Meet the Leaders

Chris Cloutier
Chris is the longtime resident naturalist at the Morgan Arboretum in Montreal, where he leads a variety of excursions on everything from insects and birds, to forest ecology, and most things in between. He is also a teacher at Vanier College in the Environmental and Wildlife Management Program, where he teaches several courses including physical geography, forestry and entomology. Chris has a Master's degree in Entomology and enjoys the uncanny notoriety of being a mosquito expert! Another self-proclaimed 'nature geek', when not chasing after his young daughter, he likes to spend his free time birding, fishing and catching odonates. Chris is in training as a future Quest leader.
Sarah Rupert
Sarah Rupert is a life-long southern Ontario girl and has been a nature lover since day one.  She has a particular passion and fascination for birds, which she loves to share through interpretive programs, art and other media.  Sarah has been birding her entire life, and hasn't missed a spring at Point Pelee since her first visit at 2.5 months old. Currently living in Leamington ON, her day job is with Parks Canada and the rest of the time she can be found looking at, drawing or painting the natural world around her.  She eagerly awaits the arrival of spring, and birders, to Pelee each spring.
Todd Pepper
Todd started birding at Point Pelee in the spring of 1991 and has since seen over 80% of the historically recorded species within the Pelee Birding Area. He has an ABA list of 732 species, including all 685 breeding species in North America. Todd is also active with the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory where he is a hawk counter, owl and passerine bander.

 

Karl Konze
Karl has been leading guided bird walks for the Friends of Point Pelee every spring since 1993. (He is very familiar with the Park's trail system and knows where to go to find the birds). When he's not at Point Pelee he is working in Guelph as an Environmental Consultant.
Chris Earley
Chris Earley is the University of Guelph Arboretum's Interpretive Biologist and Education Coordinator and a self-proclaimed 'nature geek'. He teaches workshops at the Arboretum. Chris has also written a series of very popular bird identification books and children's nature books too. His latest work is called 100 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario. Chris has led many previous Quest tours, including to the High Arctic, the Galapagos Islands, Sri Lanka and several to eastern and southern Africa. His zoological knowledge is impressively broad and virtually encyclopedic, and his enthusiasm for wildlife is contagious!
Dave Milson
Dave Milsom is an expert naturalist who has travelled and led many Quest tours throughout Europe, North and South America and Antarctica. He is extremely knowledgeable about birds, mammals and butterflies.

James Lees
Born and raised in England, James Lees has been keenly interested in nature from a very young age and has worked in the conservation field for the last 15 years. James is a seasoned worldwide nature tour leader. Over his career he has visited 25 countries including Kenya, Kazakhstan, many different European countries, Mexico, and various parts of the USA and Canada. When he is not away on a tour abroad he is an avid local birder and naturalist and can be found close to home in all weather conditions! New with Quest Nature Tours, James has been lauded for his skill in helping all outing participants benefit from their experience to the fullest.

