Dive Club Executives

Christian Buchwalder


Hey there!

I started venturing into the underwater world in 2011 and I’m fascinated ever since. Some of my favourite dives include Mexican cenotes, a giant wreck in Malta and the Great Blue Hole in Belize. But moving to the Pacific coast finally made this previously vacation-only hobby now accessible year-round! Diving in the middle of a pod of curious sea lions off Victoria BC recently made it on my top dive list as well.

Intrigued by the many trips, social events and the great vibe at the AquaSoc, I joined its exec team in 2014. Since 2016, I mercilessly rule as AquaSoc president.

When I’m not underwater you can probably find me in the lab doing research on new cancer imaging agents (doing my PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences) or jumping around on a lindy hop dance floor.

Can’t wait to meet you on one of our next club dives!

Jens Vent-Schmidt

Vice President

Jens is a 4th year PhD student in Experimental Medicine from Germany. He first started to dive when living in Guadeloupe and obtained his first two certifications with the french diving federation FFESSM. After moving to Vancouver, he started cold-water diving and exploring the underwater beauty of BC. He finished his rescue diver and divemaster with the UBC AquaSoc in Summer 2013. Besides exploring the life under the sea, Jens enjoys mountaineering, rock-climbing and backcountry skiing. After serving as president of the UBC Aqua Society, Jens stepped down to make space for his new family. As vice-president, Jens strives to improve the awareness of our club throughout the UBC community and to foster a great club atmosphere through socials, local dives and trips.

Michaela Morelli


I’m Michaela.

I’m a UBC student studying English literature and Biology, and hope to teach both someday. I have a passion for Romantic literature, but also a deep fascination for the living world around me, and so I’m delighted that I get the opportunity to study the best of both worlds!

Even though I’m still new to diving, I’m super excited to be the new aquasoc secretary and go on new diving adventures, meet new people, and explore our local wildlife from a different point of view. I have only my open water and drysuit certification, but I hope to attain my advanced open water soon. I can’t wait to introduce myself to some amazing marine organisms, but what I’m most excited about finding under the sea are nudibranchs – if you see any cool ones, let me know!

I look forward to seeing you down under!

Emily Prystupa


Hi, I’m Emily. I am a 4th year UBC student in Environmental Science. I have been diving for about a year and love it! I just love the feeling of being water and am very interested in all the critters that can be found in the water. As for hobbies, I am part of the UBC field hockey team and enjoy hiking and traveling. In the future, I hope to get the opportunity to dive in Antarctica to cross all of the continents off my list!


Jessica Broomfield


Dive Coordinator

Hi, I’m Jess and I’m a fourth year Environment and Sustainability major in Geography. As a diver I only recently started diving in cold water as I’ve spent most of my time diving in the warm bath waters of the tropics and until only a few months ago decided to face my fears of the not so scary icy waters of BC (… really not that bad). And I’m so glad I did, since my first dive in the cold waters here I’ve recently become a rescue diver and love going diving whenever I can. Besides loving being meters underwater I love traveling, photography, being outdoors, animals, trying new cuisines but more importantly I love trying new experiences

As Dive Coordinator I hope to get as many people out to our dives and events as possible. I’m excited to go on more underwater adventures and to meet new people to come along with me in search BC’s underwater critters. If anyone is ever in need of a dive buddy or just to chat about diving related things you know where to find me, to put it more simply as per Randy Newman “You’ve got a friend in me.”

Hope to see you underwater soon!

April Houweling

Social Coordinator

Hey! My name is April and I am a 3rd year Biology student at UBC. I have always had a love for the ocean and could never imagine my life without it. After high school, I took a year off to explore Australia and it was there that my diving experiences began! I will never forget the first time I emerged under the ocean’s surface and saw the life swaying and swimming beneath. From that day on, I knew I could not see myself studying and pursing a degree and career in anything else. I am currently involved in Patrick Martone’s Algae Lab and have fallen for seaweed. Check out Aureophycus, it’s one of my favourites. Although I am not a super experienced diver, I hope to continue to gain certifications and join many club dives to come! I will do my best to plan a bunch of fun social events to bring us all together! Hope to see you there 🙂


 Marie Donohue


Newsletter Editor

Hello fellow divers! My name is Marie Donohue and I’m immensely pumped to be a part of the UBC Aqua Society as the Secretary! I am currently in my 3rd year of an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, I love nature and am passionate about learning all I can about different ecosystems.

Diving has opened a whole new world for me and I get very excited every time I put a mask on! I love photography and am always bringing my GoPro down with me to capture some interesting animals or people. If you come out diving with me I’ll be sure to get some videos of you!
Also, don’t be surprised to see me squealing under the water and using up too much air when I see something really exciting! Can’t wait to have a blast with you all under the sea!

Cindy Shi

Internet Coordinator

Hello all! My name is Cindy and I’m a third year Computer Engineering student. My very motivation to get diving certifications came from a documentary about cave diving in Mexico. I was really in awe of scuba divers hunting caves around Yucatan Peninsula. It’s like astronauts boldly go where no man has gone before. I did my back-to-back Open Water and Advanced Open water in Vancouver at the end of 2016. During my winter break to Mexico, I finally was able to experience Cavern Diving by myself. Diving in the crystal clear water and beams of morning sunlight was the most surreal experience I have ever had. This year, I continued my diving adventures in our beautiful British Columbia and Pacific Northwest marine life never ceases to amaze me.

For hobbies I have a passion for hiking, ballroom dancing and photography. Videography is my recent obsession both above and below water, so stay tuned for my dive trip videos! Looking forward to meeting you on one of our next club dives!