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Our Team

Our Team


Karen has over 25 years of experience in agricultural greenhouse gas measurement, modeling, and climate change/environmental policy development – spanning her tenure at the provincial Department of Agriculture in Alberta, then at the not-for-profit Climate Change Central, and now in the private sector. During her tenure with the province, Karen was part of the cross-governmental team that developed Alberta’s Bioenergy Policy Framework, which was approved by cabinet in 2008. This framework set the stage for Alberta’s Bioenergy Program administered by the Department of Energy. Karen also led ecosystem goods and service policy and program development, in concert with other federal, provincial, and territorial governments under Canada’s Agriculture Policy Frameworks. In her earlier years with the provincial department of agriculture, she conducted research and studies of environmental mitigation opportunities for agriculture in air, water, soil and biodiversity

Her most significant contribution while she worked in the public and not-for-profit sectors was her work at a national level, with federal-provincial and territorial governments on the Canadian National Offset Quantification Team (NOQT). Karen, through her capacity on the Team, designed the protocol development process, represented the agricultural sector in Canada, and coordinated the development of several agricultural quantification protocols. In 2007, Karen was seconded to Climate Change Central, a not-for-profit established by the Government of Alberta. There, Karen led the implementation of the necessary market processes, infrastructure, and tools needed to get the Alberta Carbon Offset Market off the ground. In that role, Karen and her Team leveraged the previous NOQT work to help build sound rules, platforms, science-based quantification protocols, tools, and infrastructure (e.g. registry) needed to facilitate the development of a Carbon Offset Market in Alberta.

Currently, Karen is President of Viresco Solutions Inc. – a network of leading advisors making sustainability real for public and private clients in the agriculture, energy, and food sectors across North America and globally. Our team of experts enables our clients to meet their environmental, social, and economic sustainability objectives by leveraging our knowledge and experience in environmental policy, markets, and economics. Viresco Solutions provides clients from across North America with support from strategy and policy development through to project implementation and Measuring, Reporting, and Verification platforms.

Karen obtained a Biological Sciences Diploma from NAIT, BSc in Plant Sciences, and MSc in Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry from the University of Alberta. Karen is also a registered Professional Agrologist with the Alberta Institute of Agrology.


Prior to his joining Viresco as Chief Scientist, Brian had 35 years of diverse experience in agri-environmental research, technology application, and science policy with the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture, Environment Canada, and, primarily, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. His research has been wide-ranging including soil and plant processes, soil health, water-agriculture inter-relationships, impacts of climate change on agriculture, quantifying carbon sequestration, and greenhouse gas emissions at the field to national scales, the sustainability of bioenergy, life-cycle assessment, and sustainability metrics. He led the initiative that developed the methods for quantifying the change in carbon stocks on Canada’s agricultural land used in Canada’s national greenhouse gas inventory.

Brian has contributed to the design of offset protocols for agricultural activities. From 2010 to 2014, he worked on developing the national strategy for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on agri-environmental research, development, and technology transfer. He was chosen by the IPCC to be a lead author for three different guidance documents that countries follow to report their national inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. From 2010 to 2018, he was co-chair of the Integrative Research Group for Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases involving 52-member countries.

Dr. McConkey has authored or co-authored 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He has been invited to national and international conferences to speak on his research. Many private and public organizations have sought his extensive expertise for input on science-based solutions. He has a BSc (Ag. Eng) from the University of Manitoba, an MSc (Ag. Eng.) from the University of Alberta, and a Ph.D. (Soils) from Washington State University.


Sayeed has 12+ years of working experience in leading innovative projects on carbon offset and insets, carbon markets, sustainability, bioenergy, nature-based solutions, GHG accounting and reporting, climate change, renewable energy, and international development. He holds a Master of Science (MSc.) in Renewable Energy Technology from University of Dhaka and a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Mechanical Engineering from Khulna University of Engineering & Technology (KUET). Presently, he is pursuing a Master of Sustainability in Regenerative Sustainability at The University of Saskatchewan. He also completed the Green Industry Summer Course organized by the UNIDO and Central European University and completed the ISO 14064 Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting course from the University of Toronto.

