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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

Katie has seven years of comprehensive field, laboratory, and report-writing experience in biology, with nearly four years of experience providing ecological consulting services for land development projects. Her main area of expertise is Environmental Impact Studies. Katie has worked in a variety of research settings, including technical laboratories, greenhouses, construction sites, and remote fly-in field sites. Katie’s background is predominantly in terrestrial ecology; she has

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performed vegetation and wildlife surveys in a variety of natural and disturbed environments, including wetland, tundra, field, and forest environments. Katie is a certified Ontario Wetland Evaluator and has supported several land development projects requiring wetland delineation, evaluation, permitting, and compensation. Katie assists land development clients by applying her knowledge of the Endangered Species Act to projects that have the potential to interact with species at risk. She is also a Canadian Certified Inspector of Sediment and Erosion Control measures (CISEC #734) and a certified Butternut Health Assessor (BHA #731). In her spare time, Katie loves backcountry camping, cross-country skiing, teaching Zumba, gardening, and amateur beekeeping.  

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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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