Keith was born and raised in North West River, Labrador and graduated from Lake Melville School in 1987.
Keith obtained his B.Sc. from Dalhousie, M.Sc. from Acadia, a PhD from Memorial. Keith has worked in both the private and public sectors.
Prior to joining the Labrador Institute Keith worked with Environment Canada, and prior to that with the Labrador Inuit Association. Keith enjoys the outdoors and is especially fond of music and sports.
Martha MacDonald, Associate Director
Martha MacDonald has lived in Labrador since 1988. She is the Associate Director of Education and Training, she has been employed with LI since 1999, and also teaches folklore in the college-university transfer year at the College of the North Atlantic. She studied at Mount Allison University, Universite de Strasbourg and Memorial. She volunteers in the arts community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and has a long-term interest in Labrador culture and history.
Beatrice started working with the Labrador Institute on a four-month contract in 1981. During the years, she has worked as a secretary and administrative staff specialist.
Throughout her employment she met many interesting people through the Labrador Institute and the St. John's campus.
In her spare time, she is an avid photographer and has taken some of the landscape shots that appear on the Labrador Institute web site.
Dr. Ron Sparkes has been involved with education and special projects in Newfoundland and Labrador for the past 40 years serving as President of the College of the North Atlantic, President of the Labrador College, and Superintendent of Education with the Labrador East Integrated School Board. He was Federal Facilitator for the establishment of an Environmental Institute to Monitor Low Level Flight Training in Labrador and Quebec, and Co-Chaired Government's 1999-2000 Panel on Educational Delivery. In 2002 he completed a two-year secondment to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador as Deputy Minister of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs and now serves as Labrador Associate with the Labrador Institute of Memorial University.
Karen Pottle-Fewer joined the Labrador Institute in the fall of 2009 as Program Coordinator in the Labrador West office. Karen was born and raised in Labrador City, NL and graduated from Menihek High School. She has obtained certificates in Library Studies and Business Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration, all from Memorial University.
Prior to joining the Labrador Institute team, Karen worked at College of the North Atlantic as a Library Technician and Business Development Officer. She has also been employed with the Labrador School Board and Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries.
In her leisure time, Karen enjoys walking, reading and scrapbooking and has a long-time interest in genealogy.
Dr. Schiff joined the Labrador Institute in 2011 as Assistant Professor (Aboriginal Health) with the Division of Community Health & Humanities in the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University. Prior to joining the Institute, Rebecca was Assistant Professor in the Department of Justice Studies at the University of Regina.
Rebecca has degrees from McGill University and a PhD in Sustainable Development from Murdoch University (Australia). Issues of social justice, sustainable development, social policy, and public health have been at the forefront of Rebecca's career. She is resolutely committed to community-based research that is rooted in truly collaborative, engaged and respectful inquiry. Dr. Schiff has extensive experience working with the non-profit sector and marginalised communities.
In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys music, gardening, and exploring the great outdoors.
Find out more about Dr. Schiff's research interests and activities here: http://www.med.mun.ca/Medicine/Faculty/Schiff,Rebecca.aspx
Scott Neilsen lives in North West River, Labrador with his wife and two daughters. He is a PhD candidate/researcher at Memorial University, an anthropology instructor at the College of North Atlantic, and a heritage resource specialist. His primary research focus is on the long-term history of indigenous people in eastern Quebec and Labrador, and their relations with one-another, settlers, visitors and the environment. More generally, he is interested in the culture and history of small-scale societies from around the world, and the impact of climate and the environment on their immediate adaptations and long-term transformations.
As an instructor he is interested in archaeological and anthropological theory, and the history and role of these disciplines within society. His varied and extensive work as a heritage resource consultant has helped Scott develop keen research and fieldwork skills, which he is able to apply in an efficient and effective manner.
Morgon came to Labrador in 2007, shortly after receiving his M.A. from the University of Toronto. He joined Memorial University in 2010 and now puts his education to use in a variety of ways, teaching literature, promoting academic skill development, and most recently helping out with the Labrador Institute's library collections. As of May, 2012, he is employed as a Program Coordinator in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
He is currently working on a Certificate in Library Studies, has written an as-yet unpublished fantasy novel, and is the top-rated competitive chess player in the province.
Diane Brown joined the Labrador Institute Team in January 2012 as Intermediate Secretary working part-time.
Diane previously worked as the Housing Program Officer for NunatuKavut.
She enjoys crafts, the outdoors, and has a great interest in genealogy.
Doreen Best joined the Labrador Institute team as Manager of Administration and Finance in April 2012.
