Mistik Askiwin Dendrochronology Laboratory

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Laboratory Veteran Crew Members

We all know that an undergrad, Master's student, PhD's or even a postdoc can't stay in the nest forever. So we have created this page in memorial of those brave souls who have served their time in the MAD Lab and have escaped to the real world with only their emotional and physical scars to proved that they were once part of the


Scott (Candy) Wood


Inge (Duchess) Verbeek


Cassidy (Fuzzy) Oborowsky


Nicole (Knickers) Marleau


Victoria (Smuckers) Millette


Adam (Vespers) Cheeseman


Zoe (Velma) Armstrong

Jif Kershaw

Geoff (Jiffy) Kershaw - Half pirate, half rasta, and a half miler, Jiffy is one and a half times taller than your average dendrochronologist.  He likes aspen a lot.  This is strange, but then again, so is Geoff.  He likes his laptop an aweful lot too, perhaps too much, and is prone to weeping when they don't have their quality time together. Geoff is well into music, and his hobbies include passionate didgeridoo solos in the MAD Lab, which tend to echo through the entire building.  Geoff and his didgeridoo know all of the security guards on campus, the local by-law officer, and of course all of the town RCMP by first name. Well as long as he has his little black name book with him at least.  


Bryan (Jobs) Mood - Bryan can be a bit stunned most of the time.  Hmmm, not too much else to say here...  Oh ya, he also complains nearly all the time...well perhaps constantly is a better word.  Never one to sit quiet, Bryan can always be counted on to say an inappropriate thing, at the most inappropriate time.  Hired to be a computer programmer in the MAD Lab, he has learned almost every computer language possible through a series of failures. When he fails to accomplish task one with the first language, he learns a new programming language and fails with that one too. Luckily he is a master baker, and brings in baked goods on most days and all road trips.  For this, he is a highly regarded member of the MAD Lab team. Bryan's favourite cookie is currently a milk chocolate centered ginger snap.



Emily (Chuckles) Hogan - Being mean to kids just comes naturally to Emily. A graduate of the Marcel Marceau School of Mime Hand Dancing, Emily and her countless buckets of character spends most of her time trying to torment kids with school work.  After spending the first 5 years of her undergraduate degree carefully studying the best way to get under a "young punks" skin, Emily decided making them do school work was about as low as she could go. She then transferred out of Commerce. In the subsequent 2 years of her undergraduate degree, she figured out that forcing science on grade twos is mathematically the most onerous time in a youngster's career. She then transferred out of Chemistry. She then spent the summer of 2011, developing and piloting an Environmental Science detective book on a subsample of kiddies at Salem Elementary.  She then transferred out of Environmental Science. She plans to use the final 6 years of her undergrad Geography degree at Mount Allison to spread chaos, and hopes to develop her book to the point where it will require the grade twos to also do homework too.  Chuckles is a terrible decision maker.


Cecilia (CC) Jennings - Taking time out of her career goal of creating world peace, CC has blessed the MAD Lab with her presence.  Just having her around us has made us all better people, mainly because she has told us so. Her background is nearly everything and that fits in well as, we usually give her everything to do.  Well every job we can think of at least, and to date, she has accomplished them all. Her forte includes, interior design, cooking potluck masterpieces, classical music and musical instruments (specializing in violins, mandolins, and accordians), woodworking equipment, labour relations, as well as alcohol, tobacco and firearms laws of the United States and Canada. Cecilia is an English major and a Leo.


Stu (Stooge) Murray - Understanding the zen art of dendrochronology, Stu's aura has brought him to the MAD Lab. Although we like him, Stooge has a reputation of being in a continuous speed wobble, perhaps from his previous training as a former Chemistry major. To knock the living Chemistry out of him, we have subjected him to a series of tree-ring acronyms like XRF, EDXRF, and especially WDXRF. When that didn't work, we sent him to the Canadian Light Source, and more importantly the dorm rooms at the U of S in a heat wave to sweat out the last bit of Chemistry he had. 

