Committee Members 


Merlin Shoesmith

Membership Committee Chair
Merlin Shoesmith, Ph.D., CWB, Retired, Manitoba Sustainable Development

Merlin began working for the Province of Manitoba in 1971 as a Big Game Research Specialist.  He retired from his government career in 2001 as Assistant Deputy Minister, Resource Programs.  From there, he went on to work as an instructor of graduate courses in ecosystem management at the University of Manitoba and chaired several graduate student committees until 2007.  In full retirement, Merlin continues to be active in The Wildlife Society and participates in graduate student research projects.


Justine Josephson-Laidlaw

Membership Committee Chair
Justine Josephson-Laidlaw 

Justine is the Past-President of the Manitoba Chapter of the Wildlife Society and works as a Wildlife Biologist within Canada. Justine received her M.Env. from the University of Manitoba with a focus on raptor biology. Her Master’s research examined the breeding habitat, nest density and spatial movement patterns of urban Merlins, but she has studied raptors in a captive breeding capacity as well as in rural environments. She became involved with CSTWS as Student Representative, and has since transitioned to the Manitoba Chapter Representative on the Conservation Affairs Committee. She also currently sits on the Membership and Certification Committees.


Don Barnes New Membership photo

Membership Committee Ontario Representative
Don Barnes MSc, CWB®, TWS Fellow, Retired, Lakehead University
In 2013, Don retired from Lakehead University after 40 years of service, where he worked to develop their first fish and wildlife management program within the Faculty of Natural Resources Management.  He has been a professional trapper and avid hunter for over 50 years and is a member of TWS Hunting, Trapping, and Conservation Working Group, Director with the Northwestern Ontario Fur Trappers Association, and a member of the Ontario Fur Managers Federation and the Northern Ontario Sportsman Alliance.  As a member of a Local Citizens Committee, Don has been on the planning team for several 10-year MNRF Forest Management Plans. His unique background has allowed him to interact with students, trappers, First Nations, forest companies, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).

Since 1974, Don’s interest has always centered on student involvement culminating in the establishment of TWS Student Chapter at Lakehead University in 2006. He has maintained professional status by becoming a Certified Wildlife Biologist (CWB®).  In addition, he has been affiliated with the OCTWS and the CSTWS since their inception.  In 2021, he was awarded the designation of TWS Fellow.  Don is President of OCTWS, Chair of OCTWS Membership and Recruitment Committee, Chair of CWTWS Certification Committee, member of CSTWS Education Committee, and member of TWS Conservation Education Awards Committee