Staff Directory

Maribeth Murray
Executive Director

Dr. Murray is a transdisciplinary scholar with expertise in both the social and natural sciences. Trained as an environmental archaeologist, she transitioned to focus on contemporary climate change and the impacts on people and the environment in the Arctic. Today her research activities are focused in three areas: the integration of historic and modern data sets to better understand how the Arctic functions as a system; mobilizing genomics and genomics tools for Arctic biodiversity conservation and wildlife management; and research and strategic planning for the ongoing development and implementation of an internationally supported Arctic Observing System.

In 2016 Maribeth initiated the development of the Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability (CCADI), a national coalition of universities, Indigenous organizations, federal departments, not-for profit and private-sector partners. The CCADI is engaged in the design and establishment of an Arctic Research Data Infrastructure for Canada to improve access to data, data interoperability and data analytics in support of decision-making across scales and organizations, and for research.

Maribeth is a member of the Board of Directors of Polar Knowledge Canada, a member of the Canadian Mountain Network Board of Directors, a past member of the Board of Directors of the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, and a past faculty member of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Brent Else
Associate Director, AINA

Supports the executive director with tasks related to AINA's strategic plan.

Establish partnerships and write grant applications to develop AINA's leadership capacity.

Connect UCalgary researchers with AINA initiatives.

Supports initiatives related to AINA's Observer status at Arctic Council.

Associate Professor, Geography

PhD, Environment and Geography – University of Manitoba (2012)

Shannon Christoffersen
Manager, Data and Information Services

Shannon leads the Institute’s initiatives in knowledge mobilization and exchange including its databases, digital projects, and initiatives related to the Institute-led Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability (CCADI). She also manages the Institute’s internal special collections and acts as the Institute’s liaison for AINA Collections held at University of Calgary Libraries.

Shannon is an institutional team lead and coordinator for the Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability, the Institute’s representative on the International Arctic Science Committee/Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks Arctic Data Committee, a member of the ADC-IARPC-SCADM Vocabularies and Semantics Working Group, a member of the Polar Libraries Colloquy Steering Committee (currently serving as Past Chair and Web Developer), and she sits on the Advisory Board of the Polar Data Journal.

MLIS – University of Alberta (2005)
BA in Anthropology – University of Calgary (1999)
BA in English – University of Calgary (1999)

Patty Wells
Editor, ARCTIC Journal

Processing manuscript submissions and peer-review, managing production, and publishing quarterly journal issues.

Patty's research has focused on the social life of the first Arctic peoples who lived on the island of Newfoundland through her study of animal exploitation for food and raw materials in the manufacture of tools.

PhD in Archaeology – Memorial University of Newfoundland (2012)

Patricia Wells Publications

Maria Beketskaia
Operations Manager

As the Operations Manager, I am accountable for orchestrating the smooth and effective operation of AINA, by managing the Institute’s finances, human resources, and day-to-day administrative services.

Prior to joining AINA, I was a Research Associate for 7 years in the Departments of Surgery, Radiology, and Clinical Neurosciences at the Cumming School of Medicine (University of Calgary).

During my free time, I enjoy exploring the mountains with my husband, daughter, and elderly Pomeranian (Zelda!).

Cert. in Project Management – University of Calgary (2019)
MSc in Molecular Microbiology – University of Calgary (2014)
BSc in Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology – University of Calgary (2011)

Henry Penn
Program Manager, Science & Sustainability

Dr. Penn is jointly responsible for the operation and management of the Kluane Lake Research Station (KLRS) in SW Yukon. Dr Penn is implementing a program to bring sustainable energy and agricultural infrastructure and technologies to KLRS and part of broad initiatives to increase sustainability through AINA. The aim is to develop a demonstration platform for providing an experimental facility that can be used as a test bed prior to major investment in new technologies, while at the same time modernizing the research station facilities and lowering our environmental footprint.

PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies: Civil Engineering – University of Alaska Fairbanks (2016)
Master's Degree in Civil Engineering – Loughborough University (2012)

Michael Allchin
Post-doctoral associate in mountain environment observation and monitoring

This role is funded jointly by AINA, the Canadian Mountain Network, and Yukon Government.

My initial task is to build an inventory of observational equipment and activities in the mountains of western Canada, starting with the Yukon, expanding subsequently to NWT, BC and AB.

This inventory will help to reveal areas of key interest (relating, for example, to rapid climate change or major ecological transitions) in which information is currently sparse, thereby supporting discussion of options for augmenting observational activities, and improving coordination and collaboration between participants.

At this stage, a particular focus will be placed on exploring opportunities for advancing participation by Indigenous people in the observation and monitoring of mountain landscapes, and for incorporating Traditional Knowledge with conventional scientific data.

The outcomes of this analysis will inform the development and implementation of a comprehensive mountain observation and monitoring strategy for Canada.

PhD – University of Northern BC (2020)
MSc – University of Southampton (2013)
BSc (Hons) – University of Bristol (1986)

Kara Matthews
Information Analyst

Kara works with the Data and Information Services team at the Arctic Institute, and has a special interest in geospatial data visualization, research data and information management, and science outreach, particularly via simple web application development.

Kara has a background in Earth and data sciences. Prior to joining the Institute, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford and the University of Sydney, building quantitative plate reconstruction models and using marine geophysics data to map and interpret tectonic structures on the seafloor.

PhD in Geophysics – University of Sydney (2014)

Jacob Huffman
Information Analyst

My primary role is to keep the Institute's bibliographic database up to date with the latest arctic research from our clients and us. I have a B.A. in art history from the University of Calgary and originally came to the Institute as a volunteer with the ambition of cataloging the institutes' extensive collection of Inuit handicraft, arctic art, and ephemera. Outside of my work with AINA, I have worked on major public art projects and have worked in contemporary art in varying professional roles, including curatorial and preparatory.

Alexandra Tremblay
Information Analyst

Alexandra joined AINA in September of 2022, taking on the position of Information Analyst with Data and Information Services.

During Alexandra’s post-secondary studies, she worked as a historian, archivist, and special collections specialist at The Military Museums in Calgary. She is also a full-time artist, has her own painting practice, and is the owner of a traditional beading business. A bilingual Calgarian (English/French), Alexandra holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta University of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Calgary, with a focus on Canadian and Indigenous military history. In 2020-21, she completed a Master’s in Art Law from the University of York in England. Her LLM dissertation focused on the restitution and repatriation of cultural heritage and property of Canada’s First Peoples, including a comparative study of the Canadian and British legal frameworks and museum legislations. Alexandra is thrilled to be a part of AINA’s diverse and passionate team.

Outside of work and academia, Alexandra is always learning, reading, and creating. She enjoys the wonders of the Rocky Mountains of Treaty 7 territory and does so through hiking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, skating, and snowboarding.

Emily Marston
Project Coordinator, Arctic Genomics

Emily is Project Coordinator for the Arctic Genomics project, led by Maribeth Murray (AINA) and Peter Pulsifer (University of Carleton). The Arctic Genomics research team is working to co-develop a suite of genomics knowledge-mobilization tools that will support environmental decision making.

Emily is also an undergraduate student at Royal Roads University, pursuing a degree in Environmental Management. She graduated from Olds College in 2018 with a diploma in Environmental Stewardship and Rural Planning.

Kluane Lake Research Station

Mailing Address: AINA, Kluane Lake Research Station
Mile 1054 Alaska Highway 
Y0B 1H0