Trixie Quann
Sarah (Trixie) Quann - Trixie comes from a fine Maritime family steeped firmly in the fisheries of Cape Breton.  Since her alleged allergies to seafood have kept her out of her mom's family business, she decided instead to try trees.  After selling her indentured soul to the devil (Amanda), Sarah entered the MAD Lab's abridged 7-year undergraduate training program to become an apprenticed "helper".  She is currently working on mastering year one tasks such as fetching a sample straw, throwing a bag over a cliff at Joggins, and trying to quickly find the start of a roll of wet duct tape in the rain.  Sarah's hobbies include stock car racing (To the floor, twenty-four!...Chucker tells us it is some kind of a Jeff Gordon groupie kind of thing that she always says...) and best of eleven Monopoly tournaments.  slquann@mta.ca


Emma (Pumps) Davis - Rarer than a lefthanded calf roper, Emma is one of the most gifted of the gifted in the MAD Lab. Her background includes world class rankings in: One-leg calf roping, caragana killing, wearing inappropriate footwear in a batting cage, and highland dancing. Although she entered the MAD Lab relatively late in her carreer, she made up for things quickly due to her extensive "in-your-face" dendrochronology abilities, and her aggressive potential.  She's got sacks full of agressive potential. Emma can not be confined to specialize with just one tree species, instead she likes them all, and currently has nine friendly species that she works with.  Did I mention that she likes western Canada?  Ya, that and she has a hankering for Mexican food, all the time. She is also a quasi-vegetarian, but will only eat meat if she is allowed to rope it and BBQ it herself.     

Ice Bock
Georgia (Ice) Bock -  Georgia is a nice person, no matter what it says on the stall wall # 4 in the men's washroom.  Her sister is probably nicer though, but that is just because Georgia has a bit of an attitude. Not since the likes of.... hmmmm.....well OK, we've never had anyone in the MAD Lab with an attitude like Georgia. The positive thing though, is now we know not to do that again.  With her steely dark eyes, Ice Bock can cut through a lesser being with but a glance.  By hiring Bryan to fill the position of weak link in the lab, we took the pressure off of everyone else though, as Georgia dedicates most of her considerable anger towards yelling at Jobs. Spending time in the MAD Lab "working" is Georgia's favorite hobby.  She does it almost weekly, that is if she can fit it into her busy Facebook schedule. 


Steve (Beaker) Hall -  Steve came to the MAD Lab after having no fun in Chemistry.  He arrived and spent most of his time working on his joystick response time and of course being late for work.  He subsequently learned more about Environmental Chemistry on his first MAD Lab road trip to a greasy pub in Halifax then he had ever dreamed.  Although best known to most for the "cesspool of useless information" he has collected in his 12 % over-sized head during trivia nights, Beaker is often wrong.  In fact, he statistically calculated that he is incorrect at most things, 63 % of the time, 19 times out of 20....even if his sample size is one.  As he says, that's the way they do it in Chemistry, and both his brother and his mother agree with him.  With this kind of logic, most should be able to see why he was runner up for rookie-of-the-year three times in a row.     

Lucy (Goose) Niles -  Goose comes to the MAD Lab straight from the southern Labrador fashion world.  As Lucy says, "Fashion IS my passion". Lucy first met the MAD Lab in Happy Valley-Goose Bay during a stopover karaoke binge-night at a local watering hole.  She became enthralled with Chucker and Ghost from afar, and went home that night and wrote about her dream to follow their path to glory in her diary.  The next day her daddy made a call and she was hired to fulfill her dreams under the bright lights of the Sackville music scene.  Besides music and fashion, Goose likes candy.

