Dr. Kevin Kemball, Director of Business Development for the NAIT Boreal Research Institute
Dr. Kemball is the Director of Business Development for the NAIT Boreal Research Institute. In this role Kevin works in a collaborative environment to support applied research in Alberta. Kevin is responsible for implementing the strategic direction and integration of NAIT’s boreal applied research to meet the needs of industry and Albertans. Kevin is a Professional Biologist with a background in biology (B.Sc.), forestry (M.Sc.), and a Ph.D. in ecology. Kevin has over 17 years of experience working in the boreal forest. His work focused primarily on environmental impact assessments, wetland restoration and construction, GHG quantification and project development.
Dr. Amanda Schoonmaker, NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Boreal Reclamation and Reforestation
Was named NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Boreal Reclamation and Reforestation in 2015. She received a PhD in Forest Biology and Management (University of Alberta) and a BScF in Forest Sciences (University of British Columbia). Amanda and her team develop practical techniques to help oil and gas companies reclaim well sites that have reached the end of their lifespan, encouraging the growth of trees and shrubs compatible with the landscape. Since joining the institute, she has mentored over 30 students in applied research field operations.
Dr. Bin Xu, NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Peatland Restoration
Joined the institute as the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Peatland Restoration in 2013 leading research focused on the restoration of sensitive peatland ecosystems. Bin received a PhD in Plant Biology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He has been involved in restoration projects of peatlands disturbed by oil and gas mining and peat harvesting in Alberta and in eastern Canada. Bin hopes to increase awareness of the importance of peatlands and find cost-effective ways to balance economic needs with those of the environment.
Dr. Jean-Marie Sobze, Applied Research Chair in Plant and Seed Technologies
Dr. Jean-Marie Sobze is the Applied Research Chair in Plant and Seed Technologies, focused on developing practical technologies for plant propagation and seed delivery. He joined NAIT in 2010 as the Technology Transfer Coordinator, and has more than 15 years of experience in forest management and oil and gas industry-related reclamation research. He received his PhD in Forestry at the University of Gottingen, Germany, specializing in community-based forest management, and is registered as a Professional Forester with the College of Alberta Professional Foresters (CAPF).
Catherine Brown, Boreal Science Educator
Catherine is BRI’s Boreal Science Educator, part of the Research Extension and Education team. She received her MSc in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of Waterloo. For her MSc project she led the construction of a reclaimed wetland, and evaluated the hydrological and greenhouse gas processes of the site. Catherine specializes in environmental education and restoration, now acting as a liaison between the BRI and the public. Her primary responsibilities are creating and delivering educational material, and spreading enthusiasm for science.
Dr. Chibuike Chigbo, Research Associate
Chibuike is a reclamation research associate in the forest reclamation research program. He has over nine years of experience in phytoremediation and passive treatment technologies, with focus on soil and water themes, complimenting a larger-standing interest in green remediation. He received his PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Birmingham, UK in 2013, specializing in contaminated soil remediation, and was awarded a TWAS research grant in 2015. Chibuike supports applied research projects at BRI, including exploring avenues for collaboration with industry. He is a Professional Biologist with the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists (ASPB).
Dr. Chibuzo Ilogu, Research Assistant
Chibuzo is a Research Assistant in the Plant and Seed Technologies research program. He is passionate about plants and has extensive experience conducting plant research studies. He earned his MSc in Environmental Protection and Agricultural Food Production and PhD in Agricultural Sciences at the University of Hohenheim, Germany and is a registered Professional Biologist with the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists (ASPB).
John Marcelo, Administrative Specialist Research
Earned a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) with a major in Accounting from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and is currently a candidate for the CPA Professional Education Program. John joined NAIT as the Administrative Specialist Research in 2015, overseeing portfolios for three schools, including School of Applied Sciences & Technology, School of Skilled Trades & Construction, and School of Health & Life Sciences. John has five years of experience as a financial analyst and is owner of Marcelo Tax Services in Edmonton.
Julie Willoughan, Program Assistant
Julie joined the Boreal Research Institute as the Program Assistant in February 2017 bringing with her an extensive background in administration and accounting. She supports BRI’s program teams in day-to-day operations including a variety of administrative, coordination and logistical services. Julie further provides planning support for our workshops and advisory board meetings.
Melanie Bird, Research Technician
Earned a BSc (Hons) in geography from the University of Calgary with a focus on soils and ecohydrology, and was a member of the Wetland Soil and Ecohydrology Lab conducting peatland-related research. Since joining the institute as a research officer in the Peatland Restoration Program in 2014, Melanie has managed field operations, site set up, training and coordination of field staff, data collection, site monitoring, as well as executing lab and greenhouse experiments. Melanie's prior work experience involves data management for a petrochemical company.
Ryan O'Neill, Research Technician
Is a graduate of NAIT's Forest Technology Diploma (2013) and Biological Sciences Diploma program (2010), and a Registered Forest Technologist (RFT) with the College of Alberta Professional Forest Technologists (CAPFT). Ryan joined the institute in 2012 as a summer assistant before moving into a permanent role as a field research technician in 2014. Ryan specializes in identification, collection, extraction, and propagation of boreal plant species within the Plant & Seed Technologies Program.
Dr. Stefan Schreiber, Research Associate
Received his PhD in Forest Ecology and Management from the University of Alberta in 2012 and was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta until joining NAIT in April 2017 as a Research Associate. Stefan has over nine years of experience in plant ecophysiology with a focus on tree water relations and ecological genetics. During his postdoctoral work, he also gained substantial experience in forestry, particularly tree improvement. Stefan’s current work at BRI includes applied research project support ranging from data analysis and scientific paper writing to exploring further avenues for collaboration with industry.