Rhonda Moore - President
Rhonda Moore is the Executive Director, Science and Innovation at the Institute on Governance and a contract instructor in Carleton University’s Faculty of Science. Rhonda has worked in policy, research, and communications for almost 20 years, advocating for effective (science) policy and governance through clear and accurate communication.
Science communication is more than simply making science accessible to non-scientists. Done well, science communication helps to build trust and understanding in science, generate support for scientific research, and inform decision-making. Effective science communication is a meaningful and influential part of the ability to do science and a necessary requirement to uphold the social contract between science and society. As an important part of Canada’s science ecosystem, the SWCC is positioned to help mitigate a growing list of social, environmental and economic challenges in Canada and around the world.
Noelle Chorney - Vice President
I have been a communicator for more than 30 years; beginning my career at a lively tabloid in North Vancouver where I combined the roles of sports editor, municipal politics reporter and wine and food critic. I have recently retired to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, after a career spent mostly in higher education communications.
Jane Caulfield, Treasurer
With more than a decade of experience as a professional writer, journalist, and digital content strategist, Jane Caulfield has honed her skills in translating complex stories into memorable narratives both online and offline. She holds BA in physical anthropology from McMaster University, a B. Journalism from the University of King's College, an M.Sc in Marketing. Jane is currently working on a Ph.D. in strategic communications (health communication) from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has worked with several science-based clients helping them share their discoveries, covering a wide variety of topics ranging from agriculture to genetics to veterinary medicine. She is a National Newspaper Award nominee, lecturer at the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan, and a part-time potter.
Amorina Kingdon - Director and Co-Chair, Membership-Professional Development Committee
Amorina Kingdon is a science writer living in Victoria, BC. She is working on a book about animals and underwater sound, to be published Summer 2024 by Crown. Previously she was the staff writer for Hakai Magazine where she received multiple awards including a Digital Publishing Award, Canadian Online Publishing Award, and Jack Webster Award. In 2017 she was awarded Best New Magazine Writer by the National Magazine Awards. She was anthologized in Best Canadian Essays 2020. Prior to her work at Hakai Magazine she served as the first media officer for the Science Media Centre of Canada. Her fiction has appeared in PRISM Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Speculative North. She is an avid artist, hiker, and figure skater.
Catarina Chagas - Director
Catarina Chagas is a science journalist and communications professional with ~18 years of experience in writing and editing stories, books, and developing content for videos, social media, museum exhibitions, mobile apps, outreach events and beyond, helping bridge gaps between science and a variety of audiences, including children and teenagers. She has partcipated in research projects in science communication, which helped her reflect on her practices in science journalism and outreach and deepened her understanding of why and how to communicate science.
Lucas Kavanagh - Director
Lucas Kavanagh is a co-founder and the content director at Avo Media, a science-focused production and consulting company. Avo has grown year over year since its inception seven years ago, and been a finalist for provincial and national awards. Lucas’s background is in earth and ocean science, with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Victoria and a master’s degree from McGill.
For more than a decade, he has distilled complex scientific concepts into engaging media. Working both with organizations, and directly with scientists, he’s helped facilitate clear communication through writing, curriculum, mobile apps, live webcasts, podcasts, and videos. Combined, these projects have reached tens of millions of people worldwide. Lucas has been a member of the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada since 2020, and has attended three of their conferences, including as a workshop presenter. He’s looking forward to helping this vital community thrive and grow.
Nada Salem - Director, Chair of the Digital Media Committee
Nada Salem is an emerging science writer with a background in cellular biology, nanotechnology, and philosophy. She is the Communications and Campaigns Coordinator at Evidence for Democracy. Her journey in science communications began with photojournalism, videography, and writing for health startups and digital platforms, including Science Borealis.
Since 2020, Nada has served as the Director of Community Development at Emerging Health Leaders (EHL), fostering a community of healthcare leaders, which brings together students and experienced professionals to connect and learn, which are skills and practices she hopes to bring to the SWCC.
Nada believes that effective science storytelling is critical to communicating science and research in a rapidly changing world. She looks forward to exploring ways for the next generation of science communicators to build skills and connections that would help them make an impact.