A. Dean
Dean (Sar-Dean) Dumaresq - Dean is a nice person, but he hates small children. O.K., he doesn't hate them all, but if you are a small child, and if you are in his way, he will not hesitate to throw a frisbee at you.  Luckily he will only aim for your head.  Dean is a Memorial grad student who works in the MAD Lab. He studies coastal trees in Labrador and polar bears.  Well, perhaps it would be more correct to say that the polar bears study Dean, while Dean studies coastal trees in Labrador.  Although Dean has few results completed, the polar bears have completed their assessment and have decided that they would like to invite Dean over for dinner sometime. Although they have indicated that he just needs to bring himself, we recommend that Dean bring all of his arsenal of frisbees with him. d_dumaresq@hotmail.com

Chris K
Chris (Ghost) Kennedy - As a half MUN, half MTA grad student, Chris is easily a man of mystery.  No one ever knows which side of the planet he is on, but then again no one ever knows where he is.  If you phone MUN and ask for Chris, they say they think he is in Sackville.  If you call MTA and ask for Chris, they say he is probably in Newfoundland. The real answer, is he is probably at home, or at Becka's house, but he is never where you need him. Chris is a ghost. The one place that the ghost appears, is on the disco dance floor.  In fact on the dance floor, he is quite the opposite...he is a... hmmm, what's the word....  Lets see, when dancing during field excursions, he cuts a mean rug, has a lot of drinks bought for him for free, and has been known to to get a ride home in some one else's taxi quite often.  I think you'd have to call him a...dendrochronologist.


Amanda (Aby) Young - Amanda has big muscles and she likes to use them.  As the MAD Lab's full time manager, she is tough and that is the way she likes it.  When she's relaxing, Amanda enjoys roping steers, smacking them around a little bit, or BBQ'ing the little buggers.  When she's at work, Amanda enjoys roping underlings, smacking them around a little bit..and we hope she never has need for a BBQ at work. Amanda has come to Canada specifically for the curling, and is training for the US Olympic team. If her dreams come true, she will put the Sackville Curling Club on the international map (...not that it isn't already on the map, just that the star will be much BIGGER!).  Amanda is a strict vegetarian, and is one of the few people in the MAD Lab who is not a Pisces. ayoung@mta.ca

Carrie (Chucker) White - Carrie is a three year MAD Lab'ber and she is still a rookie. Other than hating bugs, trees, plants and fresh air, she enjoys being in the outdoors (except when there is a good TV show on). Her number one pleasure in life is chasing Ben around the woods, especially when it is straight uphill. Although we bug her a lot, she usually deserves it. To make sure we keep talking to her, she continually buys us ice cream. Carrie is the most treasured member of the MAD Lab. We love her to pieces (especially on payday, or when a new flavour comes in at Sassy's). cawhite@mta.ca


Ben (Mr. Min) Phillips - Passion runs deep in Mr. Min's still waters.  Whether creating a new idea for a sculpture, or spending 11 hours a day on a stool looking into the microscope, Min is a fixture in the MAD Lab.  With a good mix of in-your-face environmentalism, combined with a scientific mind for details, and the aesthetic sense of a formally trained artist, Min adds a creative side to the lab that is probably unmatched in the world.  Examples include his tree movies and the art behind the Jimmy Swift Band. Bin enjoys loud music, and welding. bephllp@mta.ca

Andre (Rapunzel) Robichaud - Andre is the newest member of the Robichaud family (includes the Selig-Wannabe-Robichaud in the vetran's club) in the MAD Lab. Andre comes to the lab as the most trained and highly valued dendrochronologist in the region.  Simply put, he can do anything.  He can fly faster than a speeding bullet, jump small stumps in a single bound, and can even walk on water if he is wearing his Cap-Pele sneakers (pictured here).  His rugged good looks, coupled with his aggressive potential, has most females swooning, and the average Acadian barn board nervous.  His long-term plans include finding the construction dates of many of the historical buildings in New Brunswick, and opening a small internet cafe catering to the needs of the average Acadian. arobicha@mta.ca

Mariana (M) Trindade - Mariana is the newest latest post doctoral candidate in the MAD Lab. She is fairly cool, even when she is not immersed in Labrador lakes.  She preferes to core no tree larger than her biceps, which of course are bigger than most, but still, this limits her from coring trees below 48 degrees north latitude. This is problematic to the lab, but not to Mariana. She also does not like the new lab motto of  "You're not hard core, unless you core hardwood".  She prefers he own coring motto "There's nothing wrong with a good twenty-two year old...tree, pass the wine please".   mtrindade@mta.ca

