Meet the SkyNews team

Contact the SkyNews Team

Philip Groff, executive director

Phil joined the SkyNews team on October 1, concurrent with his appointment as RASC executive director. With more than 15 years of experience as a senior manager working with not-for-profit organizations, Phil served on the staff of SMARTRISK for nearly a decade, ultimately in the role of president. From 2015 to 2018, he was the executive director of Sustain Ontario. Phil is also a seasoned consultant whose prominent clients have included Brock University, The Canadian Sleep Society and The Jays Care Foundation.

Allendria Brunjes, editor-in-chief

Allendria Brunjes is a writer and editor who has worked around the world in print and digital journalism for 15 years. From 2016 to 2019, she served as publisher of the Athabasca Advocate. Before that, Allendria worked on digital properties at the Toronto Star and ScribbleLive, and she was a senior editor at Newzulu Canada. Allendria’s lifelong interest in the night sky includes hunting aurora, writing about meteors and attending occasional star parties. In her spare time, she kayaks, flies gliders and plays the tuba.

Alan Dyer, contributing editor

Alan Dyer, coauthor of The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide, is program producer at the Calgary Science Centre Planetarium. He is widely regarded as an authority on commercial telescopes, and his evaluations of astronomical equipment appear regularly in major North American astronomy magazines.

Ivan Semeniuk, contributor

Ivan Semeniuk is an award-winning science journalist, broadcaster and reporter for The Globe and Mail. A long-time contributor to Sky News, he writes about new developments in astronomical and planetary research. He is the host and writer of the popular astronomy television series Cosmic Vistas, and is a former editor at Nature and New Scientist. Ivan is the 2016 recipient of the Fleming Medal and Citation from the Royal Canadian Institute for Science, the country’s oldest scientific society. He lives in Toronto.

Elizabeth Howell, contributor

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is an Ottawa journalist focusing on space exploration since 2004. Her book, Canadarm and Collaboration, publishes in 2020 and covers the history of Canadian astronauts. She has attended human spaceflight launches in Florida and Kazakhstan, and participated in a simulated Red Planet mission at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. Elizabeth teaches technical writing at Algonquin College and publishes space-related articles in numerous Canadian and U.S. publications. She’s been a reader of SkyNews for nearly its entire history.

Isabelle Santiago, art director

Isabelle Santiago is an award-winning graphic designer with 10 years of experience creating visuals in all their forms. Through her time at both large and small agencies, she amassed experience in design strategy, advertising, branding, UX and UI design before branching out and opening her own business. When Isabelle isn’t designing, you can find her tending to her large collection of houseplants or experimenting in the kitchen.

Chris Vaughan, contributor

Chris Vaughan is a science writer, geophysicist, astronomer, planetary scientist and an “outreach RASCal.” He writes This Week’s Sky and Planets at a Glance for SkyNews online, and he provides a look at deep-sky objects “Beyond Messier” in the magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at @astrogeoguy. He can also bring his Digital Starlab portable inflatable planetarium to your school or other daytime or evening event. Contact him through to tour the universe together.

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