Since 2020, Sayeed works for Viresco Solutions Inc where he conducts research and advises on policies related to Carbon markets, Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting and Sustainability Strategy, Sustainable Agriculture, Nature-based solutions, manages public and private sector consulting contracts and coordinates technical workshops and meetings. He led the first Canada-based Grassland Protocol test to prove that carbon offset credits can be developed from an avoided conversion of grassland to cropland project. Prior to joining Viresco Solutions, he worked for Radicle Group Inc., Practical Action, and Renewable World. Till now, he worked with various multi-cultural multidimensional multi-million-dollar impactful projects, assignments and research works funded by Fortune 500 companies, major oil and gas companies, large agriculture and agrifood companies, carbon market companies and registries, industry associations, NGOs, research institutes, government agencies ( e.g., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Global Affairs Canada), funding agencies (e.g., UNICEF, Netherlands Enterprise Agency, European Commission, USAID, Norec, Swisscontact, GIZ, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) in USA, Canada, Europe, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Kenya. He has extensive experience in conducting scoping and feasibility studies, baseline and project assessments, End to End Carbon Roadmapping strategy development, project development and management, protocol development, carbon offsetting and insetting projects, GHG accounting and reporting (Scope 1, 2 & 3), low carbon fuel projects, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), stakeholder management, policy analysis and development.

Sayeed has utilized his analytical capabilities and communication skills to write several articles, reports, and website content. Some of his research findings were published in IEEE Xplore, MDPI, American Institute of Physics (AIP) Conference Proceedings, WasteSafe, IconSWM. He has affiliations with various national and international organizations like ACTia, SESA, and LCEDN, etc. He was a participant in the Norec Skill Exchange program and received Senior-level Leadership training from Franklin Covey. He has received training in CQI & IRCA (UK) Certified ISO 9001:2015 QMS, ISO 45001:2018 OHSMS, and ISO 14001:2015 EMS. Sayeed is based in Calgary, Alberta and actively volunteers in various no-profit organizations working for the development of Alberta.


Lucie graduated with a BSc. Geography (2003) and an MSc. Remote Sensing (2004) from University of London colleges and completed her interests in the sustainability domain with a Commodity Trading course in 2008. She is passionate about finding and implementing sustainable solutions for stakeholders to minimize negative environmental impacts based on operations and policy initiatives.

Lucie has worked as a consultant for over 10 years in the UK and Canada in technical and strategic advisory roles for satellite sector specialist consultancies (Esys in the UK and Euroconsult North America in Montreal, Canada) and on due diligence mandates across the infrastructure sector (Mott MacDonald). She then worked as Sales and Business Development Manager for a reforestation-based carbon offset project developer based in Canada and as Climate Officer for McGill University, contributing to the institutions’ efforts in working towards carbon neutrality. She is also on the board of a local Quebec-based non-profit (GRAME) focusing on environmental education, terrain work, and regulatory influence.

In her role as a sustainability specialist at Viresco, she brings her experience in market research and analysis, benchmarking, strategic decision-making, business development, and communications. Her particular interests lie in promoting nature-based solutions and sharing best practices to influence positive change across sectors. She is a fluent French speaker.


Rebecca has a strong background in climate change and environmental sciences, with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences (BSc.ENV) degree with a specialization in atmospheric and soil sciences and a Master’s of Science (MSc.) in Environmental Sciences from the University of Guelph. She is an NSERC CREATE Climate-Smart Soils scholar which provided her with a unique perspective on sustainable crop production. At Viresco, Rebecca provides analysis and technical writing expertise on projects related to sustainable agriculture and soil carbon sequestration.

Rebecca has worked on projects related to agriculture, bioenergy, and greenhouse gas emissions. During her bachelor’s degree, she undertook an independent research project on micrometeorological instrumentation methods for carbon dioxide measurement in agricultural systems. She worked with the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers to do a cost-benefit analysis of using greenhouse vegetable waste residues as the primary feedstock for anaerobic digestion in Southern Ontario. She also was a part of innovative research for optimizing high-value crop growth in greenhouses. 

During her master’s degree, Rebecca advocated for soil health at the Soil Health Interpretive Centre and worked with the Soil Conservation Council of Canada / Compost Canada on a roadmap report for soil carbon sequestration in Canada’s managed soils. As part of her master’s thesis, Rebecca developed a novel greenhouse gas measurement method for nitrous oxide emissions. This method was then used to find nitrous oxide mitigation strategies on a variety of cropping systems (simplified bi-culture, diversified, cover cropped, warmed) on varying soil types. 


