Who we are

We respectfully acknowledge the territory in which CLEAR works as the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk, and the island of Newfoundland as the ancestral homelands of the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk. I would also like to recognize the Inuit of Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut and the Innu of Nitassinan, and their ancestors, as the original peoples of Labrador. We strive for respectful relationships with all the peoples of this province as we search for collective healing and true reconciliation and honour this beautiful land together.*

CLEAR is a collective of researchers from a wide range of disciplines (from ocean science to filmmaking), career levels (high school students to full professors), and skillsets. As a feminist and anticolonial science laboratory, we understand introductions as a way to articulate our accountabilities and make our relations apparent.

These are the people that make CLEAR possible:


Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 9.10.25 PM.png Dr. Max Liboiron (Michif-settler, she/her): Taanishi! Max Liboiron dishinihkaashoon. Lac la biche, Treaty siz, d’ooshchiin. Métis naasyoon niiya ni (Woodman, Turner).
Hello! I’m originally from Lac la biche, Alberta, Treaty six territory. I am the Director of CLEAR and am both an Assistant professor of Geography and the Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Research) at Memorial University. (maxliboiron.com)
Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 7.06.46 AM.png Kaitlyn Hawkins (she/her): Hello, my name is Kaitlyn Hawkins. I am a settler from Summerford, Newfoundland and Labrador. I graduated from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, specializing in Ecology and Conservation and minoring in Oceanography. I work at CLEAR as the lab manager where I work closely with the director of CLEAR to coordinate all lab activities, lab employees and training, organize others for success, as well as conduct research along with my colleagues. I bring strong organizational skills to the lab and approach my lab manager duties with hospitality.
Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 11.00.30 AM Grandmother is from St. John’s, Newfoundland. He is a calm, grounding presence in the lab and provides direct support to the lab’s director, who wrote this bio. Grandmother is coauthor on the CLEAR paper, Equity in Author Order: A Feminist Laboratory’s Approach (2017) and appears on the CENHS podcast on the lab (2019).
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Dr. Nicole Power (she/her): I am a settler originally from Chapel Arm, Newfoundland and Labrador, and a Professor of Sociology at Memorial University. I have been doing feminist research focusing on NL fisheries for 25 years. For the lab, I coordinate the animal respect group as part of my research on animals in science, and I get to hang out with Grandmother and Kookum when their human travels.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Hillary Bradshaw (she/her) is from Cavan, Ontario. She is a candidate for a Masters of Science-Environmental Sciences. Her thesis work creates a baseline study of marine plastic pollution in Iqaluit, Nunavut, looking at macro and microplastics in benthic and intertidal zones.
John Atkinson (he/him) is from Greenville, NC, USA. He is an PhD student in Environmental Science. He holds a Masters in Biology-Cell Biology concentration (East Carolina University) and Bachelor degrees in Animal Science and Natural Resources (both from North Carolina State University). Planned thesis work includes research of marine plastics and methylmercury contamination of wild and country foods in the Newfoundland province.
Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 11.00.12 AM Kookum is from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Kookum provides an abundance of love to lab members and would like to be pet now, please. This bio was written by her human, Max Liboiron.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Elise Earles (she/her) is a settler from Newfoundland, Canada. She is an undergraduate student studying cell & molecular biology and criminology. She does a variety of work with the CLEAR lab, including fish dissection and plastics analysis.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Jacquelyn Saturno (settler, she/her) is from Mississauga, Ontario. She completed her undergraduate degree (Environmental Science) at the University of Guelph and is currently a MSc. student (Fisheries Science and Technology) at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University. Her thesis aims to understand how impactful plastic fishing gear is as a source to generating plastic pollution into the ocean during fishing operations and the subsequent risk to Atlantic cod.
 Natasha Healey: Hi, my name is Natasha Healey, my pronouns are she/her. I am a non-resident member of NunatuKavut, and a settler with family from Corner Brook currently living in Paradise, Newfoundland. I am going into my fourth year of a Bachelor of Science doing Geography and Earth Science at Memorial University. I have worked at CLEAR in a number of positions including Lab Technician, Lab Manager, and most recently, the Community Monitoring Project Coordinator. I bring enthusiasm and a positive attitude to my current position where I work with community members in Labrador doing workshops, community meetings, and sample collection.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Edward Allen: Atelihai, my name is Edward Allen (he/him) and I am Kablunangajuk; a person of blended Inuit and settler ancestry who identifies locolineally with Nunatsiavummiut. I am currently a visitor on the ancestral homelands of the Beotuk, where I draw on early, located values in negotiating my privileged semblances and personal complicities. I am interested in wellness as a function of the relationships that Nunatsiavummiut have with the Land and, as a student in Department of Geography at Memorial University and member of CLEAR, I am discovering meaningful questions to the answers. I am beholden to Dr. Max Liboiron and Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo, and the many other gifted faculty, students, and staff, whose work helps create a place for such questions in the academy.

