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Our Team

Our diverse team brings knowledge and experience, along with an eagerness to learn and collaborate, for the health of our ocean and coastal communities. 

AHOI's staff work closely with local businesses, volunteers, cooperative students and interns, to create meaningful programs that help the Gros Morne region reduce its waste, carbon footprint and look after the marine environment.


Our staff and board have an incredible background in sustainable fisheries, marine biology and protected areas, Indigenous relations, law, political science, plastics pollution, marine spatial planning, education, journalism, and community development. This enables AHOI  to work regionally, nationally and internationally with any interested public member, organization, agency and business to build a sustainable blue economy and bring more life back to our oceans!  

We want to team up with you to find ways to live a more sustainable life while the ocean's marine biodiversity recovers to support all living things.


Rebecca Brushett

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AHOI Founder


With over 15 years of experience, Rebecca holds a Masters of Arts in Environmental Policy and a B.Ed. in secondary sciences from MUN. She also has a B.Sc. in marine biology from Dalhousie University. She created AHOI in 2019 to inspire a change that will look after our ocean and coastal communities together.

Rebecca's experience is diverse and ranges from studying grey whales, zooplankton and redfish off Flores Island, BC, studying zooplankton in Bonne Bay, teaching 7-12 sciences, creating marine spatial plans with community members in Gros Morne and helping tourism operations move towards a more sustainable circular economic model. More recently, she has worked at the National and International level to advocate for sustainable fisheries and ways to reduce plastic pollution in Canada.



Sydney Sullivan

Senior Plastics and Marine Conservation Coordinator

Sydney has a B.Sc. (Hons) in marine biology from Memorial University and is currently working towards her Master of Marine Studies in Marine Spatial Planning and Management at Marine Institute. Her studies focus on sustainable solutions to the ecological, economic, social, and cultural impacts of development in coastal and marine areas. 


Growing up in a small coastal community on the Avalon Peninsula of NL, she developed a passion for ecological conservation while supporting local communities. At AHOI, she will conduct research and carry out community engagement relating to marine protection in the Gros Morne region, to support a community-based approach to ocean and coastal management and planning.


Tara Howse

Logistics and Communications Coordinator


Tara develops AHOI’s communication products and provides logistical support for AHOI programs and events. Tara has a deep interest in the environment and the personal and cultural connection people have with it. Tara is originally from Labrador and is thrilled to work and live in the Gros Morne region with her family.


Tara holds a B.A. and a post-baccalaureate Bachelor of Journalism degree. Her experience includes nearly a decade as a journalist in the areas of radio, television, newspaper and magazine. During her time as the Executive Assistant to the President of NunatuKavut Community Council, she worked closely with the governing council and liaised with its members, communities, and other Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments. She also acted as the Communications Officer. She later worked with External Relations at Parks Canada, assisting with the 2019 Gros Morne Management Plan. She most enjoys working in teams and interacting with people.

Meet The Staff


Aaron Hingston

Student Assistant

Marine Conservation Research Assistant

Aaron is an undergraduate student at Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, studying math and physics. Having lived by the ocean all his life and taking in its many activities such as swimming, kayaking and fishing, he knows that we need to keep the ocean healthy so people can continue to do so in the future. Aaron began his work with AHOI as a Waste Buster collecting and analyzing plastic pollution found on the shores around Gros Morne.  Although Aaron still leads the coastal cleanup audits in the summer, he will be diving deeper into the AHOI marine conservation program. He is analyzing marine research conducted in western NL and will be carrying out field work using our new ROV, to document the ocean health around Gros Morne!


Brittney Garcia 

Plastics and Circular Economy Coordinator


Originally from Belize, Brittney grew up in a country that is rich in cultural diversity and ecological biodiversity. Her passion for environmental sustainability, protection, and conservation stems from the environmental challenges she has seen in not only her own country, but others throughout the world. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. Following her passion with protection and conservation, she recently completed her Master of Environmental Science from Memorial University of Newfoundland with her research focusing on vernal pool biodiversity and conservation efforts. 


Her work with AHOI as the Plastic and Circular Economy Coordinator allows her to work with the Gros Morne Inn to assist them with their sustainability efforts that adheres to a circular business model.


Lisa Smith

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Lisa is a part of the NunatuKavut community but grew up on the Burin Peninsula. Lisa has a political science degree from MUN and a Juris Doctor from UBC. She was a criminal lawyer in NL before heading to Ottawa to become an advocate for the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Lisa brings knowledge and passion in the areas of International sustainable development policy, domestic environmental policy, and not for profit advocacy.


Dylan Odd

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Dylan holds a Masters in Environmental Policy and has 10 years of experience working in the political science world. As a science policy analyst, Dylan brings experience in reviewing and amending policy, regulation and legislation with a view towards sustainable and inclusive development.

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Cheryl Hodder

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Cheryl has a Bachelors of Commerce from Mount Saint Vincent University and is a CPA and Treasurer for AHOI. With over 20 years of financial and administrative experience, Cheryl brings the knowledge AHOI needs to ensure we are sustainable and can continue to bring in the funding we need to run programs that will look after our oceans and coastal communities for generations to come. 

Meet The Board

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