Trevor graduated with a Bachelor of Bio-resource Management (BBRM) degree with a major in environmental management, and a course-based Masters of Environmental Science (MES) from the University of Guelph. He focused many of his studies on identifying holistic adaptation and mitigation strategies to combat natural and anthropogenic influenced climate change. At Viresco, Trevor looks to provide innovative research and analysis, and writing experience within projects related to nature-based solutions and methods to strategically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Trevor has experience working on projects related to environmental policy, ecosystem restoration, climate change science, and Indigenous community planning. During his time in academia, he would often rely on nature-based solutions (NbS) such as ecosystem services, and natural capital to qualify and quantify the importance of enhanced ecological integrity and sustainable conservation efforts to provide future generations with adequate resources. He believes concepts such as NbS can be used to identify and provide solutions to environmental, economic, and social sustainability.

Trevor’s experience working within the environmental sector has allowed him to collaborate on a series of ecosystem restoration projects. Success within these projects provides the ability to appreciate the importance of sound ecological integrity and the services ecosystems provide to all beings.


Wilson was raised on a mixed farm of grain, beef, and dairy in south-east Saskatchewan. His environmental interests led him to the BSc. Agroecology program at the University of Manitoba, which he graduated from in 2019. For his undergrad thesis project, Wilson studied the utility of using various C4 grasses for carbon storage and biofuel potential in southern Manitoba.

Wilson deepened his knowledge of cropping systems and environmental agronomy as a member of the Natural Systems Agriculture Lab in the University of Manitoba’s Department of Plant Science. He worked on field research projects testing the resiliency, sustainability, and productivity of crop rotations which differed in their degree of plant diversity and nutrient management. Wilson was also involved in organic crop breeding, phosphorous amendment studies, and mechanical weed control trials. In 2021, he helped found the Climate Action Committee in the Department of Plant Science.

As a Sustainability Specialist with Viresco Solutions, Wilson draws on his background in research and agronomy to support organizations in their sustainability initiatives. He is registered as an Agrologist-in-Training with the Manitoba Institute of Agrologists.


Paula graduated with a Bachelor of Agricultural and Environmental Science (BSc. Ag&Env) with a Food Production and Environment domain from McGill University. She is passionate about the intersection of environmentalism and agriculture. She comes from a cattle ranching background in Colombia, she also worked with the McGill dairy farm where she collaborated in animal welfare trials and fertilization plans.

Paula has experience in agricultural commodities and the supply chain as she worked as a commodity trader before joining Viresco. While trading commodities she deepened her understanding of the challenges involved in sourcing raw materials and created strong, lasting relationships down the supply chain. She has also collaborated with interdisciplinary projects in Barbados related to alternative fertilizer sources, water quality, and environmental remediation.

Paula is determined to use her knowledge and skills to find and share concrete solutions to problems that involve land use, food production, and emissions from agriculture to make a positive shift in the existing food systems. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and French.


Norah graduated with a BSc. in Environmental Science from the University of Guelph. Norah’s work as a graduate research assistant at the University of British Columbia- Okanagan focused on developing machine learning methods to determine relationships within complex ecosystems, particularly the impact of fuel structure on wildfire burn severity in British Columbia. She is passionate about environmental data analytics and is keen to use her experience to create innovative methods to help achieve sustainability goals. Norah has worked in the public and private sectors while expanding her experience in the environmental field. She has worked for the Remote Sensing division at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans where she developed methods to record and map Canada’s changing northern coast. Norah has also worked for the Ministry of Conservation and Parks in Toronto, ON where she contributed to an expanding database to track pollution within the Great Lakes. Additionally, Norah has some experience as a Sustainability and Product Development Coordinator from working for Aisle International, where she gained experience creating Life Cycle Assessments and developing strategies to increase sustainability within the company’s supply chain. Norah has a diverse set of skills and experience which she uses to solve complex sustainability problems. She is passionate about creating innovative and data-driven solutions for clients aiming to reduce their environmental impact. Norah is excited by the potential of Nature Based Solutions and their role in reducing atmospheric pollution in Canada.


Dale completed his Bachelor of Science in Agronomy at the University of Manitoba with minors in soil science and biology. During his undergraduate program, Dale completed an undergraduate thesis on agricultural retention ponds as a water management strategy to mitigate negative impacts resulting from agricultural runoff. Dale continued to a Masters of Science in the Department of Plant Science at the University of Manitoba where his research focused on the agronomic and economic impact of cover crops in on-farm trials across Manitoba. Dale’s research is important to developing a greater understanding of the practicality of adopting cover crops on the Canadian prairies. Dale’s MSc research is important to quantify the impacts cover crops have on soil fertility, soil health, and the subsequent crops. As part of the Research Affiliate Program at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Dale expanded on his economic research on cover crops to contribute to the Eastern Prairies Living Labs initiative. Dale’s cover crop research is fundamental to informing potential adopters, agronomists, and policymakers.
As a sustainability specialist at Viresco, Dale brings his knowledge of agronomy, agri-environmental research, and sustainable agricultural practices to contribute to solutions for a more resilient and sustainable food chain.


