About Us

Steering Committee

AHC is currently governed by a Steering Committee comprised of eleven members. The committee convenes quarterly and votes on all of the major activities that the Secretariat pursues. 

Brad Fairley, B.Sc., MES.

Director, 5 Smooth Stone Restoration Inc.
Brad has more than 35 years experience in water resources management – the last 20 years have focused on stream restoration.  Brad has completed more than 100 stream restoration projects in Canada and the United States.  In 2018, Brad opened his own company so that he could focus on improving the quality of stream restoration work in Canada and on developing habitat banking as a funding mechanism for stream restoration projects.  He is also the President of RiverSHARED, an organization that promotes a culture of sharing to guide river restoration.

Karen McDonald

Sr. Manager, Ecosystem Management, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Lucas Warner, M.Sc., P.Biol

Director, 5 Smooth Stones Restoration Inc.
Lucas brings more than 17 years of experience in aquatic habitat and regulatory compliance for projects in and around water, including considerable experience with the Fisheries Act and DFO’s Pathways of Effects (PoE).  Lucas Warner recently joined 5SSR to promote information sharing and improving habitat protection and restoration work and brings a focus of improving the environmental impact assessment process and regulatory compliance for works in and around water. Lucas’ extensive aquatic biology experience includes conducting environmental assessments, developing avoidance and mitigation strategies, designing restoration and offsetting habitat, developing monitoring programs, and working with federal and provincial regulatory agencies, as well as Indigenous communities, to obtain permits and approvals. Lucas’s extensive regulatory experience includes the development of provincial guidance documents for work in and around water in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. He has also developed a national assessment framework for pipeline and associated temporary access roads to assess compliance with the Fisheries Act and Species at Risk Act; reviewed through the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat.

Michael Power

Professor, University of Waterloo

Rick Portiss

Sr. Manager, Ecosystem Management, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
As a Senior Manager with the Watershed Planning and Ecosystem Science section at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority he’s responsible for managing/supervising and implementing the Aquatic Environmental and Project Monitoring programs within the agency, this includes multi -year internal and regional monitoring projects.  Rick’s role of supervising these environmental monitoring programs is aimed at measuring the success of habitat restoration works by documenting local and regional conditions and bio-physical attributes of the projects including: fish and wildlife community surveys, wetland monitoring, bio-monitoring, sediment surveys and physical habitat surveys.  Rick works with research and development partners using  innovative approaches to aquatic habitat improvements to achieve a common goal of a sustainable environment.  Rick has been with TRCA for 27 years and has seen vast changes in the natural environment of the region.

Susan Doka

Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada                                                                              

Dr. Susan Doka has worked with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) since 1995.  She completed her doctorate on linking fish habitat to population dynamics through DFO and McMaster University.  She has been working as a Research Scientist since 2001 and regularly collaborates with US and Canadian agencies, environmental organizations, and universities.  She specializes in combining remote sensing and field-based information, using that information in statistical and theoretical modelling to evaluate the effects of various stressors on habitat quality, supply, and fish community dynamics.  Some stressors she has evaluated include: water regulation, habitat loss and modification, climate change, and invasive species impacts.  Recent work has focused on habitat conservation, protection, and restoration assessment, target setting, and planning (Habitat CPR).  She presented at, and chaired, many scientific sessions and workshops on these topics.  Her scientific contributions include many joint publications and reports, as well as advice to regulatory and conservation groups in the Great Lakes and Canada.  She is happy to support Aquatic Habitat Canada.


James Manicom

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Jenie Cooper 

Fisheries Protection Biologist, Triage and Planning                                    Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Nicolas Lapointe

Senior Conservation Biologist, Freshwater Ecology                                  Canadian Wildlife Federation

Jay Wilson

Director, Generation and Stewardship                                              Canadian Electricity Association

Larry McDermott

Executive Director                                                                                        Plenty Canada

There are also numerous active members on our working groups – check out what they’re up to here.