Rina has always loved animals, and as a kid, she wanted to be a veterinarian. But in her first year of university, she discovered the work and writings of Dr. Jane Goodall.

After earning a B.Sc (Biology) and an M.Sc. (Animal behavior), she went on to work as a conservation biologist for several international NGOs helping endangered species around the world. She’s been lucky enough to climb high into the Mauritian rainforest to monitor chicks in their nests, hand-raise and release endangered parrots back to the wild, radio-track endemic flightless birds in New Zealand, study the world’s rarest hawk in the Caribbean, and research little-known species in remote landscapes of Madagascar. She has published twenty scientific papers and given seminars on her research here in Canada and abroad.

Hand-raised echo parakeet of Mauritius
Hispaniolan lizard-cuckoo in the Dominican Republic
Narrow-striped mongoose or bokiboky of Madagascar

When her two kids were very young, her family moved to Madagascar and lived there for seven years. It was an experience unlike anything else.

Since returning to Canada in 2016, Rina has been inspired to help connect young people to nature. She gives interactive classroom presentations about unique rare species and the importance of biodiversity, and writes tall tales of adventure about animal conservation inspired by true events and the real-life creatures and people she’s met around the world.

She is an associate member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), a friend to CANSCAIP, and a Canada Council for the Arts literary grant recipient. Most days, she can be found writing eco-fiction and nonfiction for tweens and teens, reading kidlit, or staring at the northern cardinals in her backyard.

She lives in Guelph, Ontario with her partner Lance, who is Executive Director of the not-for-profit Wildlife Preservation Canada, their two teenage boys, a Newfoundland dog, and a rescued royal python.

Click here to read about one of Rina’s adventures in Madagascar.