Coast Wildlife

Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project


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Project Leaders

The Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project is led by  Dr. Michelle Evelyn. Michelle has worked in the field of conservation biology for the past two decades. She was thrilled to settle on the beautiful Sunshine Coast with her family in 2003.

Michelle holds a BSc in Zoology from the University of British Columbia and an MSc and PhD in Conservation Biology from Stanford University.  

Michelle is a Registered Professional Biologist, a Research Affiliate with the UBC Biodiversity Research Centre, and a member of the Western Painted Turtle Recovery Team. She is the recipient of many awards, grants and academic honours including the Teresa Heinz Scholars for Environmental Research Award and the Vladimir Krajina Award for Excellence in Plant Ecology.

Prior to moving to the Sunshine Coast, Michelle studied bats, birds, amphibians, insects and small mammals in southern Mexico, California, and British Columbia. Her work has always focused on balancing the needs of humans and wildlife and maintaining and enhancing habitat for wildlife within human-dominated landscapes.


Vanessa Kilburn - Ms. Kilburn conducted her M.Sc. research on persistence and prevalence of the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) on herpetofauna in Panama. She has also done sampling for a long-term monitoring project for Fowler's toads in Long Point Ontario, and conducted trapping for Oregon Spotted Frogs in the Lower Mainland as part of a long-term monitoring project for the species in British Columbia.

Vanessa has worked extensively on Western Painted Turtle recovery efforts in the Vancouver Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, as well as the Sunshine Coast and Texada Island.  Vanessa is a member of the Western Painted Turtle Recovery Team and is lead author on the Draft Recovery Strategy for the species, which will be finalized and posted to the SARA Registry this year.  She is currently in Belize, where she will be opening a tropical research station!

Aimee Mitchell - Aimee has previously been involved in the field research, data analysis and Wildlife Habitat Area report compilation aspects of various species at risk (Coastal Tailed Frogs, Red-legged frogs, Northern Goshawks, Great Blue Herons, and Western Painted Turtles) recovery work in British Columbia through her position as an Intern Biologist at the BC Ministry of Environment. For the past few years, she has worked extensively on recovery efforts for Western Painted Turtles and associated species at risk in the Vancouver Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.

Aimee completed her M.Sc research on reintroduction techniques of the endangered Burrowing Owl in British Columbia, conducted field research across North America (including Washington and Arizona States, Alberta and Saskatchewan), continues to be involved as Science Director of the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC and is a member of the recovery teams for this species. She has been a member of the BC College of Applied Biology as a Registered Professional Biologist since 2008.

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