ecology from the University of Calgary.

Areas of expertise

  • Wildlife ecology
  • Biostatistics
  • Landscape Ecology/Habitat Fragmentation
  • Environmental Impact Assessment

Key Publications and Projects

Stewart, A., and P.E. Komers. 2017. Conservation of wildlife populations: factoring in incremental disturbance. Ecology and Evolution. 2017: 1-9. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3015

Stewart, A., and P.E. Komers. 2012. Testing the ideal free distribution hypothesis: Moose response to changes in habitat amount. ISRN Ecology 2012, 8 pp.

Lead coordinator and manager of technical review team: Teck Frontier Oil Sands Mine Application (2012), Coal Mine Environmental Assessments in Northern and Southern British Columbia (2011), Ivanhoe Energy SAGD Application (2011), Sunshine West Ells SAGD Application (2010), and others.

Technical review of: Cenovus Telephone Lake SAGD Application (2012), De Beers Gahcho Kue Diamond Mine Application (2011), Diavik Diamond Mine Monitoring Report (2011), Coal Mine Environmental Assessments in Northern and Southern British Columbia (2011), Taltson Hydroelectric Expansion Application (2009), and others.

Ms. Gavin Ecology

Ms. Shannon Gavin MSc., P.Biol

Wildlife Ecology, Conservation Biology

Ms. Shannon Gavin earned a Master’s degree in Conservation Ecology from the University of Calgary (Canada) where her research focused on the effects of linear disturbances on wildlife habitat and behaviour.  She has over ten years of academic and environmental impact assessment experience in wildlife biology with a specialization in human development impacts to wildlife and landscapes.    Ms. Shannon Gavin has provided scientific expertise on a range of projects with Aboriginal communities, regulators and developers in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan.  She has extensive experience in project management, technical workshops and providing expert technical reviews for wildlife and biodiversity ranging from small local development projects to large multi-disciplinary third party reviews.  In addition, she has, in collaboration with GIS experts at MSES, evaluated landscape changes for Aboriginal communities in Alberta and B.C.to assist them in gaining a better understanding of the cumulative impacts from various developments in their traditional territory.

Areas of expertise

  • Wildlife Ecology
  • Road Ecology/Linear Disturbance
  • Environmental Impact Assessment

Key Publications and Projects

MSES Inc. 2011. Review of Shell Canada Energy Inc.’s Jackpine Mine Annual Environmental Reports.  Prepared on behalf of First Nations (Project Manager and Author).

Gavin, S., Hechtenthal, S., Stewart, S., Whidden, T., Stanojevic, Z., and P. Komers. 2010. Maintaining Wildlife Movement: The Need for Regional Planning in the Canadian Oil Sands. IAIA Conference Proceedings.

Environmental Screen and Environmental Protection Plan for Highway 22:18 Climbing Lane Project. MSES Inc 2008. Prepared for ARA Engineering Consulting (Project Manager, Data Collection and Author).

Gavin, S.D. and P.E. Komers. 2006. Do pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) perceive roads as a predation risk? Canadian Journal of Zoology 84(12): 1775-1780

Ms. Hechtenthal Ecology

Ms. Sarah Hechtenthal, M.Sc., P.Biol

Wildlife Biology and Community Ecology

Ms. Sarah Hechtenthal is a wildlife ecologist with extensive academic and industry experience in the environmental sciences, with a specialization in avian biology. She also has experience in community consultation, workshop facilitation, and collaborative negotiation. She earned a Master’s degree from the University of Calgary where she studied habitat and community dynamics in threatened bird species. She continues to lead academic research projects, give presentations locally and internationally, and has participated in regulatory hearings as an expert witness. She is a trained oiled wildlife emergency responder and has experience leading field surveys, analyzing data, and writing and reviewing EIAs. She is regularly involved as a project manager, author, and wildlife expert for independent third-party reviews of proposed resource extraction projects on behalf of Canadian Aboriginal communities. She has recently participated in technical audits of provincial resource management initiatives, including Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA), Terrestrial Ecosystem Management Framework (TEMF), and Lower Athabasca Regional Plan (LARP) on behalf of First Nations.

