Paul Stamets, speaker, author, mycologist, medical researcher and entrepreneur, is considered an intellectual and industry leader in fungi: habitat, medicinal use, and production. He lectures extensively to deepen the understanding and respect for the organisms that literally exist under every footstep taken on this path of life.
Paul is the author of six books (including Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms, and Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World), he has discovered and named numerous new species of psilocybin mushrooms. Paul has been awarded more than 40 patents with several patent applications in queue for unexpected activity of psilocybin analogues stacked with other substances.
He has received numerous awards, including: Invention Ambassador (2014-2015) for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the National Mycologist Award (2014) from the North American Mycological Association (NAMA), and the Gordon & Tina Wasson Award (2015) from the Mycological Society of America (MSA). Paul’s extensive work in the field of mycology has earned him an official induction into The Explorers Club (2020).
His work has entered into the mainstream of popular culture. In the new Star Trek: Discovery series on CBS, the Science Officer is portrayed by an Astromycologist…. a Lt. Paul Stamets. Paul’s work with mycelium is a central theme of this series.
Duncan Grady, D Min, MS, Elder
Dr. Duncan Grady’s professional experience includes over 20 years of post secondary education and 36 years of psychotherapy in addictions, trauma, death and dying. He has a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology and a Doctorate of Divinity specific to Creation Spirituality. He is retired from professional work and is an elder of the Circle of Indigenous Nations Society, West Kootenays, BC. He currently co-leads retreats, works with communities impacted by lateral violence and provides training and consultation using western and non-western approaches to health, well-being, spirituality, trauma, dying and death. During the past year he has met with communities in BC and Alberta to assist health care teams experiencing the overwhelm of working with suicide, fentanyl overdose and death. This work has primarily been with care providers who provide services, but has also included community presentations as well.
Valorie Masuda, MD, FCFP(EM)(PC), GPO
Dr. Valorie Masuda is a palliative care physician and general practitioner in oncology working in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. Certified in psychedelic medicine through the California Institute of Integral Studies, Valorie was also trained through Therapsil and the Roots to Thrive program. She has been working in the psychedelic space since 2020 using psilocybin-assisted therapy for palliative patients, navigating the Section 56 Exemption and later, the Special Access Program to support patients with distress secondary to their serious cancer diagnosis. So far, 17 patients have been supported through the Roots to Thrive psilocybin-assisted therapy program. In addition, Valorie has been supporting patients with both independent and group psilocybin-assisted therapy, and is currently working in the Cowichan Valley supporting palliative patients at home, in hospice and hospital, as well as working in the community oncology clinic. Valorie’s other interests include sustainable food production, and playing music including the viola in two community orchestras.
Tarzie McLean, MC, RCT
Tarzie McLean has a Masters in Counseling Psychology, is a Registered Counseling Therapist, and has been working in counselling, mental health, community development and systems transformation for over 20 years. Tarzie works from a holistic model of health and recognizes the interplay between biology/physiology, psychology, social supports, and spiritual wellbeing. She is passionate about helping people get informed about psychedelic-assisted therapy. She provides individual counseling support through her private practice, Soul Compass Therapy, www.soulcompass.info.
Crosbie Watler, MD, FRCPC;
Dr. Crosbie Watler is the lead psychiatrist for the Roots to Thrive Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy Programme and an emerging thought leader, forging new pathways to alleviate suffering related to mental distress. He completed his MA in Psychology at Lakehead University, before going to Medical School at McMaster in 1988. Following medical school, Dr. Watler completed his residency in psychiatry at Dalhousie University. Upon completion he worked in Kenora, Ontario from 1995-2001, where he was Chief of Psychiatry at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital. In 2001 Dr. Walter relocated to Duncan BC with his wife and their three children, working within Island Health and served as Medical Director and the Department Head for Psychiatry. Dr. Watler has practised in multiple settings including, tertiary, inpatient, outpatient and ACT. Dr. Watler’s current interests focus on incorporating the best of modern medicine with holistic/integrative health.
In my role as a VIU Elder-in-Residence, I work directly with students and Faculty/Professors in Health and Human Services programs at VIU and the Shq’apthut/Gathering Place. I share my Traditional Knowledge to work with all programs within the Health & Human Services and within the Shq’apthut programs. I am a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation and I am married to Earl Manson. I have worked for my community since 1980 and I must credit my cultural wisdom and education to my Elders, present, and Elders who have passed on. As the Elders’ Coordinator for Snuneymuxw First Nations, I carry many other responsibilities that relate to culture and traditions in the community. I served 12 years as an elected council-member and I continue to be mentored in the traditional cultural practices of the Snuneymuxw people. I am excited to be part of this journey, working with medicines that can provide healing for those who continue to suffer, despite trying traditional treatment methods.
