Board of Directors
BC CAHS has an amazing Board of Directors who generously gives time and utilizes their diverse experience to provide direction for the Centre’s ongoing activities. Drawing upon their experience and affiliations, BC CAHS Board Members are able to address the needs of a wide variety of stakeholder interests and needs. This experience includes: academic institutions, environmental and conservation organizations, salmon aquaculture, shellfish aquaculture, government, fish health products and consulting services.
Dallas Smith - Board Chair
Board President, Nanwakolas Council
Chief Chris Roberts
Wei Wai Kum Nation
Chief Ronnie Chickite
We Wai Kai Nation
Dr. Jim Brackett, DVM
Jim Brackett graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1980. After a few years in mixed practice, he began fish farm health management consulting and managed a fish disease diagnostic laboratory in Nanaimo, BC. Jim consulted to the Provincial government on fish regulatory issues and served as a Special Advisor to Fisheries and Oceans Canada on fish health regulations. He founded Atlantic Fish Health Inc. at the Atlantic Veterinary College, UPEI. Jim founded and served as the first CEO and Board Member of the BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences. Until retiring in 2018, he was an owner and President of Syndel Laboratories Ltd., an aquaculture pharmaceutical company.
Jim served as a Board Member and co-Chair of the Mid Island Science and Technology Innovation Council. He was a member of scientific advisory groups and a reviewer for several organizations.
Jim was a member of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, and was awarded a Lifetime Membership in 2019. He was licensed by the BC and New Brunswick Veterinary Associations along with membership and various roles in the Association of Aquaculture Veterinarians of BC, Eastern Aquatic Veterinarians Association, Canadian Association of Aquatic Veterinarians, World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Jim lives in Parksville, BC.
Al Castledine, MSc, PhD
Over a 30 year period, Al Castledine held various policy, development and extension positions in aquaculture and fisheries with the governments of Ontario, British Columbia and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He holds postgraduate degrees in nutrition (MSc. University of Guelph) and biochemistry (PhD. University of Victoria). These research degrees concerned vitamin and lipid requirements of fish respectively. He retired in 2010 from his position as Director of Aquaculture in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and since then has consulted in Canada, Sri Lanka and Abu Dhabi. He has been a strong supporter of CAHS through conception to implementation. He sees CAHS as key to advancing knowledge of health in wild and captive fish populations within the broader context of ecosystem health.
Yvonne Sheehan, BSc, Grad Dipl Aqua - Board Vice-Chair
Brood Program Manager, Mowi Canada
Yvonne was born and raised in Conception Bay South, Newfoundland. She attended Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland and graduated with her B.Sc. in Biology in 1995. She went on to the Marine Institute’s Masters in Aquaculture and completed her first year of the program receiving her Graduate Diploma in Aquaculture before being recruited by a BC aquaculture company.
Yvonne’s experience in aquaculture and fisheries research spans the course of over 22 years and includes: Aquaculture Site Manager, Smolt Quality Manager, Production Manager, General Manager and at present, Brood Program Manager. She has proven herself as a tenacious and innovative leader in a cutting edge breeding program, delivering substantial commercial results with proven cost control and budgeting experience.
After spending four years abroad, as General Manager with Salmon Enterprises of Tasmania (SALTAS), Yvonne and her family returned to Vancouver Island where she joined Mowi Canada West (formally Marine Harvest Canada) in May of 2014.
Levana Mastrangelo, BSc
Levana Mastrangelo is originally from Campbell River and is a citizen of Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ (Ucluelet First Nation) with deep roots belonging to the West Coast. She is an advocate for Indigenous Rights and Title with an enduring passion fueling the realm of Political Science involving Lands, Fisheries and Natural Resources. Her current focus centers on opportunities in aquaculture with local First Nations governments working towards Reconciliation. She started her post-graduate career at Cermaq Canada in 2019 in First Nations Relations where she works closely with local Nation governments.
Levana graduated in 2018 from the University of Victoria Biochemistry and Microbiology Undergrad Programs. Although she majored in the Microbiology co-op program, she focused on Indigenous Relations that involved Economic Development, Cultural Research, Lands, Resources and Fisheries sectors. She has worked closely with First Nation communities across BC, engaging on culturally sensitive matters including youth education programs, language advocacy on traditional territories and awareness of west coast wildlife (saštuup) habitat. Most recently, Levana advocated for First Nations communities with interests and opportunities in aquaculture complemented by wild salmon and marine ecosystem based initiatives. A strong supporter in sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture, Levana also has a deep interest in West Coast Traditional Medicines. She self-describes herself as being a leader in creating the pathway of Reconciliation between First Nations communities to their shared Lands (nism̓a), Waters (ƛ̕aaʔaas) and Resources to form sustainable First Nation governing communities.
ƛ̕eeko čuu – Thank you and until next time.
Dr. Spencer Russell, MSc, DVM, PhD
Dr. Spencer Russell is a Fish Health Veterinarian with a PhD in Veterinary immunology/pathobiology, and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture at Vancouver Island University (VIU) in Nanaimo, BC. Spencer’s career in aquaculture spans over 25 years involving several areas of fish health. Prior to his position at VIU, Spencer was a Research Fellow with Elanco Animal Health (Aquaculture; formerly operated as Novartis Animal Health) where he was responsible for developing research projects advancing the aquaculture vaccine pipeline. Before joining Elanco, Spencer worked for Pfizer Animal Health (Aquaculture) as a Principle Research Scientist and attending Veterinarian at Pfizer’s aquatic research facility. During his time with Pfizer, Spencer spearheaded the autogenous vaccine production team, providing veterinary, technical and scientific support for aquaculture clients globally. Spencer also spent 10 years as a Veterinary pathologist and member of the Fish Pathology Laboratory at the Ontario Veterinary College; there, he completed his PhD and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and later was responsible for managing research and aiding in the development of diagnostic techniques to support aquatic disease surveillance in Canada.
Areas of expertise
Aquatic animal health research and project management, fish disease diagnosis, surveillance, and disease management, vaccinology and aquatic biosecurity program development.
Kyle Girgan is a fisheries and aquaculture professional with 20 years of private and non profit based experience in both Europe and North America. Kyle’s experience has taught him the significance of stakeholder involvement regarding environmental knowledge and protection; as well as the social, economic and cultural importance of British Columbia’s water.
In 2021, Kyle returned to Vancouver Island after seven years working as Hatchery Manager for the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. Upon his return, Kyle decided to change vocations and now works in Parks and Recreation; never far from the water, Kyle’s current position as Operations Manager for the Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park has exposed him to the exciting and important aquatic ecosystems found underground.
Kyle enjoys exploring the forests and trails in the Qualicum Beach area where he now lives with his wife and two dogs.