Peter (no-name) Nishimura - Peter is a grad student. He looks a bit stunned most of the time, but that is because he is a bit stunned most of the time. He is still a nice enough fellow though. He works on trees and tree rings in western Labrador. He does this because he thinks the west is best. He cheers for the Canucks, the Lions, and the Grizzlies (even though they have moved some time ago...don't tell him). He is quiet and mostly keeps to himself. Because of this he really has no nickname, so we nicknamed him no-name. If he ever does something interesting, his name might change. But probably not. pnishimura@mta.ca


Lanna (Fleet) Campbell - Lanna has a strong military background, which serves her well during her hobbies of sharpshooting and ordering people around.  Lanna has been with the lab since forever ago as an undergraduate, and because she missed us so much, decided to come back and continue her Master's research with us too.  As a Dalhouise student she has come to expect nothing but the best, and so was quite surprised when she came back to the MAD Lab and saw that nothing had changed.  Lanna is an environmentalist, and dances like Elaine on Seinfeld. LCampbell@Dal.ca

Hannah (Zuke) MacDonald - Half vegetarian and half environmentalist, Zuke is a very complicated person.  A Cape Breton'er through and through, she can easily be pushed into using her accent to give you the best directions to Tim Horton's boi. Zuke is also trying to push the virtues of x-ray florescence on the rest of the lab.  So far she has met very little resistance, specifically because none of us know what x-ray florescence is, and how it might have anything to do with a tree ring.  Zuke assures us that it somehow does, but we all became a little more suspect when she started to try to convince us to visit the Sydney Tar Ponds with her, "just for fun".  Hannah enjoys keying out tree species as a hobby, and so far her favorite one contains more heavy metal than a '64 Buick.  It also has white thingies on it, with green bit on the ends.  hcmacdonald@mta.ca

Brian (Veep) Crouse - Brian is a seaman and he walks funny. Well he at least knows a seaman (because he is from the south shore and they all know a seaman), but he does walk funny, that's for sure. Some people say it is from one of his past lives when he was caught betweeen a detector and a barium enima particle, and randomly bombarded by a few radical Higgs bosons that fell out of their isospin-like orbitals travelling near the speed of light. If you ask Brian though, he just says he was dropped on his head as a baby. Both are probably true. Brian wears a thong...we saw it on his clothesline. It is fuschia lamé...it matches his tube-top. bccrouse@mta.ca


Mary (Suzie) MacQuaid - Suzie Q is the newest-tallest person in the MAD Lab.  She is very friendly and pleasant to be around, but first and foremost she brings with her an extensive background in mechanics and power tool maintenance.  In fact not since the days of Zach Daddy, has the MAD lab been in such capable hands as Suzie's.  We look up to her in all respects, specifically because she is tall, but also because she has "pipes of steel" and could crush us whenever she wants to unleash her female powers.  Because we often travel to locations of extreme perril and various logging competitions, we are all extremely happy to have Suzie on our side. memcquaid@mta.ca

Felicia (Dish) Pickard - As the MAD Lab's main player, the Dish is always making some kind of move.  Most of them are to a country music tune, but we still like her anyway.  As a farm girl, she has an ingrained sense of pride in her work and it shows in her early to bed, early to rise attitude.  Well that is at least what she tells us her attitude is all about.  The rest of us get in at about noon, and she let us know that the sun gets up at whatever o'clock or so, and that she has put in more work while we were sleeping, than we do all day...blah blah... blah...  This for all intents and purposes is probably true, but none of us want to get up extremely early, say nine or ten, to come in to the lab to check out if she is really here and working or not.  The Dish is a sagittarius, which is really hard for most of us to say three times fast. fdpickard@mta.ca

Nicole (Shifty) d'Entremont - Nicole is shifty.  Well not really shifty, but something is up with her.  We haven't figured it out yet, so we nicknamed her Shifty.  She seems so trustworthy, and so far she has been a perfect lab mate, but her eyes always make us feel unconfortable. It freaks us out a bit that she stares at us, like we are all crazy, and MAD or something.  Thank goodness she can really cook.  She is always bringing her baked goods into the lab and keeping us smiling on the inside, even if we are leery of her on the outside.  Nicole likes old, old, old, trees, and is looking to find one in her home province of Nova Scotia that she can call her own and make famous. She will name it, "The Shifty Tree" if she finds it.   nmdentremont@mta.ca

