Staff and Consultants | Carolinian Canada

Staff and Consultants

Michelle Kanter - Executive Director

Michelle Kanter has held the position of Executive Director of the Carolinian Canada Coalition since 2003 and has been involved with the Coalition since its inception in 1984. With 30 years of experience in wildlife research and land stewardship, she has worked with a broad range of stakeholders around the world on innovative conservation partnerships to save, steward and seed important habitat and rare species. Since she started at the Coalition, programs have grown five-fold, thanks to a strong team of individuals and groups that focus on ecosystem recovery in southwestern Ontario. With a home base in Dorchester Swamp, she enjoys exploring nature’s role in healthy communities, photography, hiking and writing. She currently sits on the Ontario Species at Risk Public Advisory Committee.

Koral Wysocki - Program Manager

Koral Wysocki is a strategic leader passionate about addressing diverse challenges through an environmental lens. As Program Manager, she supports teams at Carolinian Canada and World Wildlife Fund to accelerate a cultural shift toward values of connectedness to nature, responsible stewardship and energized community. Koral completed her Masters of Science in Conservation and Community Development, specializing in the systematic evaluation of conservation programs with integrated social justice goals.

Kathryn McLeod - Marketing & Communications Strategy Specialist

Kathryn is a forest wanderer, activator, innovator, traveler, and awkward dancer. She has a professional background in the private and not-for-profit sectors and is a pioneering business marketer specializing in Social Enterprise.

Her life and professional experiences have led her down a different path than most. A few years ago, she had an insane dream that would require her to leave her job, sell all of her possessions, buy a one-way ticket to Africa and risk everything. In 2012, she made that dream a reality by co-founding a web-based initiative geared towards raising the awareness of Global Citizenship. Was she scared? You bet! Confident that traveling around the world would broaden her mind? Absolutely!

After hundreds of days spent living the digital nomadic life, she is committed to sustainable community development through social innovation and meaningful change. Now, she's super stoked to join the CCC team and support the Go Wild Grow Wild Expo!

Tristan Bentley - IT Systems Coordinator, Webmaster

Tristan Bentley is a visual artist, web designer, and teacher. The Internet is synonymous with communication in today's society. As the webmaster and eco-news editor for the Carolinian Canada Coalition since October 2010, Tristan brings his diverse educational background to bare in helping the Coalition move forward technologically. Camping, hiking, and canoeing since childhood, Tristan also feels very at home in the natural settings of the Carolinian Zone, and feels that CCC is the right place to be in order to help protect all of the things in nature that he loves.

Ben Porchuk - Carolinian Zone Ecologist

Ben Porchuk has over two decades of experience in wildlife biology and ecology, non-profit management, environmental consulting, and sustainable living. Working with rural threatened ecosystems in southern Ontario and in densely population urban centres, Ben has become both a highly experienced practitioner on ecological systems recovery and an strong agent for restoring urban ecology to greater resiliency. Now living in a densely populated area of a London, Ontario, Ben's property consists of over 150 species of native plants, including a wetland, all visited by many rare species of wildlife, seldom observed in the downtown of a city.

Follow Ben's Blog at

Lisa Boyce - Administrative Assistant

Lisa Boyce has lived in London, Ontario since the age of eight when her family moved from Hastings, England. After attending Fanshawe College in London for Accounting, Management and Business, Lisa opened her own business, Boyce Business Services, to use her skills and aid other small businesses with their management, bookkeeping and administration needs. Lisa and her husband Warren continue to raise their children Matthew and Alexandria in London and enjoy hiking, camping and bicycling so they can teach their children to enjoy and take care of this fabulous country we live in.

Melissa Taylor-Gates (she/her)

​Melissa Taylor-Gates believes foremost in empathy and compassion for those in the world around us. Her work centralizes around power inequality and authentic communication, often working with teams to improve processes and deepen community connections. She strive to foster safe spaces where people can learn from and care for each other in a holistic way. She has a Masters degree in Library and Information Science and a Certificate in Project Management from Western University.

Outside her work, she is a storyteller, archer, tea-lover, feminist, writer, and gamer.

Stefan Weber, MSc- Ecologist and PhD Candidate

Stefan is a plant ecologist and horticulturalist with a keen interest in rare native plants, seed conservation and ecosystem restoration. In addition to his role with CCC, Stefan is the director and co-founder of the Ontario Plant Restoration Alliance, a small not-for profit organization that helps create ex-situ 'Seed Conservation Orchards' to support the restoration of uncommon and threatened plants. Stefan is in the final writing stages of a PhD in Ecology at McMaster University, where he studies grassland restoration, invasion biology, and climate adaptation in wildflowers. He has also worked as a Botanist for the Toronto Botanical Garden, the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, and the St. Williams Ecology Centre. Stefan has propagated over 200 species of native plants from seed and curates several garden collections of these species in Norfolk County and Niagara region.

Brandon Doxtator - Indigenous Leadership Coordinator

Brandon Doxtator is a 25 year old bear clan member from the Oneida Nation of the Thames. Brandon currently sits on the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI) Youth Council, as well as working for the Oneida Nation as the Environment and Consultation Coordinator. In 2016, Brandon served a two year term as an Elected Councillor for the Oneida Nation of the Thames, and ever since has been passionate about working with youth, and protecting and enhancing critical habitat within Southwestern Ontario. Through his school, professional and life experiences, Brandon is always interested in talking about Anthropology, History, Indigenous issues, Treaty and Inherent rights and Consultation practices and protocols.

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