2020/2021 PRSSS Executive

Click here to learn more about the executive positions.


Patricia Hanuszak, M.Sc. Student in Soil Science, UBC


Patricia (Trish) is a M.Sc. student at UBC with Dr. Sean Smukler. Trish’s interest in soil was ignited when she learned about agronomy as a career during her time abroad. Her work experience includes winery production and wine making, sterile insect release technology, and more recently an involvement with a grassland set-aside project in Delta, B.C. Trish’s dream is a small secluded plot of land with a fertile loam soil and a creek that runs year-round. When Trish is not in school she can be found out in nature whether at the beach or in the trees.







Past President

Alex Kramer, M.Sc. Student in Soil Science, UBC

Alex Kramer received his B.Sc. in Microbiology at the University of Victoria. Through his undergrad, he worked at an environmental chemistry lab followed by the BC Proteomics lab in Victoria. After a year off, Alex came to UBC to find a program in which he could effect change in the environment. Currently, Alex is working on his M.Sc. in Soil Science with Dr. Maja Krzic and Dr. Brian Wallace at UBC. His project focuses on long term carbon storage in grasslands in the Southern Interior of BC.








President-Elect/Vice President

Jordan Kesey, Ph.D. Student in Soil Science, UBC

Jordy Kersey received her B.Sc. in Environmental Science and Biology at Iowa State University, USA. Throughout her undergrad, she worked in a soil chemistry lab which allowed her to discover her love for research and all things soil nitrogen related. After taking a year off, Jordy completed her M.Sc. in soil science at Oregon State University. Her master’s thesis focused on soil health in managed forest systems. Currently, Jordy is working on her PhD with Dr. Sean Smukler. Her project will be focused on soil health dynamics and climate change resiliency in agricultural fields of the Alaksen National Wildlife Area.










Chelsea Gowton, Ph.D. student Plant and Insect Ecology and Evolution, UBC

I am a Ph.D. in the Plant-Insect Ecology and Evolution lab student studying how plant domestication affects plant-microbial interactions. I finished my MSc in Plant Science in the summer 2019. My MSc research focused on using scents to disrupt host finding behaviour in Drosophila suzukii (Spotted Wing Drosophila), an invasive insect pest of small fruits. After finishing my BSc in Ecology from Susquehanna University, I spent some time as an intern studying carbon dynamics in cattle grazing systems at the MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center in Lake Placid, Florida. Before moving to Vancouver, I worked in quality assurance for a Pennsylvania brewery. In my spare time, you can find me with my dog on the local hiking trails, trying new recipes in the kitchen, or finding new DIY projects.







Fernanda Diaz-Osorio, B.Sc. Student in Global Resource Systems, UBC

Fernanda moved from Oaxaca, Mexico, to study at UBC. She holds a BSc. in Global Resource Systems, with a focus on Sustainable Agriculture and Economics. Growing up, she spent a significant amount of time at her family’s restaurants, and developed a deep interest in food systems. However, it was not until she took an Introductory Soil Science class with Dr. Sandra Brown that her passion for soil was born. She had the opportunity to work at organic farms in both France and Belgium. Her research interests lie at the intersection of conservation, education and economics. Fernanda enjoys trying new food, hiking, playing tennis and solving sudokus.








Website and Social Media Coordinator


Hannah Friesen, B.Sc. Student in Global Resource Systems, UBC

Hannah recently graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Science in Global Resource Systems from the Land and Food Systems Faculty. She is especially interested in soil science and how it can be used to address environmental concerns and assist farmers in management decisions. Since pursuing an education at UBC, her passion for soil has grown as a result of classes, especially sustainable soil management and lab methods in soil science, as well as working in the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes lab on an organic vegetable nutrient management project. When she’s not playing in the soil, Hannah can be found biking, hiking or talking to llamas.







Website and Social Media Coordinator

Jeremiah DuBovis, B.Sc. Student in Global Resource Systems, UBC

In the summer of 2017, Jeremiah moved to Vancouver from the red rock country of Arizona to, initially, study urban forestry. However, after taking an introduction to soil science course, Jeremiah had a change of interest and switched to the Global Resource Systems within the Faculty of Land and Food systems. Jeremiah’s primary interest are in soil science and dryland restoration ecology. He is currently completing his fourth and final year in his degree program, where he is conducting a meta-analysis on the interactions between biocrusts and vascular plants under the supervision of Dr. Les Lavkulich and Dr. Autumn Watkinson. When he’s not in school, Jeremiah can be found rock climbing or making music.






Newsletter Coordinator

Cara LeGault, B.Sc. Student of Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment, UBC

Cara LeGault is in her fourth year of Sustainable Agriculture and Environment at UBC. She does not enjoy referring to herself in third person (haha) but thoroughly enjoys soil science and the collision of agricultural and social sciences. Cara has worked in a variety of roles on farms and in her faculty, Land and Food Systems, that involve agricultural education and sustainable farming. She is a firm believer that sharing knowledge has the power to make progress towards more sustainable and holistic food systems. Cara is interested in soil conservation from a practical perspective on the farm scale as healthy soil is a key component in healthy agroecosystems. Her interest in sustainable agriculture was sparked at young age and fostered throughout her degree at UBC. When not in the field or behind a microscope, Cara enjoys hiking, yoga, dancing and baking!






Newsletter Coordinator

Morgan Hamilton, B.Sc. Student in Global Resource Systems, UBC

Morgan Hamilton received her BSc in Global Resource Systems at UBC with a focus on Food Systems in North America. Morgan values engaging with food and supporting food system at many points along the way- from working in the Sustainable Agriculture Landscapes lab, to growing food in her home garden, and serving at local restaurants. Her research interests include soil carbon sequestration, soil remediation, and vineyard soils.










Regional Representative


Stephanie Wilford, M.Sc. of Ecology Student, UNBC

Stephanie Wilford is a UNBC graduate student working with Dr. Wood. Her research focuses on ecosystem recovery after wildfire in north central B.C.. She finished her undergraduate degree in Forestry at UNBC with a minor in Biology and Conservation and holds a Diploma in Environmental Technology from Camosun College. She has a keen interest in mycology focusing on forest mycorrhizae, the rhizosphere, understory vegetation, larch and molluscs. Originally from Victoria, she has spent her time doing ecological research on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Island. In 2017, Stephanie took to northern B.C. to explore an entirely different ecosystem and has since planted her roots. When she isn’t in the field, lab or writing, she enjoys her time playing roller derby, and hiking or mountain biking with her two dogs Alma and Maple.





Click here for Past Executives