Dr. Devon Christie is a medical doctor and registered counsellor with a focused practice in chronic pain and trauma. She is trained to deliver both MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, and she serves as Senior Lead of Psychedelic Programs with Numinus Wellness. Devon is also a certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher, Functional Medicine practitioner, and clinical instructor with UBC Family Medicine. She is currently Co-Investigator and study therapist for a Canadian MAPS-sponsored trial investigating MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, and co-investigator on a pilot study investigating MDMA-assisted therapy for fibromyalgia.
Pamela Kryskow, MD
Dr. Pamela Kryskow is a medical doctor with a strong interest in chronic pain, mental health and psychedelic medicine.
She is a clinical instructor at UBC and adjunct professor at VIU.
She is one of the founding board members of the Canadian Psychedelic Association and the medical chair of the Vancouver Island University Post Graduate Certificate in Psychedelic Medicine assisted Therapy.
Dr Kryskow is actively involved in research related to psilocybin, MDMA, ketamine, front line health care workers and first responders mental wellness. She is co-investigator on the largest microdosing study Microdose.me which is ongoing with 17000+ enrolled participants.
She is the medical lead on the Roots To Thrive Ketamine and Psilocybin Assisted Therapy Programs that treats health care providers and first responders with PTSD, depression, anxiety, addiction and people with end of life distress. In real life she loves hiking in the forest, ocean kayaking, growing kale and daydreaming in the hammock. Her heritage includes Polish, Ukrainian, and German.
She currently resides in the traditional unceded territory of the Klahoose First Nations.
Jean Paul Lim
Jean Paul Lim, MD, FRCPC
Jean Paul grew up in Toronto, Ontario before moving to Vancouver, BC to complete a Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology on an academic scholarship, a 4 year Medical Degree, a 3 year residency in Internal Medicine, a one year fellowship in General Internal Medicine, and finally a 6 month Echocardiography fellowship to obtain a level 2 Echocardiography certification, all done at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He is a USA Board Certified Anti-Aging Specialist with specialty in bioidentical hormone balancing as well as a certified neuromodulator and dermal filler practitioner. He is also a leader in the medical cannabis space, creating one of the only medical cannabis data companies and leveraging this information to advance the practice of prescribing cannabis as a medicine. He prides himself in exploring innovative medical therapies that push the boundaries of conventional health care systems, with the goal of achieving a more natural and holistic patient journey to well-being. His vision is to refocus the expectation and treatment of human health to look at the person as a whole rather than simply a sum of their parts, as the body is designed to live in balance and harmony. In his free time, Jean Paul most enjoys spending time with his wife and young children and playing a variety of sports.
Jean Paul Lim
Shannon Dames, RN, MPH, EdD
Dr. Shannon Dames serves at Vancouver Island University as a nursing professor and resilience researcher. She collaboratively spearheaded the development of the theoretical framework for Roots to Thrive. As a byproduct of her doctoral work, which focused on the core factors that promote human flourishing, and as a Health Professional Investigator for the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Dr. Dames is now overseeing the ongoing development and research components of Roots to Thrive (RTT) combined with medicine-assisted therapy.
Bryce Koch is a harm reduction nurse who focuses on person-centered care and community development. Five years ago, he co-founded Project Safe Audience, a peer-based harm reduction program that targets high-risk behaviours in the rave/music festival population. PSA provides harm reduction supplies, onsite drug checking, and psychedelic/mental health crisis intervention for their target population. Bryce has completed his Masters of Nurse Practitioner with a research focus on the therapeutic use of psychedelics, such as Psilocybin, MDMA, and LSD. He completed his final practicum at Insite Safe Injection Site doing Safer Supply Prescribing
Yasmeen is the Director of Training and Operations at TheraPsil, TheraPsil is a small non-profit coalition dedicated to helping Canadians in medical need access legal, psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy and medical psilocybin. Yasmeen has helped scale TheraPsil’s training program across Canada and to date, the program has supported over 250 health care professionals in training. She is passionate about human connection, workplace wellness, fitness, and human potential optimization. She is the Co-Founder of Nature of Work, a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a Pain BC Certified Coach, and a personal trainer in multiple disciplines. Yasmeen enjoys spending her time in nature, exploring the human psyche, and is committed to human betterment and healing. Her healing journey began when she was able to clear the trauma she had been holding onto from childhood after a psychedelic journey and knows firsthand the profound impact these substances can have on people’s lives. Yasmeen holds a Bachelor of Science with a major in Psychology and a minor in Applied Ethics, a CTI Coaching designation, and volunteered at the Canadian Cancer Society as the Event Chair supporting health promotion and fundraising for 5 years.
