Our Staff

Note: Staff emails are full name separated with dot and end with ‘@olta.ca’

Alison Howson

Executive Director

Alison is our Executive Director. Alison has been a passionate supporter of land and environmental protection for many years. Before joining OLTA, she held positions leading teams focused on protecting habitats and species in the context of sustainable development and changing land use policy in the private sector. Her career experience includes leadership in business and financial development, team building, and operations. Alison started with OLTA in 2014 as the Species at Risk Specialist (SAR). She focused on delivering technical training and working one-on-one with local land trusts to develop targeted SAR action plans to inform their conservation work. As Director of Programs, Alison supported this program along with a number of new initiatives, including improving standards in the development of Conservation Easement Agreements, data management and land securement strategies.

Alison has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology and a Research Masters in Ecology and Environmental Management. She has 20 years of experience working in the field of conservation and natural heritage protection, in both for-profit and not-for-profit positions. Alison lives in Toronto with her family and spends as much time as she can hiking, biking, and spending time outdoors.

Phyllis Lee

Member Services Coordinator

Phyllis has been OLTA’s Member Services Coordinator since August 2008. Her responsibilities include organizing the annual conference, managing OLTA’s external communications and maintaining the office and related information. Phyllis has worked in the not-for-profit sector since 2002. Her experience includes event management and outreach projects. Prior to this career change, Phyllis held numerous senior management positions within the Reuters Group, both in Toronto and London, UK. Phyllis lives in Limehouse, on the Niagara Escarpment with her husband Glenn.

Morgan Roblin

Conservation Science Manager

Morgan is OLTA’s Conservation Science Manager. Morgan holds a BSc in Ecology from the University of Guelph where she completed a thesis focused on the impact of the Algonquin Park logging industry on arthropod biodiversity. Morgan has also completed a post graduate certificate in Ecosystem Restoration from Niagara College. While completing her studies, Morgan attended Ontario Biodiversity Summit in 2015 as a youth delegate and helped to form the Emerging Leaders for Biodiversity, a network for youth interested in the conservation of Ontario’s biodiversity.

Prior to joining OLTA, Morgan worked as Conservation Coordinator for the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy, coordinating stewardship activities including invasive species management, species at risk monitoring and trail maintenance. She also coordinated outreach events such as bioblitzes, workshops and festivals.

But when the work day ends Morgan keeps on going, volunteering her time with the Hamilton Naturalist Club’s Community Peregrine Project and Wildlife Preservation Canada’s Native Pollinator Initiative.

Mikayla Johnston-Clayton

Program Coordinator

Mikayla is OLTA’s Program Coordinator. Mikayla holds a Master of Environmental Science, specializing in Conservation and Biodiversity at the University of Toronto. Prior to this, Mikayla completed a BSc. in Zoology at the University of Guelph. During her studies at the University of Guelph, Mikayla participated in an Arctic Ecology field course in Churchill, MB, where she completed an independent research project exploring variation in spider community compositions with changes in vegetation density. In her spare time, Mikayla enjoys reading, skiing, hiking, and visiting her family’s cottage near Haliburton.

Erinn Todd

Grant Administrator

Erinn is OLTA’s Grant Administrator. She holds a Master of Environmental Science from the University of Toronto, specializing in Conservation and Biodiversity. She also completed a BSc. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. Erinn has done several stints in the field, including as a Volunteer Coordinator in Cuba for a marine research project, as a research assistant in northern Ontario studying the impacts of logging on small mammal ecology, and an independent research project in the Peruvian Amazon on ant feeding ecology.

Before coming to OLTA, Erinn worked as the Operations Manager at Green Venture, managing residential energy efficiency programs, bookkeeping, and their demonstration EcoHouse. In her free time, Erinn co-runs a recreational performance dance company and enjoys reading, yoga, traveling, cooking, hiking, and volunteering.

Ashley Roszko

Engagement Coordinator

Ashley is OLTA’s Engagement Coordinator. She has a MA in Community Engagement from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. Her thesis research focused on developing robust climate resilience plans in historically marginalized, urban neighbourhoods.

She is passionate about designing robust and inclusive engagement and outreach strategies that bring diverse communities into conversations and decision making around environmental issues and conservation. She enjoys collaborating on many engagement-focused environmental projects including developing emergency preparedness workshops, participating in local food initiatives and building small solar powered devices for engagement purposes.

Ashley recently moved from Edmonton, Alberta to Toronto, Ontario, traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, Anishnabeg, Chippewa, Haudenosaunee and the Wendat people. In her spare time, Ashley likes running, rock climbing, and hanging out with her labradoodle, Basil.

Longyu Gu

GIS Technician

Longyu is OLTA’s GIS Technician. Longyu has a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in geography and sociology with a minor in GIS. After graduation, he continued his education in GIS and acquired the ArcGIS Desktop Associate certification.

Previously, Longyu worked for Sheridan College in a student advisory role, and has volunteer experience in environmental organizations and advocacy NGOs. Longyu enjoys reading and exploring urban and natural environments in his spare time.

Michelle Hill

Conservation Program Specialist (Wetlands)

Michelle is OLTA’s Conservation Program Specialist for wetlands. She has a Diploma of Technology for Renewable Resources in Fish, Wildlife and Recreation and a Bachelor of Science in Ecological restoration from British Columbia Institute of Technology. She brought her skills to the next level by taking an excavator operator training course to one day build her own wetlands.

She has a passion for amphibians and reptiles (aka herptiles) and restoring the wetland habitats they call home. When she moved to Ontario, she completed the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Survey Course to gain a better understanding of the habitats used by Ontario herptiles as well as the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System training course. Last year she became a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner in Training through the Society of Ecological Restoration and volunteers for the Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner certification committee.

Michelle has a previous background at Credit Valley Conservation where she was an assistant with both the terrestrial naturalization and aquatic and wetland habitat restoration departments. She is also a crew lead at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority in the Restoration Services Center.

In her spare time, Michelle loves camping, hiking, ultimate frisbee, scrapbooking, bouldering, and a good book.

Alisa Charbonneau

Conservation and Restoration Technician

Alisa is OLTA’s Conservation and Restoration Technician for the summer. Alisa holds a Certificate from the General Arts and Science for Environmental and Natural Resource program. She also completed the Ecosystem Management Technician diploma program, both located at Fleming College in Lindsay, Ontario. Prior to joining OLTA, Alisa completed a field placement with The Friends of the Rouge Watershed; during this placement, the team of five planted over 4,000 trees in just two weeks!

Alisa’s passion for the outdoors began at a young age through camping with family, playing in the mud, and always being on the search for critters. Outside of work Alisa spends her time playing outside with her dogs, reading, and going on adventures with her partner.

Jean Labrecque

Bookkeeper

Jean is a non-profit consultant in the accounting field. Having worked for not-for-profits for over 37 years, she has extensive experience with accounting as well as charity guidelines. Jean lives in Port Credit with her husband Paul and enjoys the small town feeling of the Port. Any free time they have is spent at the cottage in Georgian Bay.