Sarah (Krusty) Hart - Sarah is vying for the title of the grouchiest person in the MAD Lab.  Although a rookie in every sense of the word, she pushes buttons where ever she goes and has most of the upper management of the Lab waiting for her evaluation day. She smiles a lot, but never when the sun is out.  She has a very good kick, but lacks the patience and turtling ability of most of the past boxers in the MAD Lab.  Hopefully with work on her left jab, she will one day hold her own when she is called out behind the rink after school.  Sarah thinks Bobby Clarke is a magical general manager, and enjoys making bird calls in her sleep.  sjhrt@mta.ca
Carolyn (RC) Reardon - RC is very British-minded and is the most loyal person to her royal majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the MAD Lab. Having said that, she also doesn't mind a mean speaker dance once in a while, as she believes it does the body good to "shake the ol' knickers" once in a while. Her favorite tree is one that is in the middle of a bog, especially the one that is a few centimetres deeper than the capabilities of her rubber gum boots. Carolyn enjoys surfer-dudes, skateboards and surfer-dudes with skatboards.  If the surfer-dude does not have a skateboard, she is also willing to lend him a skateboard...he just has to come over to her house to get get it... perhaps next Friday night?...shall we say 8:00'ish?  cmrrdn@mta.ca
Natasha (Gnat ) O'Neill -  Nat is a good person.  DO NOT  let the rumours fool you.  She works hard and has a thing called "ethical behavior".  This is a new concept for the MAD Lab, but we do not think it will catch on. Natasha has a long history working on historical structures.  She has dated many structures in the Maritimes and is continuing by working on old churches on the south shore of Nova Scotia.  As an aggressive vegetarian, and humanitarian, Natasha is trying her best to rid the world of all things mushroom, for the good of our society.  She has a long row to hoe.  She also has a penchant for Ferris wheels.  naonll@mta.ca
Ryan (Jiggy) Jameson - Dance, Dance, Dance, that is what the tattoo on the small of Jiggy's back reads.  When is comes to the fine art of busting a hump on the dance floor, Ryan is the man.  His fine footwork on the dance floor translates very well to springing through the woods and over slash piles to take increment cores.  Jiggy hopes to one day do something environmental, but he has just not yet figured out what that is yet.  Ryan prefers the fine odiferous pleasures of Thuja occidentalis, to any other tree and also likes a sudsy frothy beverage called beer.  rgjmsn@mta.ca
Bethany (Babs) Coulthard - Babs lives in a bus.  It is a yellow school bus.  Babs really likes her yellow school bus.  Her yellow school bus probably likes her.  Babs works in bogs in Nova Scotia.  There are very small trees in the bogs in which she works.  There are very big insects in the bogs in which she works.  They also say there are man-eaing ticks in the bogs in which she works.  Babs is learning how to hook.  She wants to hook a rug and a pillow cover.  She hopes to one day be the best hooker in the MAD Lab (Ben is currently the best hooker in the MAD Lab). blclthr@mta.ca
Margaret (Marvard) Leighton - Margaret is one of the newest converts to the MAD Lab experience. Although she just got here, she is making plans to leave us and is headed off to a place called Harvard College for a year-long sabatical. Although no one associated with the MAD Lab has ever heard of Harvard, we are all quite sure Margaret is making a big mistake.  We all feel, why would anyone want to go off to find adventure in a place called Harvard, when back packing with Ben, or sharing a tent with Niggles after bean dip night, is often more adventure than anyone needs in their life. Margaret likes all things Celtic, speaks Chinese, and enjoys the challenge of a good VLT.  malghtn@mta.ca
Christine (Chaud) Robichaud - Although she was never west of Toronto until the summer of 2004, Christine is quickly developing a fondness for Alberta...the mud, the men and the beer...in that order.  She worked the slippery slopes of Maligne Pass this past summer, studying timberline migration and how this might change under future climate regimes.  She wants to someday become a cattle rancher, or a film director, but that might also change.  Steeped deeply in her rich Acadian heritage, she also likes to sing and play zydeco music. cbrbchd@mta.ca