Carmen Ostrander MA, RTC, MACA
Carmen is a psychedelic fringe dweller engaged in independent co-research and practice in Vancouver. Her community centered practice (Square Peg Therapy) works in service to artists, queer and gender diverse peers, informed by training and experinece in Narrative Therapy (Dulwich Centre) & Transpersonal Art Therapy in addition to a long history of enagement with the arts and substance use in naturalistic, ceremonial and therapeutic contexts.
She is currently a graduate student at the University of Ottawa in Psychedelics and Spirituality, and an associate and adjunct trainer with TheraPsil. Her deliberately secular approach has developed as a grass-roots collaborative response to unprecedented social suffering, specializing in relational psycholytic protocols with entactogens and cannabis.
Her practice straddles the considerable gap between medicalized and neo-spiritual approaches to substance assisted therapies.
Joshua White is the Founder and Executive Director of Fireside Project. Joshua believes deeply in the power of peer support and in the role of support lines as foundational elements of an equitable mental-health ecosystem. Prior to founding Fireside Project, Joshua spent more than a decade representing the City of San Francisco in lawsuits against businesses exploiting vulnerable communities and co-teaching a nationally renowned clinic at Yale Law School. Joshua fell in love with the power of peer support during his many years volunteering on a helpline in San Francisco and as a Zendo Project volunteer at Burning Man.
Emmy Manson is a proud Snuneymuxw member dedicated to service work in Health, and her passion is in the ripple effects of personal healing and wellness. As an intergenerational survivor, she knows first-hand the effects of unhealed trauma and pain.
Emmy Manson is Wellness Administrator of Snuneymuxw Health Center and also services as an elected council woman in governance for her Nation.
Emmy has always valued all forms of education and works to ensure higher education which can open doors for her and her people. She has a Bachelor Degree in Social Work and Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Victoria.
Georgina Martin, PhD
Weyt-kp xwexwéytp (formal hello to everyone).
Dr. Georgina Martin is Secwepemc from the Williams Lake First Nation. She is currently a member of Lake Babine Nation. She has been teaching in the Indigenous/Xwulmuxw Studies Program and First Nations Health at Vancouver Island University since 2016. Prior to her academic career, she worked with various levels of provincial and federal governments, NGOs and Indigenous communities mainly in northern British Columbia. Her work life has always been dedicated to Indigenous people. She is a passionate lifelong learner, and she looks for ways to facilitate learning. Her goal is to introduce important content and help others develop comprehensive skills to be successful in working alongside Indigenous people. She highly encourages engagement and participation that supports learning. Her principles are based on Indigenous Knowledge transmission and land-based learning. she applies the four Rs -respect, relevance, reciprocity, and responsibility to teaching and research.
Rielle Capler is a co-chair of MAPS Canada, research advisor to Ketamine Assisted Therapy Association of Canada, and research consultant with PsyDev Corp. Rielle brings to this work over 20 years of experience in the cannabis field, where she has engaged in research, knowledge translation, service provision, operational standards, and community organizing. She has consulted and advised on cannabis policy both nationally and internationally and received the Governor General of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal acknowledging her contribution to Canadian society through her work with medical cannabis. Rielle’s research relates predominantly to cannabis and psychedelics, with a focus is on the instrumental uses of drugs, equitable access health care, use of legal and illegal sources of drugs, and harm reduction. Rielle’s policy and advocacy focus is on the inclusion of diverse and systemically marginalized voices and communities, the transition of illegal and stigmatized plant medicines and psychedelics to a legal context, and equitable economic development. After the completion of her doctoral degree at University of British Columbia, Rielle was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the British Columbia Center on Substance Use.
Mark Haden is Vice President of Business Development – Clearmind Medicine; Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health; and Advisor to Psygen. He was Executive Director of MAPS Canada (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) for 10 years. Mark has published on the issue of drug control policy and psychedelics in journals such as Canadian Journal of Public Health, and International Journal of Drug Policy. He obtained an MSW from UBC, and worked for the Addiction Services for 28 years in counselling and supervisory roles. He has provided public education on drugs and drug policy for over 30 years, and was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for drug policy reform work in 2013.