Nicola has an extensive background in the biological,environmental, and sustainability sciences. She graduated in 2018 from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Biology degree. While studying at Queen’s University, Nicola completed an independent research project in Dr. Bruce Tuft’s Freshwater Fisheries Conservation lab. Her research explored how the use of aquaponics may contribute to conservation and the sustainable use of freshwater fisheries in Canada, as well as offer opportunities for more durable and sustainable local food production systems. In September of 2020, Nicola successfully completed her Master of Science (MSc) degree in Biology from the University of Guelph. Her research was a part of the University of Guelph’s Food from Thought Program, which is funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. This program supports the development of innovative solutions that improve both the sustainability and productivity of agricultural production in Canada. Nicola’s MSc research, in particular, evaluated the impact of agricultural practices on aquatic ecosystem services. She tested the effects of a suite of anthropogenic stressors, including nutrient enrichment from fertilizer runoff, exposure to herbicides, and temperature increase due to global climate change, on algae populations and algal bloom dynamics.

Most recently, Nicola completed a Master of Science (MS) degree in Environmental Science from DePaul University. This Master’s equipped her with more knowledge of the environmental and sustainability sectors, practical skills in geographic information systems (GIS) and ecological data analysis, and hands-on experience in the field. Nicola had the opportunity to work with the Chicago Park District and the Field Museum of Natural History on local sustainability initiatives that contributed to environmental conservation efforts. Nicola has completed several additional internships in her time as a student, including two with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and one with the non-profit organization, the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust. These internships fueled Nicola’s passion for environmental conservation and sustainability work, which is why she is so excited serve as a Sustainability Specialist at Viresco Solutions Inc. Nicola understands the importance of nature-based solutions, sustainable supply chains, and effective carbon management strategies in our collective fight against climate change. Equipped with her educational background, work experience, and as part of the team at Viresco, Nicola is determined to contribute to making transformative change happen within the sustainability space.

Our Associates


Joining Viresco Solutions as an Associate, Xiaomei brings 30 years of experience in agriculture and municipal waste management and greenhouse gas measurements. Her former research technology development programs with Alberta Innovates (former Alberta Research Council and Alberta Innovates-Energy and Environmental Solutions) focused on understanding responses of terrestrial ecosystems to environmental changes, developing technologies and solutions to mitigate impacts of these environmental changes, and promoting a sustainable and circular economy in Alberta.

Xiaomei’s technology development efforts aim to address environmental challenges in waste recycling, organic waste utilization and conversion, biogas generation, and the management of land and water resources. Her previous work has run the gamut from laboratory research to commercialization and marketing of innovative products, both within private sector firms as well as non-profit and government agencies. Her major accomplishments include:
• Creating a Biowaste Utilization Program that drove efforts of turning livestock waste into marketable products, including bioenergy and biofertilizer.
• Inventing IMUS (Integrated Manure Utilization System), which turns manure and agricultural waste into energy and value-added product.
• Investigating the effect of ethylene emission impact on agricultural crops, which contributed to the establishment of the official guidelines for ethylene oxide distribution in Alberta.
• Initiating a new approach to the reclamation of oil sand disturbed areas using organic wastes generated by its production, where the soil regeneration process will be initiated by creating a favourable soil physical environment in which biological processes can proceed uninhibitedly.
• Working with her partner to develop the K-model and the Soil P-Export Model (SPEM) that allows users to quantify soil carbon storage and assess the environmental risks associated with P runoff into surface water from agricultural land.

Xiaomei has authored or co-authored 12 published/issued patents, and 175 reports and peer-reviewed journal articles. She has been invited to speak on her research and technology to university classes, national and international conferences.  Xiaomei has a BSc (agricultural chemistry and soil science) from Shanxi Agricultural University, MSc (soil physics) from China Agricultural University, and Ph.D. (soil and plant water relation) from Oregon State University. Xiaomei is a retired Professional Agrologist.


