Meet Our Team

At Canadian Discovery Ltd. (CDL), we believe innovation comes from having a multi-faceted team of staff and directors. Our leadership team is comprised of individuals from a variety of technical and professional backgrounds to create a collaborative atmosphere that fosters inventive, contemporary solutions for clients.

Executive Management

Robert Pockar
M.Sc.
CEO
Rob Pockar has extensive experience as a business leader and environmental consultant. He currently serves as CEO at Canadian Discovery leading the company to achieve its strategic vision. Rob served as President and CEO of Matrix Solutions from 2008 to 2020. During his tenure as CEO, he led the company through significant growth and service expansion, including several strategic acquisitions, with a focused vision of empowering employees to help clients achieve their business and environmental goals. In addition to executive leadership, he has extensive technical experience in environmental liability assessment and remediation, water resources engineering, and environmental impact assessment work in support of project design and regulatory approval. Rob has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Alberta and a Master of Science degree in Earth Science from the University of Waterloo.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-pockar/
Robert PockarRobert Pockar
Robert Pockar
Kaush Rakhit
M.Sc., P.Geol.
Executive Chairman
Kaush Rakhit received his bachelor’s degree from U of Waterloo and master’s from U of A, after which he started Rakhit Petroleum Consulting. Rakhit and now CDL developed into a unique worldwide consultancy in basin hydrogeology, fluid chemistry and geothermics. A consummate entrepreneur, Kaush has been the co-founder and director of numerous companies, including Matrix Solutions, Kinwest Resources, Seven Generations Energy and Kiwetinohk Energy. Having recently handed over the CEO baton, Kaush is going back to his hydro roots and supporting CDL’s pivot into CCS, Critical Minerals and Geothermal.
https://ca.linkedin.com/in/kaush-rakhit-545b765
Kaush RakhitKaush Rakhit
Kaush Rakhit
Christa Williams
B.Sc., P.Geol.
VP Business Development
Christa Williams is a seasoned geologist with over 18 years of expertise in subsurface exploration, development geology, and commercial growth. She currently serves as the Vice President of Business Development at Canadian Discovery, focusing on clean energy and carbon capture and storage. Previously, Christa held various senior geologist roles in exploration and production (E&P). She is recognized for her technical excellence and leadership, with a proven track record in detailed evaluations and commercial program development. Christa actively contributes to the geoscience community through volunteer initiatives. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Calgary and is a proud member of the Canadian Energy Geoscientists Association (CEGA) and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), holding the professional designation of P.Geol.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/christa-williams-540/
Christa WilliamsChrista Williams
Christa Williams
Matt Scorah
Ph.D., P.Eng.
VP Decarbonization
Matt has over 20 years of business and technical experience working in the fields of decarbonization, energy, fuels, and petrochemicals. Prior to joining Canadian Discovery, he was the Chief Technology Officer at Nauticol Energy leading initiatives focused on the generation of low-carbon sources of hydrogen, energy and other products employing such technologies as electrolysis, syngas production, and Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS). Apart from his technical background, Matt has worked on multiple fronts of project development including financing, commercial, regulatory, public engagement, and project management. Throughout his career, Matt has led teams and delivered projects as a consultant, owner, engineering contractor and academic, giving him insight into how to improve collaboration and ensure a successful outcome for all parties. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Ottawa and a Doctorate in Philosophy degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, specializing in polymer production and characterization.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-scorah/
Matt ScorahMatt Scorah
Matt Scorah

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Directors

Matt Baird
Managing Director, Data
Matt has over 20 years of experience in oil & gas industry database and application development. As a database architecture specialist, he has played a key role in numerous high profile initiatives at CDL, including the development of CDL’s Play Evaluation Platform, the EDGE software and the Well Completions & Frac Database. In his current role as Data/IT Director, Matt oversees and guides CDL’s Data Division day-to-day operations and continual development. He manages the Data Analytics team responsible for the development and continued quality of CDL’s databases and platforms as well as the information services and technology group. Matt holds a diploma in Computer Technology from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
https://ca.linkedin.com/in/matt-baird-b64b0233
Matt BairdMatt Baird
Matt Baird
Lina Hage
Marketing Director
Lina joined Canadian Discovery in 2010 as a Graphic Designer before serving as the Graphic Design and Production Manager in 2013. In her current role as Marketing Director, Lina coordinates with department leads and technical staff to develop strategic marketing campaigns for various initiatives, including new products, offerings and partnerships. Lina continues to lead the Graphics team by overseeing the production of the CDL Digest, UK Digest, and CDL’s multi-client and consulting projects. Lina has a special interest in brand awareness and communication strategies, and holds a diploma in New Media Production and Design from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/thelinahage/
Lina HageLina Hage
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Geoscience Experts/Consultants

