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Our Team

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Ori Urquhart M.Sc., EP

Ori found their love for nature as a child, mucking about in the wetlands and forests of Northumberland County. Ori has over 15 years of experience as an ecologist and land manager.  Their passion is reptiles, amphibians and species at risk. That is the specialty of Blazing Star Environmental although we perform a wide variety of ecological services. Ori founded Blazing Star Environmental in 

2015 to support individuals, organizations, and governments that endeavour to ensure a healthy environment is part of all aspects of growth in Ontario. Ori is the President of the Ontario Invasive Plant Council, Treasurer of the Canadian Herpetological Society, and is a member of Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative’s Road Ecology Committee. Ori is a lover of the outdoors, disc golf, ultimate frisbee, craft beer, and travel. 

Katie Black, M.Sc.
Senior Ecologist

Meet Katie, our ecological wizard! Katie has over eight years of hands-on experience in biology, with over five years in ecological consulting. Well-versed in environmental legislation, Katie’s our go-to guru for land development projects. Joining the Blazing Star Environmental team in July 2022, Katie has been leading the charge on Environmental Impact Studies, road ecology projects, and initiatives to support farmers in helping species at risk. 

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From labs to construction sites to remote field adventures, Katie’s done it all. Specializing in terrestrial ecology, she’s surveyed everything from forests to tundra, bringing her expertise to wetland evaluation, permitting, and more. 

Katie brings passion and professionalism to everything she does and is a valued member of our management team. But she’s not just business—when she's not in meetings, in the field, or at her desk, you'll find her backcountry camping, cross-country skiing, teaching Zumba, or gardening.  

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Siobhan Galway, B.E.S.
Terrestrial and Wetland Ecologist

Siobhan is an ecologist with over five years of experience in applied conservation and stewardship projects.  Siobhan has extensive experience leading teams in the inventory, monitoring, and recovery of at-risk reptile species in the remote and rugged habitats of northern Ontario. She also specializes in integrating Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with applied conservation initiatives. She coordinates 

various projects that focus on Western Chorus Frog conservation. She also has experience evaluating natural heritage features, Ecological Land Classification, grant and report writing, mapping, educational outreach, and coordinating citizen science programs.   She is also a certified Ontario Wetland Evaluator. In her spare time, Siobhan loves camping, hiking, dogsledding, woodworking, and surfing. 

Cayla Darling B.Sc.
Species at Risk Ecologist 

Cayla has over three years of experience in the environmental field in restoration, invasive species management, Species-at-Risk and vegetation monitoring, and GIS analysis.  Cayla is an Certified Ontario Wetland Evaluator and has completed several delineations with Blazing Star. She has experience in conducting Environmental Impact Studies and has coordinated several large-scale vegetation monitoring projects. In her spare time Cayla likes to hike, camp, kayak, and curl up with a good book. 

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Maureen Jackson B.Sc.

Maureen has over three years of experience completing long-term ecological monitoring and protected areas management projects, specializing in species at risk, radiotelemetry, and wetland and terrestrial vegetation surveys. Maureen is not your average office admin gal – she started her journey at BSE as a Species at Risk Technician and has since transformed into the mighty role of Administrator, wielding her expertise to help the team conquer and navigate all project management, fieldwork, and organizational challenges! In her spare time, you can find Maureen relaxing at home or out and about on a hiking, biking, or camping adventure.  

Michael Ashawasegai
Species at Risk Technician 

Michael is a Field Supervisor with over 8 years of experience collaborating with a variety of organizations across the Eastern Georgian Bay area. Throughout his career as a Terrestrial Ecologist, Reptile Monitor, and Species at Risk Technician, he has contributed to many ecological monitoring projects in remote areas with the aim to reduce harm and mitigate impacts on species at risk in sensitive habitats. Michael’s survey experience includes conducting reptile monitoring and visual encounter surveys, vegetation surveys, eDNA surveys, invasive species monitoring, and more. When he is not working, he can be found spending time with his loved ones or playing video games with friends and family.  

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