The Biodiversity Galiano Research Community

Andrew Simon

Andrew’s experience as a naturalist goes back twelve years to his arrival in BC, when his interest in natural history was first piqued through an apprenticeship to lichenologist Trevor Goward. Ever since then he has dedicated himself the study of the biodiversity that abounds within the province, with a focus on the ecology of the southern Gulf Islands.

The Biodiversity Galiano project was born out of Andrew’s undergraduate honours thesis, which was to be a field guide to a place on Galiano Island. This year-long project quickly expanded in scope to include the rest of the island, engaging the larger community in a sustained effort to document the island biodiversity. Through these initiatives Andrew has developed a keen appreciation for the ecological relationships, recurring life cycles and biogeographic patterns that make up the place he now calls home. For this experience he gratefully acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples who have cared for this region since time immemorial.

Andrew has an MSc from the UVic School of Environmental Studies, where he investigated the implications of seasonal drought for plant and pollinator communities in the southern Gulf Islands. In 2019, he was awarded an Islands Trust Community Stewardship Award for his work as the curator of the Biodiversity Galiano project. Beyond Galiano, Andrew also serves as the president of the Institute for Multidisciplinary Ecological Research in the Salish Sea, with the vision of increasing community capacity for long-term ecological research in the greater bioregion.

Local Observations