Areas of expertise

  • Wildlife ecology
  • Environmental impact assessment and cumulative effects assessment
  • Avian population risk assessment and ecotoxicology

Key Publications and Projects

Hechtenthal, S, Stanojevic, Z., and P. Komers. 2012. Avian Hazard Mapping and Risk Assessment for the Oil Sands Region. Hearing Submission for the Shell Jackpine Mine Expansion.

Hechtenthal, S and T. Whidden. 2011. Review of the Imperial Oil Waterfowl Protection Plan for the Kearl Oil Sands Project.

Gavin, S., Hechtenthal, S., Stewart, S., Whidden, T., Stanojevic, Z., and P. Komers. 2010. Maintaining Wildlife Movement: The Need for Regional Planning in the Canadian Oil Sands. IAIA Conference Proceedings.

Dr. Kopach Ecology

Dr. Brian Kopach, Ph.D.

Quantitative and Spatial Ecology

Dr. Brian Kopach is a broadly trained ecologist with over ten years of academic research and resource management experience in ecosystems across western and northern Canada. He has extensive experience designing ecological field studies, and in the collection and analysis of data for both vegetation and wildlife studies. He has led, or assisted with, research and conservation related projects for public and private sector organizations in Canada and the United States, including the Canadian Wildlife Service, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Ducks Unlimited. Mr. Brian Kopach earned a Master’s degree in Biogeography from the University of Victoria (Canada), and a PhD at the University of Calgary (Canada) examining the ecological and evolutionary consequences of species interactions among alpine plants.

Areas of expertise

  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Species Distributions
  • Evolutionary Ecology

Key Publications and Projects

Kopach, B and J.W. Fox. 2009. Facilitation and natural selection along altitudinal gradient. British Ecological Society Symposium on Facilitation in Plant Communities. Aberdeen, Scotland.

Calambokidis, J., R. Lumper, M. Gosho, P. Gearin, J.D. Darling, W. Megill, D. Goley, B. Gisborne, and B. Kopach. 2003. Gray whale photographic identification in 2002: Collaborative research in the Pacific Northwest. Report to the National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Seattle, WA. 19 pp.

Managed a Conservation Easement program designed to build partnerships with private landowners to protect native grasslands in and around Saskatoon, SK, Canada for the Meewasin Valley Authority.

Ms. Modeland Ecology

Ms. Nina Modeland, B.Sc., B.A.

Research Support

Ms. Modeland completed her studies in Environmental Science and International Indigenous Studies at the University of Calgary, Canada, in 2012. Her academic research focused on ecological and social aspects of resource management and findings have been presented at conferences in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. Topics of her work include physiological defenses of lodgepole pine against mountain pine beetle as well as Aboriginal consultation practices and constitutional rights in Canada and Australia. Ms. Modeland also has experience conducting wildlife, water and vegetation assessments in Northern Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Alberta.

Areas of expertise

  • Environmental measurement and assessment
  • Aboriginal consultation methodology and theory
  • Tree defenses and mountain pine beetle management in Canada

Key Publications and Projects

Modeland, N., & M. Reid. 2012. Old and Vulnerable? Age-dependent defenses in lodgepole pine. First Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology, Ottawa, Ontario, July 6-12 2012.

Modeland, N. & M. Reid, 2012. Age-Dependent Defences in Lodgepole Pine? 20th Annual Western Canada Forest Health Workshop, Golden, British Columbia, May 2012.

GModeland, N., Brennan, E., Ross, L., Tan, D., and R. MoK, 2011. First Nations Integration into Water and Wastewater Management in the Bow River Basin, Alberta. January 2011. Canadian Water Resources Association (CWRA) Alberta and Alberta Low Impact Development Partnership (ALIDP) Annual Conference, Red Deer, Alberta, April 2011. Supervisor: Dr. C. Ryan.

Ms. Heinrichs Business Manager

Ms. Judy Heinrichs MBA

Business Manager

Judy Heinrichs has over 20 years of varied business experience. She came to MSES from the oil industry where she was a production accountant. Prior to that she worked as a small business and oil industry lender for a Canadian chartered bank and taught finance and general business management at Mount Royal College. Judy has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario.

Countries of Working Experience


. C. Ryan.

