Our Team. Your Team.

Senior Experts You Can Rely On

Indigenous communities, industry and governments alike are increasingly interested in creating a new format of collaboration that aligns Indigenous Knowledge and western science.  MSES is at the forefront of uniting these knowledge bases and ensuring clarity and understanding of potential changes to ecosystems and culturally-sensitive areas.

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. Petr Komers - Ecology

Dr. Petr E. Komers

Ecology and Environmental Science Management

Dr. Petr Komers has led ecological assessments in Canada, USA, Europe, Asia and Africa. His experience includes multi-million 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
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. et al. 2010. Participatory Management In The Canadian Oil Sands. ‘IAIA10 Conference Proceedings’ Submission ID: 56; 6-11 April 2010, Geneva – Switzerland.
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.
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. Abbie 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. Shannon 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
Dr. Brian Kopach - Ecology

Dr. Brian Kopach

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.
Dr. Megan Thompson - Water Quality

Dr. Megan Thompson

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. Sheri Gutsell - Ecology

Dr. Sheri L. Gutsell

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. Stefan Kienzle - Hydrology & GIS

Dr. Stefan Kienzle

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., 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.
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.
GIS analysis for British Columbia government departments, the cities of Calgary and Regina, and mining/pipeline companies.
Dr. Ave Dersch - Archaeology

Dr. Ave Dersch

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 of 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. Masil Khan - Soils

Dr. Masil Khan

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
Canada, Pakistan and Japan
Ms. Joanne McCallum - Hydrogeochemistry

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
Mr. Logan Boyer - Biology

  Mr. Logan Boyer BSc.

  Environmental Science, Biology

Mr. Boyer is a biologist with MSES and is a graduate of the  Environmental Science program at the University of Calgary (Canada) with a concentration in Biology. He has conducted research on water quality and fish habitat, specifically on sediment loading from off-highway vehicle trails and crossings. Mr. Boyer has extensive experience in field sampling and data analysis. He is well versed in the fields of aquatic ecology, limnology and hydrology.

Areas of Expertise

  • Aquatic Ecosystem Impacts
  • Road Erosion and Sediment Delivery
  • Water Chemistry
Key Publications and Projects
Boyer, L, and D. Mayhood. 2018. Erosion & suspended sediment delivery from off-highway vehicle trails & roads in the McLean Creek Watershed, Alberta. Freshwater Research Limited. Technical Report 2018/07-1.
Ms. Kaitlin Gargus - Geography

Ms. Kaitlin Gargus BSc., EPt

Environmental Science, Geography

Ms. Gargus is a scientist with MSES and a recent graduate from the University of Calgary (Canada) with a concentration in Geography. Her current focus is on supporting research, report building, and project administration; including development of budgets, scoping future work, and communication with clients.
Prior to Ms. Gargus joining our team here at MSES, she had an active role in the undergraduate science community at the UofC, including her past roles of VP Communications with the Environmental Science Student Association and Advocacy Team Member with the RePlastic YYC Community (which focuses on innovative re-purposing of plastic waste). Ms. Gargus also conducted research in McLean Creek, Alberta, on the success of bioengineering in boreal area riparian zones.


Areas of Expertise
Assessment of riparian integrity
Recycling methods and strategies
Soil science
Human geography

Key Projects
Co-authored report: Dell’Ovo, N., Dickson, E., Gargus, K., Solis, S. and G. Wark. 2018. The restorative effects of riparian bioengineering in the McLean Creek Public Land Use Zone, Alberta. (Undergraduate Thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


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

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