Aaron, a Professional Engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, is both the Founder and Director of Brightspot Climate and an Associate with Viresco Solutions. Aaron brings more than thirteen years of experience analyzing, quantifying, and auditing greenhouse gas emissions in North America. Prior to forming Brightspot in 2015, Aaron worked for several years leading a team of fifteen GHG verification and policy analysts across Canada with ICF International.

Aaron has developed the corporate greenhouse gas inventories of a broad range of companies including international wineries, financial institutions, property management companies, municipalities, and industrial facilities. His verification experience exceeds 300 greenhouse gas offset projects and facility verifications. These verifications include but are not limited to commercial buildings, electricity generation, oil & gas extraction and processing, greenhouse operations, beef management, conservation cropping (zero-tillage) and nitrogen fertilizer management reduction projects, as well as renewable energy, and waste management. He is sought after for his expertise in devising strategies to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical implementation of methodologies for quantifying, reporting, and verifying.

For the previous five years, Aaron has been an instructor at the University of Toronto’s School of Environment and School of Continuing Studies, teaching courses focus on the three parts of the ISO 14064 standard, which provides governments, businesses, regions, and other organisations with a complimentary set of tools for programs to quantify, monitor, report and verify greenhouse gas emissions.

Aaron has a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan and is originally from rural Saskatchewan where he grew up on his family’s mixed dairy and grain farm. His experience in agriculture is apparent in his work ethic and his knowledge of farming practices on the Canadian Prairies.


Tom Ogaranko leads transformational change with high performing teams focused on complex challenges. Over his 26-year career, he has founded, built and exited multiple technology companies in advanced technology industries. He has advised the Governments of Canada and France and several Canadian Provincial Governments on innovation policy and has been involved in structuring the three crown agencies involved in research, innovation and technology development. Tom has assembled and structured $1B of investment funds for stimulating and growing innovative capacity for public and private clients. Tom is a frequent advisor to the Government on policies to grow ICT, biotechnology, genomics and cleantech sectors. Tom has also actively advised some of the leading innovative companies in Canada’s pharmaceutical, energy, mining, telecommunications and technology sectors.

Tom is presently involved in the development of a test and demonstration centre in Edmonton for bio industrial innovations, advises the Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre in Vancouver on its Industrial Challenge Program advancing pre-commercial innovations to market faster and serves as the Chief Innovation Officer for TrustBIX, a Canadian Agrifood Traceability and Sustainability company, with operations in Canada, USA, Mexico and China.

Tom is a Practitioner for the Challenge Dialogue System® (CDS®) Network. The CDS Network is a community of practitioners – a community of practice – that is trained, accredited and have the rights to use the CDS® methodology for their own professional work or offer it as a service to their own clients. The CDS Network is overseen by a Practice Council that provides guidance to the Network on foundational values and principles, learning, accreditation, and the evolution of CDS. The Network also develops and makes available marketing and practice support materials. The Practice Council includes Keith (Victoria), Tom Ogaranko (Edmonton) and Don Simpson (Toronto).


Deborah has a business and marketing background with 40 years of experience in the agriculture industry, primarily cattle production, and 8 years of experience in the world of beef sustainability. Making a claim about how something was produced must be backed by data and information in the world today, by working in that world of production practices, technology, and data she strives to make that possible. She has worked on traceability technology and sustainability validation programs for food processors and retailers of all sizes, domestically and globally. She feels one of the key factors in the success of sustainable agrifood and byproduct supply chains globally is the use of technology and integrations; to share validated production, movement, and transformation information along with sustainability practices and programs throughout those supply chains.

Deborah contributed to the formation of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) in 2016, serving on the traceability, indicator development and business committees as well as the National Council for four years. As a recognized public speaker, she has had the opportunity to speak at many events over the last 8 years, speaking at the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) in Ireland in 2019, and the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL) in 2018, about the formation of the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration (CBSA) Pilot Project. Her company provided an auditable “chain of custody” technology platform for this program, which is now permanent – Certified Sustainable Beef (CSB). Both groups, GASL and GRSB, have catalyzed multi-stakeholder action to improve the livestock industry’s use of natural resources while ensuring their contribution to food sustainability, security, social issues, and livelihoods.

Deborah continues to work with global food processors, government, NGOs, food sales, producers, and others, while serving on national initiatives such as the National Index for Agrifood Performance, defining sustainability and agrifood performance in Canada, as well as the Canadian Standards Association advisory groups. She is proud to work in agriculture along with family, raising cattle and quarter horses in central Alberta, and in a previous role she wrote a monthly column for Canada’s only national beef publication for 9 years.