Ms. Gutsell Ecology

Dr. Sheri L. Gutsell Ph.D

Plant Population and Community Ecologist

Dr. Sheri Gutsell is a forest ecologist and practitioner of environmental assessment. A key project includes the Environmental Impact Statement for a natural gas development in an ecologically sensitive prairie area. She has published scientific articles in prestigious journals and presented talks at conferences on forest dynamics and wildfires. In her expert review capacity, she routinely reviews scientific manuscripts and books and produces technical accounts on a variety of topics, including trends in biodiversity, plant species distribution, and the effects of herbivory drought, and wildfire on trees.

Areas of expertise

  • Ecology of plant populations and communities
  • Environmental assessment
  • Scientific per review / scientific and technical writing

Key Publications and Projects

Gutsell, S.L. and E.A. Johnson. 2007. Wildfire and tree population processes. Pages 441-485 In Plant Disturbance Ecology. The process and the response. E.A. Johnson and K. Miyanishi, eds. Academic Press.

Alpine Environmental Ltd. 2004. 2005/2006 Freefight Lake Shallow Gas Development Project, Environmental Impact Statement. Prepared for Burlington Resources Ltd. Calgary, Alberta.

Gutsell, S.L. and E.A. Johnson. 2002. Accurately ageing trees and examining their height growth rates: implications for interpreting forest dynamics. Journal of Ecology 90:153-166.

Gutsell, S.L., E.A. Johnson, K. Miyanishi, J.E. Keeley, M. Dickinson, and S.R.J. Bridge. 2001. Correspondence: Varied ecosystems need different fire protection. Nature 409:977.

Gutsell, S.L. and E.A. Johnson. 1996. How fire scars are formed: coupling a disturbance process to its ecological effect. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 26:166-174.

Countries of Working Experience

Canada and USA

Dr. Dickson Botany/GIS

Dr. E. Dickson, Ph.D. P.Biol.

Remote Sensing and Vegetation

Dr. Dickson has 20 years experience in biological research and scientific editing. She has applied GIS and remote sensing to assess forestry, biodiversity and landscape fragmentation. Her collaborative research involves remote sensing analysis worldwide. Dr Dickson has technical experience with a variety of data sources such as Landsat TM, RadarSat, and airborne CASI data formats.

Areas of expertise

  • Remote sensing research
  • Botanical assessment
  • Biodiversity monitoring and assessment

Key Publications and Projects

Dickson, E. E., S. E. Franklin, and L. M. Moskal. 2000. Monitoring of forest biodiversity using remote sensing: Forest stand (high spatial resolution) protocol and examples. Alberta Forest Bio-diversity Monitoring Program Tech. Report No. 4, Part 2, July 2000

Dickson, E. E., S. E. Franklin, and L. M. Moskal. 2000. Monitoring of forest biodiversity using remote sensing: Regional landscape (medium and low spatial resolution) protocol and examples. Alberta Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Program Technical Report No. 4, Part 1, April 2000.

Plant inventory of Bragg Creek Natural Area, Calgary Field Naturalist

Senior remote sensing analyst for the Fort Hills Oil Sands Project Environmental Impact Assessment

Dr. Kienzle Hydrology/GIS

Dr. S. Kienzle, Ph.D.

Geographic Information Systems and Water Resources

As a GIS and water resources specialist involved in a wide range of projects through academia and consulting in Canada and internationally, Dr. Kienzle has extensive experience in the areas of GIS data integration, database design, spatial analysis, geostatistics, terrain modeling, water resources analysis, and automatic mapping.

Areas of expertise

  • Assessment consultation and advice
  • Design, implementation, and management of applied science
  • Environmental planning

Key Publications and Projects

Kienzle, S.W. 1996. Using DTMs and GIS to define input variables for hydrological and geomorphological analysis. In: HydroGIS 96: Application of Geographical Information Systems in Hydrology and Water Resources Management (Proc. of the Vienna Conference, Austria, April 1996). IAHS Publ. no. 235, 183-190.

Kienzle, S.W., Lorentz, S.A. and Schulze, R.E. 1997. Hydrology and Water Quality of the Mgeni catchment. Water Research Commission, Pretoria, Report TT87/97, pp. 1 – 88, with 15 color maps, ISBN 1 86845 297 2.
Multidisciplinary and multi-national project funded by the European Union “Integrated Water Resources Management System” in South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

GIS analysis for British Columbia government departments, the cities of Calgary and Regina, and mining/pipeline companies.

