Our Network


Diana Turner

HR and Administrative Coordinator

(613) 533 6000 ext. 78539


Diana is the Human Resources and Administrative Coordinator for the McDonald Institute. Her background in business and administration, as well as education and music, make her an excellent first point of contact for the McDonald Institute. Diana is the assistant to both the Scientific Director and the Managing Director of the Institute and handles the HR responsibilities of the staff, faculty and HQP. Through her various other administrative roles, she enables smooth running of the institute’s operations. Diana enjoys time with family, at the gym, teaching piano, and playing board games.

Fouad Elgindy

Managing Director


Fouad Elgindy is the Managing Director for the Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre, an initiative of Queen’s University that seeks to assert Canada’s position in particle astrophysics. In this position, he is responsible for directing all aspects of the administration of the centre. He brings more than a decade of government and private sector experience in managing research grants and innovation policy. Through his passion for the underlying science of CPARC and the need for Canada to achieve excellence in this area, Mr. Elgindy strives to create a Canadian centre of excellence to maximize the impact and better the understanding of research in particle astrophysics. Prior to joining CPARC, he was a Senior Program Manager of the flagship Government of Canada Networks Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. In this role, he led the development of high profile bilateral international initiatives between Canada and India and recreated a unique business-focused collaborative research program affecting aerospace, mining, manufacturing, and health industries. Mr. Elgindy earned a BSc in Physics from the University of Guelph. He also operates a grant consulting company and is a professional photographer.

Edward Thomas

Associate Director of External Relations


Edward Thomas is the Associate Director of External Relations. He supports partnerships, communications and business development between the McDonald Institute and the broader astroparticle physics community, academia, government, business, NGOs and the Canadian public. He is a masters graduate in chemical engineering. He has more than 20 years of experience in technology development, research administration, innovation support and business journalism. He is a part-time scholar of cultural history, dog lover and avid cyclist.

Koby Dering

Senior Mechanical Engineer


Koby is a licensed Professional Engineer in Ontario, and obtained a B.Sc.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s University. Working in close collaboration with scientists and technical staff, Koby brings a wealth of experience in design, fabrication, and installation of custom components and infrastructure required for sensitive particle detectors at SNOLAB. Koby was responsible for many components of the DEAP-3600 detector, from the conceptual phase through to commissioning of the experiment, and is currently providing engineering oversight and support for the NEWS-G and CUTE experiments.

Zachary Kenny

Communications Officer

zachary.kenny@mcdonaldinstitute.ca |

As a professional graphic designer and brand manager, Zachary works to help develop and promote the activities and programs of the McDonald Institute and provides communications support to all areas of operations. He is passionate about science communication and is always looking for new and interesting ways to engage the Canadian public in astroparticle physics and the STEAM fields. Zachary is an abstract artist and art educator and holds a B.F.A from OCAD University and an M.F.A. in Art Education from Concordia University.

Jennifer Low

Research Personnel & Event Coordinator


Jennifer Low is the Research Personnel and Event Coordinator for the McDonald Institute at Queen’s University. Jennifer is passionate about the student experience and works towards the support and development programs for Highly Qualified Personnel. She also assists with the coordination of events and educational/outreach activities. Jennifer earned a BScH from Queen’s University in Chemistry before pursuing her Master’s degree at the Royal Military College of Canada in Environmental Science. Jennifer worked as a Research Associate at The University of Winnipeg, advancing her research and teaching experience while learning administrative, supervision, and technical skills. Prior to joining the team at Queen’s, she was an Operations Coordinator (Technician) for the multidisciplinary Manitoba Institute for Materials. There, she played a vital role in operations, programming, organizing conferences, accounting, and administrative tasks. In her spare time, you’ll find Jennifer working with her horse or enjoying quality time her family.

Edward Nkole

Financial Officer


Edward Nkole is the Finance Officer of the Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre (CPARC). Working closely with Fouad Elgindy (Managing Director), Edward is responsible for providing expert advice, financial accountability and management of all CPARC grant funds. Edward is a Queen’s alumnus having graduated with a degree in Economics and Global Development Studies in 2010. In addition, he is an associate of CPA Ontario and CIMA UK.

Alexandra Pedersen

Business Development Officer


Alexandra Pedersen is the Business Development Officer for the McDonald Institute. In this position, she facilitates, coordinates, and sustains innovation efforts by member organizations of the Institute through the development of partnerships for technology assessment, knowledge transfer, venture creation, and innovation-skills development. Alex holds a Doctorate in Geography (Queen’s University), a Master’s in International Studies (University of Northern British Columbia), and a Bachelor’s (Honours) in International Development Studies (University of Guelph). In her spare time, Alex is an executive member and volunteer with several local and national non-profit organizations, an energetic beekeeper, swimmer, yogi, and gardener.

Mark Richardson

Education & Outreach Officer

mark.richardson@mcdonaldinstitute.ca |

Mark Richardson is the Education and Outreach Officer for the McDonald Institute at Queen’s University. Mark works closely with Zachary Kenny to develop and implement education and outreach programs for the Queen’s and Kingston communities and beyond. Mark previously had research and education roles at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and Oxford University. Mark completed his PhD in Astrophysics at Arizona State University in 2014. Mark earned a BSc in Honours Astrophysics in 2009 from Saint Mary’s University in his hometown of Halifax.

Meghan Brien

Program Officer


Meghan Brien is the Program Officer for the McDonald Institute working to ensure our continuous improvement through developing success measurement metrics for the Institute’s programs. Meghan has a Master’s degree from Western University in Environment and Sustainability and has worked in various levels of government on environmental sustainability program and policy evaluation. Her environmental assessment and planning work in public transit has earned her recognition as a leader in energy management and electric vehicle programs.