Doreen was born and raised and graduated from high school in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. She has completed a diploma in Administration supplemented by further studies in communication, leadership, finance, human relations and business management. Prior to joining the Labrador Institute, Doreen worked with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Bell Aliant, NL Legal Aid Commission and College of the North Atlantic.
In her leisure time, Doreen enjoys family time, cabin life, boating in summer, snowmobiling in winter, piano and gardening.
Marie Clément is an Aquatic Ecologist at the Marine Institute's Center for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER) stationed at the Labrador Institute. She holds a master of science in biology from the University of New Brunswick and a doctor of philosophy in zoology from the University of Guelph. Prior to joining CFER, Marie worked for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for 11 years (2001 – 2012). She began her career as an Atlantic salmon stock assessment biologist. Since 2004, she has studied the effects of anthropogenic activities on riverine habitat and fish populations and the efficiency of mitigation measures (e.g., peatland exploitation, timber harvesting, dam removal and fishways passage efficiency). Using fin tissue stable isotope and otolith microchemistry analyses, she also investigated migration patterns of American eel between saline summer feeding grounds to freshwater overwintering. Her current research interests focus on quantifying the effects of anthropogenic activities on freshwater and estuarine ecosystems, including the effects of hydro-electric dams, mining and climate change. More specifically, she is interested in bioaccumulation of mercury in food webs, instream flow requirements, sediment transport and alteration of life-history traits in fishes.
John Thistle is a Research Associate with the Labrador Institute, and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography at Memorial University. His teaching and research interests span environmental history, economic geography, and science studies. He recently completed a book manuscript called Resettling the Range: Animals, Ecologies and Human Communities in Early British Columbia (under review at UBC Press), and is currently collecting archival materials for a book-length manuscript on the economic geography of twentieth century Labrador. Dr. Thistle is based in North West River.
Joinal joined the Labrador Institute in November 2012. He got his B.Sc. degree in Agriculture and M. Sc. Ag in Soil Science from Bangladesh Agricultural University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Soil science from the University of Aberdeen, UK. In his Ph.D. research he studied: (i) arsenic accumulation, toxicity and metabolism in rice; (ii) adsorption/ availability of arsenic in soils; (iii) uptake kinetics of arsenic in rice; and (iv) speciation (transformation/fate) of arsenic in soil solution and plant tissue. He also had obtained a postgraduate certificate in ‘Environmental Engineering Applications’ from Conestoga College, Ontario. Before coming to Labrador, Dr. Abedin worked at Bangladesh Rice Research Institute as a Soil Scientist for more than 10 years, at Laurentian University as a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow for two years and subsequently as a Research Scientist for another three years. At Laurentian University he was involved in projects concerning assessment of bioavailability/bioaccessibility/phytoavailability of contaminant metals and metalloids in mining impacted regional soils. Dr Abedin’s research focus is to improve the productivity of sandy soils of Happy Valley-Goose Bay by crop/soil management practices. He is also interested in the reduction of methyl-mercury production in Lower Churchill hydroelectric generation reservoir.
Merline is a Research Associate in the area of Earth Sciences and Mineral Deposits at the Labrador Institute. She received her B.Sc. in Earth Sciences (1997), and her M.Sc. (1999) and postgraduate diploma, DEA (2000) in Petrology-Volcanology from the University of Yaoundé I (Cameroon), and her Ph.D. in Geology and Igneous Petrology (2005) from the University of Würzburg (Germany). Merline’s doctoral research focused on the tectonic evolution of Neoproterozoic Pan-African/Brasiliano belt (in West Cameroon), and the aspects of magmatic activity associated with it, using mineral chemistry, geochemistry, geochronology (Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd & EMP TH-U-Pb of monazite) and fluid inclusion study.
Prior to joining the Labrador Institute, Merline worked at Queen’s Facility for Isotope Research (QFIR), Department of Geological Sciences of Queen’s University as Postdoctoral fellow (2006-2010) in the field of Geochemistry applied to mineral exploration and environmental monitory and at Kingston Process Metallurgy Inc. (KPM), a consulting company providing Research and Development services to mining, metallurgical and chemical industries, specializing in Applied and Process Mineralogy for two years.
Merline is responsible for conducting scientific research to provide mining and mineral exploration companies, and relevant licensing and governance bodies operating in Labrador, with key technical information that can ultimately lead toward the opening of new mineral mining operations. She is working in collaboration with researchers in the Department of Earth Science, Memorial University, and other research partners of Labrador Institute to aid in the development of mineral exploration in Labrador, undertaking projects that target various mineral deposits in Labrador, such as banded iron formations, rare earth element-enriched deposits, orthomagmatic nickel sulphide and uranium deposits.
Merline is equally passionate about things outside the world of geosciences, including indoor and outdoor activities, fine cuisine, home decor, and most importantly music and dance.