Paul Poscente
P.Geol.
Senior Geologist
Paul Poscente is a petroleum geologist with over 40 years of exploration experience throughout western Canada. His career included stints at Norcen Energy Resources, Grad and Walker Energy, Paramount Resources, Flowing Energy, Magnus Energy, Rondo Petroleum, Coda Petroleum and Canadian Discovery Ltd. During this span he has worked on exploration and development projects through Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and the territories, prospecting in formations from Lower Paleozoic to Pleistocene. He has worked at established companies as well as new start-up ventures. At Coda Petroleum he and co-author Graham Davies evaluated the Jean Marie light oil potential in Zama Alberta and presented key findings at the 2014 CSPG Core Conference. In 2017, Mr. Poscente joined Canadian Discovery Ltd to spearhead the East Shale Basin Duvernay study. Mr. Poscente presented key findings at the SPE Duvernay Workshop in March 2019. He went on to manage the Clearwater study in 2020 and the Basal Banff study in 2022. He is currently drawing on this extensive subsurface experience as he works on new opportunities in CCS and geothermal exploration.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-poscente-0a4732136/
Paul PoscentePaul Poscente
Paul Poscente
Allison Gibbs
P.Geol.
Senior Hydrodynamicist
Allison is a registered professional Geologist with over 20 years of experience in the western Canadian oil and gas sector. She has a held variety of roles over her career including Hydrogeologist, Development Geologist focused on Enhanced Oil Recovery, Geomodeler in a reservoir simulation group, and her current role as Senior Hydrodynamicist focused on carbon storage. She holds an Adult Educator certificate and enjoys sharing her extensive experience working with reservoir pressure data, fluid chemistry data and geomodels through course development and training.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/gibbsallison/
Allison GibbsAllison Gibbs
Allison Gibbs
Natalie Sweet
P. Geo.
Project Manager
Natalie Sweet is a seasoned Petroleum Geologist renowned for her expertise in conventional plays across Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. As a Project Manager/Senior Geologist at Canadian Discovery Ltd, she leads initiatives in Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), mapping deep reservoirs and integrating geological analyses for Carbon Sequestration viability. Natalie's impactful roles at both large and small companies showcase her proficiency in asset evaluation and prospect mapping, particularly in carbonate formations. Natalie has a Master's in Earth Sciences from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor's in Geological Science from Queen’s University; she is also an APEGA and CEGA member and volunteer, reflecting her commitment to professional growth.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/natalielsweet/
Natalie SweetNatalie Sweet
Natalie Sweet
Sheldon Thistle
M.Sc, P.Geo.
Senior Hydrogeologist
Sheldon is an experienced Groundwater Scientist with a B.Sc. in Geology and M.A.Sc. in Environmental Engineering. With over 20 years of experience, Sheldon began his career at the well site running open-hole logging instruments for formation evaluation. Since then, Sheldon has focused on groundwater and hydrogeological studies and has held various positions with consultants, oil and gas producers, and academia to characterize aquifers in both shallow and deep groundwater systems. Sheldon has direct work experience in hydrodynamics, aquifer evaluation, water source and disposal strategy, and regulatory compliance.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheldon-thistle-6158518a/
Sheldon ThistleSheldon Thistle
Sheldon Thistle
Marielle Hopf
P.Geo.
Geologist
Marielle is a professional Geologist with nearly 10 years of experience. She has worked at E&P companies in conventional and unconventional assets, spent time working in the environmental sector on pipeline construction, restoration and reclamation projects and is now eagerly working away at CDL on several groundbreaking projects including Lithium Brine. Marielle enjoys the challenge of learning something new and working on a team to produce innovative and creative solutions. Valuing honesty and integrity in the work environment, Marielle is always excited to face new challenges, take on new projects, and looks forward to working at the forefront of technology and continuing to push boundaries.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariellehopf/
Marielle HopfMarielle Hopf
Marielle Hopf