Ian Shanahan
Ian Shanahan is the quintessential educator. He recently completed a stint as the Senior Naturalist at Ontario's Algonquin Provincial Park, where he had previously worked as a Seasonal Park Naturalist for a few years. His love for natural history has taken him to many countries where he enjoys wildlife watching, photographing and sketching. He is also a gifted actor, vocal performer and dramatist. Ian has led many tours within Canada and to far-flung places as the Galapagos, Iceland, Costa Rica and Canada's Northwest Passage. He returns to Canada's Arctic this summer.
Justin Peter
Justin Peter is Quest Nature Tours' Director of Programs and Senior Naturalist, and Vice-President of the Toronto Ornithological Club. Born and raised in Canada's capital, Justin has been leading bird walks since the age of 14. Justin worked for several years as the Senior Naturalist at Ontario's world-renowned Algonquin Park, where he coordinated the park's interpretive program and acted as lead howler for the park's celebrated Public Wolf Howl events. Justin has been an international traveller since childhood. He has led Quest trips to Churchill, Peru, Namibia, the Galapagos Islands, and India. His ear for bird vocalizations is particularly keen and he looks forward to pointing out birds and other interesting natural phenomena to you!
Jean Iron
Ontario's best-known birder, Jean is a past president of the Ontario Field Ornithologists and a retired school principal. She is active writing for nature publications and participating in wildlife surveys for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and is a tremendously effective roving ambassador for Ontario's critical natural areas. Jean has led many Quest Nature Tours trips to Peru, Belize & Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, the High Arctic, Cuba, Japan, the Galapagos, French Polynesia, Svalbard and Iceland. Ask Jean about how much she likes gulls and shorebirds!
Pete Read
Since retiring from teaching, Pete Read has been active as an environmental consultant doing fieldwork throughout Ontario and working on building projects for the preservation of the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike. He is also the official compiler of bird records for the London, Ontario region. Pete has been birding at Point Pelee each spring for over 45 years, and has been leading walks there to initiate new birders for over a decade. Pete has led many Quest Nature Tours trips to destinations including the Amazon, Brazil's Pantanal, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Cuba, Iceland, India, and South Africa. He is known for his quirky jokes and storytelling abilities!
Tony Beck
Tony Beck is a freelance naturalist and professional photographer based in Ottawa. His award winning work appears in many books, websites, magazines & calendars. He teaches birdwatching and nature photography courses both independently and through a variety of institutions. He has led Quest trips throughout Canada and to Cuba, Costa Rica, the Middle East, the Arctic and Antarctic, Trinidad & Tobago, Patagonia and Namibia. Tony returns to Patagonia for a photographic odyssey in December. Tony has earned the prestigious rank of Ambassador for Nikon Canada.
Paul Pratt
Paul Pratt was the head naturalist for Windsor's Ojibway Nature Centre. He also leads birding and natural history tours throughout North America, the Neotropics, Australia and Africa.  Paul currently holds the Big Day birding record for five provinces and Canada along with teammate Tom Hince. He has also been on winning teams at such birding events as the World Series of Birding and Texas Birding Classic. Paul has been birding Point Pelee for over 44 years and also has a wide range of knowledge on all aspects of the plant and animal life of the region.
Bruce DiLabio
Bruce is native of Ottawa, Ontario and his passion for birds and birding began at the age of 8, when he hand-tamed a Black-capped Chickadees at his family cottage at Constance Bay, Ontario. From these simple beginnings emerged both a life-long passion and career in the field of birding. He is a weekly columnist on birding in Canada's capital newspaper, the Ottawa Citizen and teaches birding courses. His first spring trip to Point Pelee was in May 1974 and Bruce has been a regular spring birder at Pelee since 2001. He has traveled extensively in North America and has lead birding trips to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Australia and a number of Caribbean destinations, including Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Bahamas, and Cuba. In addition, Bruce has authored numerous articles over the years for Nature Canada, Ontario Birds, Birding, and Ontario Birding News. Bruce was a member of the championship Kowa Birding Team that successfully won three World Series of Birding titles in New Jersey and one championship title in the Texas Birding Classic.
Jessica Linton
Jessica Linton is a consulting biologist who specializes in butterflies. Based in Ontario, her work has a heavy focus on species-at-risk including butterflies, the wildlife group about which Jessica is most passionate. She has over 10 years of experience conducting butterfly surveys, behavioral monitoring, and migration studies. Jessica leads Quest's tour to Mexico to observe Monarch butterflies in their wintering haunts. She is a seasoned all-round naturalist whose enthusiasm for outdoor spaces and wildlife is infectious.
Jody Allair
Jody Allair is an avid birder and naturalist who enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for the natural world. Jody has been birding and banding since his teens, when he began volunteering at Long Point Bird Observatory (LPBO). After university, Jody spent two years as LPBO's Landbird Program Coordinator, and a season as the Migration Program Manager at Thunder Cape Bird Observatory. From 2004-06, he worked as a Science Educator for the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, and in his spare time ran birdwatching courses and field trips through Calgary's Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. As Biologist and Science Educator for Bird Studies Canada (BSC) since 2006, Jody conducts various educational and outreach activities in addition to his research and fieldwork. He coordinates BSC's Bird Science and Environmental Education Program, and the Southern Ontario Forest Birds at Risk Program. Jody enjoys exploring the outdoors and traveling and leads birding tours with Canadian-based Eagle-Eye Tours to Alberta and New Zealand.
Dave Jolly
The first bird Dave Jolly recalls was at the age of 5 - a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, fluttering in a Flowering Quince bush behind his former house in London, Ontario. He started birding seriously by the age of 14. During his high school and university years he spent 6 seasons banding birds at the Long Point Bird Observatory and Haldimand Bird Observatory. While obtaining his Travel and Tourism diploma Dave led birding tours to Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Peru for EARTHQUEST (Canada) for the Environment. As Senior Instructor and President of the EARTHQUEST Biological Field School Dave has successfully taught and trained numerous young people and professionals through courses designed to improve their skills in the art and science of bird identification and survey techniques. Some of his students have even found employment at Point Pelee National Park. By 2002 he was hooked on the exceptional Point Pelee birding experience after bringing his students to the Park on birding trips. Dave is now a seasoned professional consultant and Ecologist accumulating over 30 years of experience in terrestrial and wetland ecology. While consulting he is regularly hired to conduct breeding bird surveys. He is also running bird tours locally to destinations such as Long Point, Turkey Point, the Rondeau area, and the Bruce peninsula for Fieldlife Services. Additionally, he is and handy guy to have around for identifying plants since he is considered a botanical expert for the Mixed Deciduous and Carolinian forest regions of Ontario.
Geoff Birbridge
Geof's birding experience (apart from 19 years of Pelee spring birding) includes avian EA work in the wind power industry in Eastern Ontario and participating in the Ontario and Quebec breeding bird atlases. Formally trained as a geologist, Geof lives and works as a professional photographer in Chelsea, Quebec, and volunteers in the Botany section of the Canadian Museum of Nature in Gatineau.
       




100 Species Challenge

Birder Breakfast and Lunch

Birder Breakfast and Lunch

Point Pelee National Park




CONTACT


Friends of Point Pelee
Phone: 888-707-3533

Point Pelee National Park
Phone: 888-773-8888
Map Twitter Facebook Facebook
Friends of Point Pelee Parks Canada Friends of Point Pelee Parks Canada