Nigel (Niggles) Selig - Not only boasting an uncanny ability with directions and maps, Nigel is the sole person on the MAD Lab team who was born and raised in Nova Scotia.  If you haven't already heard, EVERYTHING is better in Nova Scotia... the seafood is better, the hurricanes blow stronger, and the water has more unknown trace chemicals than in other parts of the nation.  Luckily, Nigel is not opinionated about anything, and if you give him a chance, he'll tell you why.  Niggles has a distinct love for ballroom dancing and has shown many people, on many occasions, a new fancy-footwork dance he is working on called the Bridgewater 2-4 jig. neslg@mta.ca

Zach (Zach-Daddy) Vanthournout - Zach is a very old man.  When not busy trying to take his morning, afternoon, or evening nap, Zach is working hard on some strange idea.  We have never truly understood one of his ideas yet, but if we ever do, you can be sure it will be presented to you in 14 point Arial (...it takes up a little more room, and looks so good).  Zach has a long distinguished military career and has served our country very well.  Because of this, we cut him a lot of slack, and pretend that he is one of the gang.  Zach is a loud talker, perhaps because of the years of artillery shell training, or because no one ever talks to him.  Zach enjoys testing electrified fences for voltage, needlepoint, and obeying and worshipping his wife. zrvnthr@mta.ca

Lara Lara (Doc) West - Doc West is the most politically active member of the MAD Lab crew.  She is very active in more than one hundred and seven clubs, associations, partnerships, organizations, councils, societies, affiliations, and many other multisyllabic words.  Her passion is green issues and making the world a better place.  Although there have been a few setbacks, she plans to be in Ottawa in a few years, ridding the halls of the capital of needless waste and stupidity.  Doc has had more jobs than all other members of the MAD Lab combined, and she is only 14 years old.  Luckily she hails from Alberta, where child labour laws support her vigorous attitude that you can always work harder. lmwst@mta.ca

Monik (Mo) Richard - Monik comes to us from far away Acadiaville. As a Master's student in biology, Monik is trying to bridge the gap between tree rings and turtle rings.  Yes, turles have rings, actually belly rings. And no it is not a fad that all turtle parents wish would go away. The endangered Blandings turtle, her study species, produces an annual ring on their belly plate.  Monik is trying to find an environmental signal held within the turtle's belly rings similar to tree-ring analysis.  In doing so, she will bridge the gap between Mount Allison and Acadia, and biology and geography. Monik enjoys shopping, and stopping by the lab on trips home to Moncton to shop.  Monik has a belly ring of her own...just ask her to see it. monik.richard@acadiau.ca

Amanda (Pipes) Colford - Amanda was drawn to the sexiness of dendrochronology late in her academic career, but like many late bloomers, she more than made up for her slow start.  Amanda established the Lab's conference presentation delivery protocol (CPDP ), which to this day is followed by many of the undergrads that conform to her standards.  Her abilities to demolish hotel furniture while "living on the edge" in most of the Maritime provinces is a thing of legends (which many informed individuals believe is the real reason that the Rolling Stones came to Moncton...to challenge her record).  The great news for Amanda, is that now that the charges have been dropped for "mounting and fondling" the brass moose sculpture in St John, she will be accepted into her grad program at UNB. Amanda likes to dance, and figure skate.  aeclfrd@mta.ca

Sadie - Sadie has no nickname. Sadie is a dog.  Sadie is a good-looking dog.  You should see Sadie run.  Run Sadie run. Sadie is a black dog.  Sadie likes frisbees.  Sadies likes sticks.  Sadie likes to go for a ride.  Sadie is our mascot. We love Sadie. Run Sadie run. Sadie has no e-mail address, what are you looking for. Sadie is a dog, silly. Dogs can't e-mail.

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2014 Mistik Askiwin Dendrochronology Lab

Maintained by Colin Laroque
December 4, 2017