Melissa Paglia (settler, she/her) is from Bolton, Ontario. She completed her undergraduate degree at Ryerson University in Toronto and is now a Master’s candidate at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her field of study is Political Science with research interests in gender in politics, Indigenous self-governance, and environmental policy.


Dr. Charles Mather (he/him) is professor in the Department of Geography at Memorial University. He is currently working on the environmental politics of Atlantic salmon conservation in Newfoundland, and is co-lead of a research module on social license and aquaculture funded through the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI). CLEAR members are playing a key role in directing the environmental work associated with the OFI module on social license and aquaculture.

Celestine_Muli Celestine Muli: Hello, my name is Celestine Muli (she/her). I am an international student from Kenya and am currently studying MPhil humanities at Memorial University. My background is in environmental and agricultural economics with research interests on environmental degradation and how that shapes human migration. I am a research assistant at CLEAR, my responsibilities include analyzing sediment samples for microplastic contamination.
Molly_Rivers Molly Rivers (she/her): Hi, my name is Molly, I am an international student from Bristol, England, and am currently doing my master’s degree in marine biology at Memorial University. My research is focused on understanding how the invasive European green crab, that was first recorded in Newfoundland in 2007, survives in the extreme cold of Newfoundland winters. I am a research assistant at CLEAR, my main responsibility is to analyse sediment samples recording the amount of microplastic contamination.
Carley Carley Mills: Hello, my name is Carley Mills (she/her) and I am a settler from Fredericton, New Brunswick currently completing my Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Geography and Communication Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland. I am a research assistant at CLEAR. I process samples, conduct research, participate in meetings and try to brighten the days of my fellow lab members.
Domenica_Lombeida Domenica Lombeida (she/her): Hello, my name is Domenica and I am an International Student from Guayaquil, Ecuador doing my third year as a Bachelor of Science in Geography at MUN, and my main interest is pursuing a career helping the environment. I am an ISWEP student working as a Lab assistant in CLEAR this semester and I am very excited for what is coming. 
Tiaasha.JPG Hello Everyone, my name is Tiaasha Naskar (she/her) and I’m from Kolkata, India.  I’m in my second year of my undergraduate degree doing a major in Cell & Molecular Biology and a minor in Statistics. This is my second semester working in CLEAR and I mostly work on gastrointestinal tracts of cod and seals, looking for microplastics.
Nadia.jpg Nadia Duman (she/her) is from Guayaquil, Ecuador. Nadia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Sciences from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She has been an active CLEAR Lab member since 2017 and has contributed to research involving biomonitoring of plastics in species, plastic identification in benthic sediments and spatial analysis using GIS. Currently, she is an M.Sc. candidate at the Geography Department (MUN) supervised by Dr Liboiron. Her research consists of determining the spatial and temporal trends of marine plastics flowing into and out of Newfoundland. She is interested in the application of spatial data and technologies for plastic pollution research.
Alex.jpg Hello, my name is Alexander Flynn (him/his) and I am from Forteau, a small fishing community on the south coast of Labrador. I am a member of NunatuKavut and have settler ancestry as well. I am currently doing a master’s program in biology at MUN, researching population dynamics and stability of Labrador lake trout and contributing to other wildlife genetics projects. I am a research assistant at CLEAR working on plastic pollution samples from Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut.
Tammy.JPG Tammy Sheppard (she/her): I am a member of Nunatsiavut Government raised in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL. I graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Bachelor of Arts in Police Studies and Sociology. I am currently completing my Aboriginal and Indigenous Studies Certificate and my goal is to obtain a Bachelor of Education (Primary/Elementary) as a Second Degree. My Research Assistant position at the CLEAR lab includes analyzing samples of fish, birds, and seals obtained from the Nunatsiavut Land Claim areas for possible microplastic contamination.
Forough Forough Emam (she/her) is from Iran and is a Master’s student in Gender Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her research interests lie in the field of decolonial studies with specific focus on LGBTQ+ activism and digital resistance in Iran. She is involved in a number of research projects to address the challenges of inclusion for newcomers and 2SLGBTQ+ youth in St. John’s community.
Zhe Shi.jpg Hello, my name is Zhe Shi (he/him) and I am an international student from Beijing, China. I’m currently doing my master’s degree of environmental system engineering and management at Memorial University. I am a newcomer of CLEAR as a research assistant and my duty is to analyze samples.