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Engineering Experts/Consultants

John Xie
P.Eng.
Evaluations Engineer
John Xie is an Evaluations Engineer and has been with CDL for over 10 years. John graduated from the University of Calgary in 2014 and is passionate about database development and data analytics. During John’s time at CDL, he served as one of the project leads for the Well Completions & Frac Database, headed the development of Play Metrics Analysis in partnership with Sproule, and has been an integral part of the Canadian Discovery Fluid Dynamics Database development team. In 2020, John was the project manager for the Carbon Sequestration and Storage Atlas in partnership with TGS and will be co-managing the development of CDL’s upcoming CCUS Atlas of Alberta.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-xie-3a78194a/
John XieJohn Xie
John Xie
Scott Pennell
P.Eng.
Senior Petroleum Engineer
Scott is the former Chief Operating Officer at Sproule, a global energy consulting and advisory firm. His over 21-year service at Sproule culminated in a 3-year tenure as COO where he oversaw Sproule’s global business operations and drove operational innovation throughout the organization. Scott is a Professional Engineer in the Province of Alberta (APEGA) and has over 28 years of experience in the oil and gas industry supported by a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Wyoming.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-w-pennell-/
Scott PennellScott Pennell
Scott Pennell

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CDL Digest

Chris Podetz
P.Geol.
Senior Geologist
Chris Podetz has been a geologist at CDL since 2017 working as an Exploration Analyst. He has written and researched over 100 articles for the CDL Digest on a wide variety of plays and areas within the WCSB, with a current focus on the Montney, Clearwater, and Cardium. Other industry interests include lithium development potential in BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Chris' previous experience includes stints as a petroleum geologist for Mapan Energy and Encana, geomechanical consulting with Advanced Geotechnology (AGI), gold exploration and resource delineation near Rankin Inlet, NU and a term as a shipper/receiver for Co-op Home Health Care in the mid-2010s. He obtained a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Geological Engineering from Queen's University in 1997.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-podetz-9b249123/
Chris PodetzChris Podetz
Chris Podetz
W. Steven Donaldson
P.Geol.
Senior Geologist
W. Steven Donaldson is a professional Geologist (P.Geol.) with 25 years of experience and is currently a Senior Geologist with Canadian Discovery. Here he writes articles for the CDL Digest publication with a recent emphasis on low carbon opportunities and clean technology. Steve earned his Ph.D. and B.Sc. Honours degrees in Geology from Western University in London, Ontario.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/wsdonaldson/
W. Steven DonaldsonW. Steven Donaldson
W. Steven Donaldson
Simon Wong
M.Sc
Exploration Analyst
Simon brings over 20 years of industry experience as a Geologist in conventional and unconventional oil and gas plays, with tenures at Suncor, Paramount, Enerplus, Legacy, Openfield and Green Helium. Throughout his career he has explored and developed multiple formations in the WCSB in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Simon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Queen’s University and a Master of Science degree from the University of Manitoba.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/simon-wong-b0049bb3/
Simon WongSimon Wong
Simon Wong
Meridee Fockler
P.Geol., B.App.GIS
Senior Geologist
Meridee joined Canadian Discovery in 2005 working with both CDL's Intelligence and Expertise groups as well as with data management and GIS personnel to streamline geological mapping techniques. Meridee plays a key role in Intelligence projects and products, including developing, editing and managing content for the CDL Digest and various multi-client and consulting projects. She has worked with Amoco in Calgary, Houston and London, gaining experience in Canadian and international exploration and development. Meridee holds a B.Sc. (Geological Engineering) from the University of Saskatchewan and an Applied Bachelor of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
https://ca.linkedin.com/in/meridee-fockler-8122a47a
Meridee FocklerMeridee Fockler
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