Dr. Thompson Water Quality

Dr. Megan Thompson, Ph.D.

Aquatic Ecologist, Limnologist

Dr. Megan Thompson is an aquatic ecologist with more than ten years of academic and research experience dealing with pollutant and climate change impacts on lakes and rivers. Dr. Megan Thompson’s studies have focused on the limnological impacts of terrestrial linkages and inputs like permafrost thaw and effluent release on freshwater systems. She has published papers, given talks and lectured on northern limnology, permafrost hydrology and chemistry, geomorphology, statistics and anthropogenic environmental impacts on lakes and rivers. Dr. Megan Thompson’s core training is in the fields of aquatic ecology and limnology, but she has also completed studies in Northern planning and development, including traditional ecological knowledge, participatory research and conflict resolution. Dr. Megan Thompson received her Ph.D. from the University of Victoria (Canada) after completing research into the nature and impacts of permafrost thaw on nearby lakes in the Mackenzie Delta area of the Northwest Territories. She has experience with projects in the Northwest Territories, northern Sweden, Alaska, British Columbia and southern Alberta.

Areas of expertise

  • Aquatic Ecosystem Impacts
  • Northern Hydrology
  • Water Chemistry and Optical Properties

Key Publications and Projects

Belvederesi, C., M.S. Thompson, and P.E. Komers. 2017. Canada’s federal database is inadequate for the assessment of environmental consequences of oil and gas pipeline failures. Environmental Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1139/er-2017-0003

Thompson, M.S., F.J. Wrona, and T.D. Prowse. 2012. Shifts in plankton, nutrient and light relationships in small tundra lakes caused by localized permafrost thaw. Arctic 65: 367-376.

Thompson, M.S. 2009. The impact of permafrost degradation on the pelagic water chemistry and biota of small tundra lakes. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Geography, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Victoria.

Kokelj, S.V., B. Zajdlik, and M.S.Thompson. 2009. The impacts of thawing permafrost on the chemistry of lakes across the subarctic boreal-tundra transition, Mackenzie Delta region, Canada. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 20: 185–199..

Thompson, M.S., S.V. Kokelj, T.D. Prowse, and F.J. Wrona. 2008. The impact of sediments derived from thawing permafrost on tundra lake water chemistry: An experimental approach. Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Permafrost. pp. 1763-1768.

Dr. Ford Ecology

Dr. Adam. T. Ford, Ph.D.

Wildlife ecology, conservation and mitigation

Dr. Adam Ford is a terrestrial ecologist, focusing on the effects of human activity on the movement of individual animals and the consequences of these activities for wildlife populations. The bulk of this work has addressed the extent to which transportation infrastructure alters ecological processes at the landscape-scale. Adam’s research career is highlighted by work on several threatened or endangered species in a variety of biomes, from burrowing owls in the semi-arid grasslands of SE Alberta, to grizzly bears in Banff National Park, and more recently, African wild dogs in the private ranchlands of rural Kenya.

Areas of expertise

  • Wildlife movement, habitat selection and behavioural responses to human activity
  • Landscape ecology, corridor design and mitigation planning
  • Structured decision-making (analytical hierarchy process) and group facilitation

Key Publications and Projects

Ongoing research – Cascading effects of wild dog recolonization in human-occupied landscapes of Eastern Africa.

Ford AT, Goheen JR, Otieno TO, Bidner L, Isbell LA, Palmer TM, Ward D, Woodroffe R, Pringle RM (2014). “Large carnivores make savanna tree communities less thorny.” Science, 346(6207): 346-349. doi: 10.1126/science.1252753

Ford AT, Clevenger AP, Huisjer M, & Dibb A. 2011 “Planning and prioritization strategies for phased highway mitigation using wildlife-vehicle collision data.” Wildlife Biology, 17: 253 – 265

Ford AT, Clevenger AP. 2010 “Validity of the prey-trap hypothesis for carnivore-ungulate interactions at wildlife-crossing structures.” Conservation Biology 24 (6): 1679-1685

Ford AT, Clevenger AP, & Rettie K. 2010 “Banff Wildlife Crossings Project, Trans-Canada Highway, Alberta – A public-private partnership.” Chapter 7 in: Jon P. Beckmann, Tony Clevenger, Marcel Huijser, and Jodi Hilty (eds.) Safe Passages: Highways, Wildlife and Habitat Connectivity. Island Press, Washington DC.