Affiliated lab members:

Taylor Hess

Taylor Hess: Hi, my name is Taylor Hess (settler, she/her), and I am a filmmaker, journalist, and contributing editor for Filmmaker Magazine. I produced and directed the award-winning documentary MACK WRESTLES about transgender wrestler Mack Beggs, which premiered at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival and will air on ESPN in the fall of 2019. I’ve produced at Vox Media for Season Two of the Netflix documentary series “Explained” and associate produced a pilot for CNN Films. I’ve also worked as a researcher for Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions on “Enhanced,” an ESPN documentary series that debuted at the 2018 Tribeca International Film Festival. I graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Emily Simmonds Bio Photo Emily Simmonds (Métis-Settler, she/her) is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at York University, Toronto, Canada.  Her dissertation focuses on how the production of nuclear energy amplifies and sustains settler-colonial land relations, with a specific focus on how the injurious effects of uranium mining are made permissible and challenged. As a Métis – Settler feminist STS scholar, she is committed to learning how to best participate in the ongoing collective efforts of building and strengthening anti-colonial land relations and solidarities.  She is a member of the Technoscience Research Unit (TRU) based in St. John’s NFLD, and the Digital Ethics Research Callaboratory (DREC) in Toronto, ON.

Noah Hutton: Hi, my name is Noah Hutton (settler, he/him) and I am a filmmaker from New York. I have presented work at the Venice Biennale, Society for Neuroscience, Wellcome Collection, Rubin Museum of Art, and elsewhere. I directed the documentary films Crude Independence (SXSW 2009) and Deep Time (SXSW 2015). I studied art history and neuroscience at Wesleyan University.


Iwalaye (Ayo) Oladimeji: Hi there, my name is Oladimeji (Ayo) Iwalaye. I am a Nigerian studying at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.  My PhD research focuses on marine plastics pollution and climate change. I also major in Animal Physiology. I was a visiting student at CLEAR Lab, Memorial University as an Association of Commonwealth University Blue Charter Fellow. I worked closely with the director of CLEAR and some lab members. I investigated microplastics pollution in Urban St. John’s waterways (Quidi Vidi Lake) Newfoundland, and also coordinated a new processing method for microplastic analysis. Although I’m away in South Africa, I still participate in Lab meetings online and make my contributions when time permits. Lab members said that I have great work ethics and ability to get things done.
You can read more about Ayo in a feature in Memorial University’s Gazette newspaper, “International researchers working to solve marine plastic pollution.”

Screen Shot 2019-08-07 at 8.54.48 AM.png Lauren Watwood (she/her): Greetings! My name is Lauren Watwood. I am a settler from Oregon, USA and am currently enrolled in a two-year master’s program at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. I’m an anthropologist who likes to blend marine science and anthropology in the form of telling stories to get people excited about marine conservation.

Alumni of our lab include: Emily Wells,  Tristen Morris, Melissa Novachefski, Natalya Dawe, Coco Coyle, Mikayla Downey, Erin Burt, Juddyannet Murichi, Natalie Richárd, France Liboiron, Marissa Van Harmelen, Jess Melvin, Taylor Stocks, Alexandra Hayward, Justine Ammendolia, Bojan Fürst,  Kate Winsor, Sam Welscott, Ignace Schoot, Alex Zahara, Nic Kuzmochka, Kelechi Emmanuel Anyaeto, Shramana Sarkar, Charlotte Muise, Lucas Harris, Jillian Chidley, Michael Broz, Luke Lucy-Broomfield, and Megan Dicker.

* This Land acknowledgment for Memorial University, which has campuses in various parts of the province, was created by the five Indigenous groups in the province together. To learn more about why some words and phrases were chosen, see the explanation of the Land acknowledgment here.