Contact Us

Get in Touch 

Use the form below to send a message to our general inbox and we’ll get you in touch with the right person.
If you’d like to contact a specific person, our staff directory is listed below.


Lois Whitehead

Executive Director

Lois Whitehead has over 30 years’ experience in not-for-profit and association-based organizations. Her educational background in psychology, non-profit management, and community economic development, combined with experience and training in strategic planning, facilitation, and human resources, has helped to make her a leader in the nonprofit world. Lois has served as the Executive Director of Science Atlantic for the past 20 years. In this time, she has successfully led and grown the organization’s footprint in the region, including increasing the membership, realigning services to a redefined mission, and rebranding (twice!).

In her spare time, Lois is a news, charity, professional development, and tech junkie, president of her condo association, and loves leaving surprise gifts at her neighbours’ doors.

Michelle McPherson

Program and Membership
Support Officer

Michelle McPherson completed both an undergraduate degree in Biology as well as a Master’s degree in Earth Science at St. Francis Xavier University. Her Masters work focused on the impacts of climate change on Lyme disease in Canada. To continue her work in the research field, Michelle also works part-time as a Research Coordinator at Dalhousie University in the information management department.

Michelle is able to apply her research and project management skills as the Program and Membership Support Officer. Michelle has been leading research initiatives to better understand faculty needs and has been heavily involved in improving member onboarding. In addition, she works with conference organizers to educate them on Science Atlantic’s role in conferences and to share best practices. To further support organizers in this virtual world, she has been heavily involved in researching virtual conferencing platforms for the 2020-2021 conferences. She also provides assistance to the Board and to the Finance Officer.

Patty King

Finance Officer

As president and founder of PMD Services – Project Management & Development Inc., Patty specializes in the development of strategic partnerships and stakeholder engagement. Her work has included developing and managing collaborative research projects; developing and delivering training programs; working with boards, committees and working groups; and event management and conference services for gatherings of up to 250 people. Patty has a Bachelor of Business Administration with a double major in Marketing and Management, and over 20 years of senior management experience, including developing and leading the Fishermen and Scientists Research Society.

Shanley Weston

Web and Content Coordinator

Originally from Ontario, Shanley spent several years adventuring around Canada, before settling in Halifax. Currently in their third year at Saint Mary’s University, Shanley is completing a Bachelor of Commerce in General Business Studies and a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Psychology, and is currently enrolled in Skills for Hire’s User Experience (UX) program. Shanley’s passion for web design and copywriting made them an ideal fit to lead the development and implementation of Science Atlantic’s new website.

When not staring at a screen, Shanley volunteers as a VP of Project Development for Enactus Saint Mary’s, and spends free time playing with her kid and cuddling her cat.

Richard Inkpen

Virtual Conferences
Platforms and Support

Richard is in his final semester at Saint Mary’s University, where he’s completing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a Human Resource Certificate. Previously, he worked as a job coach at local non-profit organization, Building Futures. At Science Atlantic, he’s responsible for a variety of tasks, including research into a number of online event platforms, interviewing members, and discovering ways Science Atlantic can better support science-related activities in the region. He enjoys being able to take part in both the planning and implementation process of projects. 

When he’s not working or doing school, Richard can be found participating in new, fun activities from place to place within his city: whether it’s an escape room, thrift store, or restaurant, he loves trying new things, though that’s come to a bit of a standstill with COVID! Lately he spends most of his free time watching movies with his girlfriend, reading comics, and playing video games competitively.

Communications and Member Engagement Assistants

Emma Cole

Strategic Planning

Emma is a creative writer from St. John’s, Newfoundland, currently pursuing an honours co-op degree in English at Acadia University. She is completing the second work term of her co-op program at Science Atlantic, and is excited to expand and hone her skills in technical writing, communications, and administration. Emma is supporting the Strategic Planning Committee as they work to realize Science Atlantic’s vision, as well as assisting in various other projects to increase membership engagement and facilitate communications within our organization.

Emma is also pursuing a minor in theatre production and spends her time painting watercolours, playing tabletop games, and learning the most obscure instruments she can get her hands on.

Valerie Schagen

Data Management

Valerie studies Plant Science and Biotechnology at the University of Guelph. Her studies often overlap with her free time, as pursuing a Bachelor of Science makes it easy for her to engage with her passions in other disciplines of science such as agriculture, astrophysics, biochemistry, evolutionary biology, and mathematics. Valerie loves to connect science with her personal life by conceptualizing entrepreneurial endeavors and engaging with community issues. 


Valerie is often found deep in artistic pursuits such as painting and fashion design, and is a part-time model in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 


At Science Atlantic, Valerie organizes databases and helps manage our 60th anniversary celebrations by coordinating tree dedication ceremonies at each of our member institutions.

Day MacKay

Administrative Assistant

Day is in her third year at Saint Mary’s University, completing a Bachelor of Science with a major in Psychology. By choosing this program she hopes to learn more about the vast functions of the mind and inner working pieces of the numerous human processes. She is excited to hone her social media development skills and organizational skills for the Science Atlantic Communications and Member Engagement Assistant role.

Day spends most of her time studying but takes breaks to watch a variety of shows and play video games with her boyfriend. She love books, art, and dogs (of any size and type).