Dr. Dersch Archaeology

Dr. Ave Dersch, Ph.D.

Traditional Land Use, Archaeology, Aboriginal Consultation

Dr. Ave Dersch has extensive traditional knowledge experience through her work and research with several First Nation communities. Her Ph.D. dissertation research involved looking at the application of traditional knowledge to past, present and future land use with the Swan River First Nation. Over the years, she has assisted with traditional land use studies, archaeological assessments and research examining contaminants in key cultural plant resources and water.

Areas of expertise

  • Traditional land use, traditional knowledge and historic resource studies
  • Consultation management
  • Community based environmental monitoring

Key Publications and Projects

Dersch, A. 2012. Swan River First Nation Traditional Land Use Study. Swan River First Nation. Kinuso, Alberta.

Dersch, A. 2012. Overview of Consultation and Traditional Land Use. Metis Settlements General Council Conference, Chateau Nova, March 23, 2012. Edmonton, Alberta.

Dersch A. 2011. Past, Present, and Future Land Use of Swan River First Nation. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. Department fo Archaeology, University of Calgary, Alberta.

Dersch, A. and N. Nicholls. 2008. Traditional Knowledge Study: Swan River First Nation: Draft. Consultant’s Report prepared for Enbridge’s Gateway Pipeline. FMA Heritage Resources Consultants Inc., Calgary, Alberta.

Dersch, A. and D. Bush. 2008. Traditional Plant Use in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Traditional Environmental Knowledge Workshops. Consultant’s Report prepared for the Cumulative Environmental Management Association’s Sustainable Ecosystems Working Group and Traditional Use Plants Task Group. FMA Heritage Resources Consultant’s Inc., Calgary, Alberta.

Dr. Khan Soils

Dr. Masil Khan, Ph.D

Soil Scientist

Dr. Khan is an environmental soil scientist with key experience in soil quality assessment and management within Alberta and internationally. Dr. Khan’s research work focused on responses of soil microorganisms to potentially toxic elements (heavy metals) in sewage sludge/ biosolids-treated soils. He has worked on developing sustainable agriculture practices and how point and non-point pollutants affect freshwater ecosystems. Dr. Khan has also worked on bio-conversion of organic wastes with the multiple purposes of plant nutrient recycling and protection of soil and water quality. He has published most of his research findings in peer reviewed journals and presented his project findings in international conferences and workshops. Dr. Khan acts as a technical reviewer, reviewing scientific manuscripts and supervises master degree students. Dr. Khan, during the course of his professional work, resided in four countries (Pakistan, UK, Japan and Canada) and is able to integrate with diverse multi-disciplinary teams in delivering quality environmental assessment services, prudent management and mitigation strategies for the industry.

Areas of expertise

Soil Science

Countries of Working Experience




Ms. McCallum Hydrogeochemistry & Hydrogeology

Ms. Joanne McCallum, M.Sc., P.Chem

Hydrogeochemistry and Hydrogeology

Ms. McCallum is a hydrogeochemist with over 13 years of experience as a Hydrogeochemistry / Hydrogeology consultant in the environmental field, with a focus on aqueous geochemical data interpretation, aquifer characterization and water supply studies.  She has earned a Master’s degree in Hydrogeology from the University of Calgary (Canada).  Ms. McCallum has provided technical guidance and expertise in the interpretation of physical, chemical, stable isotope and hydrogeological data for various projects in the sectors of Oil and Gas Industry, Agriculture, Environmental Firms, Government Agencies and Private Landowners.  She has worked as a lead scientist in the development of local to regional scale hydrological\hydrogeological assessments, water management plans, groundwater monitoring and water sourcing studies.  Ms. McCallum has presented findings of these assessments and studies in extensive hydrogeology reports. She has conducted senior technical reviews of environmental reports for northern communities within British-Columbia and Alberta.

Areas of expertise

  • Environmental Consulting

Countries of Working Experience


“… your team has been awesome…”– Woodstock First Nation


207 Edgebrook Close NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T3A 4W5

Tel: +1(403) 241-8668
Fax: +1(403) 241-8679
Email: ac.se1542790713sm@li1542790713am1542790713

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