Executive 2023

Nature PEI is directed by a volunteer executive elected from its members at the annual meeting. The 2023 executive is comprised of:

  • President    Gerald MacDougall
  • Vice President    Jennifer Woods
  • Past President       Rosemary Curley, Stratford, (902) 569-1209
  • Secretary      Robert Harding, Summerville, (902) 838-2699
  • Treasurer     Kassidy Matheson
  • Editor of Island Naturalist  Morgan Olivia McNeil
  • Director-Programs & Publicity  Julie-Lynn Zahavich
  • Director-Field Trips  Hannah Morrison


Gerald MacDougall has been working in the field of wildlife conservation for over 45 years. He is the retired Head of the Provincial Fish and Wildlife Division. Before that he was the Provincial Head of Investigations and Enforcement for the Department of Environment, PEI Climate Change Coordinator.  Gerald has served as co-chair of the Wildlife Directors Committee for Canada, is a past Vice- President of Nature PEI and has served on the Board of Directors for the Island Nature Trust, the Abegweit Conservation Society and past President of International Hunter Education Association for Canada. Gerald has his Masters in Environment and Management, and enjoys the outdoors, whether that’s bird watching, sailing, hiking or biking. He has a special fondness for eagles having monitored their population on PEI since 1980 and continues into retirement banding eaglets and tracking their population.


Jennifer Woods is a Certified North American Wildlife Technician with over 5 years of experience successfully leading projects across PEI watersheds. She has recently joined the Board of Executives with Nature PEI and volunteers with several organizations including Island Trails and PEI Ground Search & Rescue. Outside of work, she can be found outdoors, alongside her dog, in all kinds of weather. 


Rosemary Curley (MSc), has served on the Nature PEI Executive in several roles over the years and is currently Past President. She is a retired biologist, the co-author of a recent book on PEI mammals, and a frequent user of iNaturalist.


Robert Harding is a long-time member of Nature PEI, and has served on the Executive for the last few years as Secretary. Bob is a strong supporter of community science, and has been helping document the Island’s flora and fauna using tools like iNaturalist. He currently works as Public Outreach Education Officer for Parks Canada on PEI. 


Kassidy is an accredited North American Wildlife Conservation Technician who has a keen interest in native plant species. She has been working as an invasive species technician with the PEI Invasive Species Council since June of 2021 and is a volunteer secretary with the Ducks Unlimited Charlottetown Chapter. Kassidy is a novice birder and has been a participant in PEI’s nocturnal owl survey for several years. One of Kassidy’s favourite plants is Red Osier Dogwood, it is a native shrub that is easily grown, fire resistant and is an excellent food source for our native bees and birds.


Morgan Olivia McNeil has a passion for writing and other communications, and getting fresh air outside. She enjoys going for nature walks, and she is a keen nature photographer; particularly close-ups with intricate details. She is interested in making the earth a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly place to live, and improving the health of our soils. 


Julie-Lynn Zahavich (MSc) has served as Nature PEI’s Programs and Publicity Director since January 2023. She is a biologist, painter, rug hooker, hiker, and iNaturalist enthusiast. One of her favourite birds is the piping plover, which she admires for their quirky behaviours and ability to persist in harsh environments. 


Hannah Morrison grew up in Stratford, PEI. She completed her B.Sc in Biology at UPEI in 2019, and her Advanced Diploma in GIS from COGS in 2023. She has spent time working with Ellen’s Creek Watershed Group, PEI Invasive Species Council and Nature PEI. Hannah enjoys kayaking, hiking, disc golf and spending time outdoors with her dog, Bear.


Chris (Konczal) Ortenburger studied biology and veterinary medicine in Virginia before moving to PEI for a job at the Atlantic Veterinary College, and later focused on homesteading and homeschooling (with a decided emphasis on nature study).  She volunteers with local organizations, compiles a daily newsletter on environment and civic engagement and serves on the board of East Coast Environmental Law Association.  She has four grown kids and lives in Bonshaw. When not in front of a screen or reading, Chris is likely wandering in the woods.

2 Responses to Executive 2023


    Hi _ I saw the ad for Ms Curley’s book and I am looking forward to reading it. I have a mammal PEI story pre 1953. Never told before. If I had an email to send it to I could write it up – too long for here.

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