Nyree St. Denis - Director
Nyree St. Denis is a seasoned science communications professional with close to 20 years experience working in government and the private sector, with a significant amount of recent experience working with Canada’s science, technology and research communities. As a member of the management team at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), she leads a team of talented and passionate communications strategists, designers, translators and event organizers to help promote the positive impact research investments have on a variety of stakeholders including the lives of everyday Canadians.
In her Director role on the Board, she lends her expertise and knowledge to help the SWCC achieve its goal of fostering quality science communication that links science and technology communicators from coast-to-coast.
Sumeep Bath - Director
Sumeep is a seasoned, skilled—and somewhat sardonic—communications professional from London, UK—now based in Winnipeg, Canada. He has been working for over 15 years in the communications field, including for the Embassy of Argentina in London, and for the Press and Public Diplomacy Section of the Delegation of the European Union to the USA in Washington, D.C.
For the last ten years, he has built an identity for IISD Experimental Lakes Area to bring a human face, accessibility (and a sense of humour!) to what has become a relatively unique science communication brand in Canada.
He manages all media outreach, social media, and communications products for that facility to ensure that the world knows all about how IISD-ELA does freshwater science like nowhere else, why it should matter to you, and how we can translate that science into policy that matters.
He speaks fluent English, Spanish and French.
Sunita LeGallou - Director, and Chair Awards Committee
Sunita LeGallou is a science communicator and experience designer with a focus on the intersection of art, science and technology. She has managed planetariums, digital projection galleries, and virtual reality games, and now works in post-secondary in creating emotional, impactful experiences for teaching and learning. She is also the host and producer of the Music for PhD's podcast. She loves nothing more than a good book and she is proud to be a part of the SWCC's annual Book Awards.
Taylor Kann - Director and Co-Chair, Membership-Professional Development Committee
Taylor Kann is a doctoral student studying at Concordia University in the Individualized Program in Humanities. Taylor's research examines media portrayals of the mRNA vaccines developed by pharmaceutical titans Pfizer and Moderna in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. A major aim of this study is to examine how the media representations of synthetic vaccines within the context of hype impact audience opinions and perceptions towards the use of synthetic biology tech in medicine currently, as well as in the future. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, I worked as a faculty coordinator at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard Medical School. I wish to serve on the board of directors as the SWCC provides unique opportunities for scientific experts, journalists, and communicators of many kinds to collaborate on disseminating science information to the public with critical values of transparency, accuracy, and fairness. All these actors contribute to the production of rigorous science coverage and serving as a member of the board would provide invaluable experiences with the science communication community at large.
Vanessa Nelson - Director
Vanessa Nelson is a bilingual communicator with more than 25 years of experience translating often complex information – scientific and other – for the general public. Through her career she has worked with a variety of organizations develop communications materials that were accessible, allowing the public to engage with and understand challenging scientific content to help inform their perspectives and decisions. From writing on topics related to renewable energies to health care to aviation, her goal has always been to create content that was accessible and engaging – making the complex comprehensible for all. As Vice President, External Relations at Let’s Talk Science, she has focused on developing engaging, exciting communications content that excites our audiences – from educators to families, and from government to industry. The mission of Let's Talk Science is to encourage everyone to explore the vast STEM resources available through our organization and foster a culture of scientific literacy in all children and youth in Canada.
Want to become involved with the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada? The SWCC has many volunteer opportunities that can help you meet new people, develop new or sharpen existing skills. To learn more, please complete this form. Don't forget to tell us about yourself.
Kay Maki (they/them) has worked in the non-profit space for about 5 years, both as a volunteer and as a community organizer, program manager, outreach coordinator and fundraiser. They've been lucky enough to work with the likes of Force of Nature Alliance, Be the Change Earth Alliance, Tri-cities Pride Society, the City of Port Moody, and St. Andrew's United Church.They've worked mostly in the climate action space, but have also worked in food insecurity, transportation, the 2SLGBTQIA+ space and in restorative justice.
They graduated from Simon Fraser University with a degree in English and International Studies with a specialty in Economics, Development and Environmental issues and a Certificate in New Media Journalism.