29th Annual ROM Research Colloquium

Free symposium presents the latest ROM curatorial research on Friday, February 15, 2008

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) invites one and all to a fascinating one-day event with its curators and researchers as they highlight their recent discoveries and ongoing research at the 29th Annual ROM Research Colloquium and Vaughan Lecture on Friday, February 15, 2008. ROM experts will make 15-minute presentations on their latest research in arts, archaeology and pure and applied sciences. Topics range from solving the mysteries of an ancient Egyptian coffin, to rediscovering the lost leg of the French Portage, and better understanding outer space by exploring the ROM’s meteorite collection. This free, one-day event takes place in the Signy & Cléophée Eaton Theatre on Level B1 beginning at 9:15 am (Museum admission is not included. Enter through Loblaws entrance on the south side of the building).

The annual Vaughan Lecture is presented from 5:30 to 6:30 pm and serves to highlight a selected ROM curator's recent achievements. This year’s presentation, The Dawn of Animal Life Revisited, is made by Jean-Bernard Caron, Associate Curator in charge of Invertebrate Palaeontology (see additional details below).

COLLOQUIUM SCHEDULE: (A more detailed schedule of presentation abstracts is available upon request; lectures are subject to change.) * denotes speaker

9:00 am Doors Open Enter through Loblaws entrance on the south side of the building
9:15 am Opening Remarks by Mark Engstrom, Vice President, Collections & Research

9:30 am Ordovician Jellyfish Hell - A Tale of Two Lagerstätten

David Rudkin(1)*, G. A. Young2, E. P. Dobrzanski(2), S. P. Robson(2), and G. S. Nowlan(3)

(1) Assistant Curator (Invertebrate Palaeontology), Department of Natural History, Royal Ontario Museum
(2) The Manitoba Museum, Winnipeg, Manitoba
(3) Geological Survey of Canada, Calgary, Alberta

9:45 am Unmasking a Hidden Identity: A New York Chippendale Bureau Bookcase at the ROM

Ross Fox, Associate Curator (Canadiana Furniture), Department of World Cultures

10:00 am Space Rocks: An Overview of the Meteorite Collection of the Royal Ontario Museum

Ian Nicklin*, Database Technician (Mineralogy), Kim Tait, Associate Curator (Mineralogy) and Malcolm Back, Technician (Mineralogy), Department of Natural History

10:15 am Break

10:45 am A Door Behind a Wall

Deepali Dewan, Curator (South Asian Arts & Culture), Department of World Cultures

11:00 am Environmental Assessment of Small Mammals at Bakhuis, Suriname

Burton Lim, Assistant Curator (Mammalogy), Department of Natural History

11:15 am Returning to Bhaja cave 19, Maharashtra, India

Beth Knox, Technician (Greek & Roman), Department of World Cultures

11:30 am An Expedition to the ROM's Rotunda Marble Quarries, Bancroft, ON

Vincent Vertolli, Assistant Curator (Geology), Department of Natural History

11:45 am LUNCH BREAK

1:00 pm Pleistocene Stone Handaxes from Northern China and their Significance

Chen Shen, Bishop White Curator (Far Eastern Archaeology), Department of World Cultures

1:15 pm Abandoned Landing: The Lost Leg of the French Portage

Kenneth R. Lister, Assistant Curator (Arctic, Subarctic & Native Watercraft), Department of World Cultures

1:30 pm Primitive Bat from the Early Eocene of Wyoming: Echolocation and the Evolution of Flight

Nancy B. Simmons(1), Kevin L. Seymour(2)*, Jörg Habersetzer(3) & Gregg F. Gunnell(4)

(1) American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, USA. (2) Assistant Curator (Vertebrate Palaeontology), Department of Natural History, Royal Ontario Museum. (3) Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Frankfurt, Germany. (4) Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

1:45 pm Are Nova Scotian and Newfoundland Populations of the Mississippian Spiriferid Brachiopod Martinia galataea Bell Really the Same?

Henry H.C. Choong*(1,2) and Peter H. von Bitter(2)

(1) Department of Museum Studies, University of Toronto
(2) Curator (Palaeobiology), Department of Natural History, Royal Ontario Museum

2:00 pm Break

2:30 pm Abdullah Kohal's Bead Sampler

Trudy Nicks, Curator (Ethnology), Department of World Cultures, Royal Ontario Museum

2:45 pm Minerals from Tsumeb, Namibia; the Charles Key Collection

Malcolm E. Back*, Technician, Tony Steede, Volunteer, Ian Nicklin, Database Technician and Kim Tait, Associate Curator (Mineralogy), Department of Natural History

3:00 pm Neoclassical Silks: Originals or Re-Weaves?

Anu Liivandi, Assistant Curator (Information, Textiles & Costumes), Department of World Cultures

3:15 pm The Dakhleh Coffin: Life and Times

Gayle Gibson, Teacher, Education Department

3:30 pm Break

4:00 pm Changing views of Islamic Civilization: Displaying the Islamic Collection of the ROM 1965 to 2008

Lisa Golombek, Curator Emerita (Islamic Art), Department of World Cultures

4:15 pm Using New Tools to Answer Old Questions: Nuclear Markers Resolve the Phylogeny of the Ratites and Reveal their Position in the Avian Tree of Life

Oliver Haddrath*, Technician, Allan Baker, Senior Curator (Ornithology), Department of Natural History

4:30 pm Transmission of Knowledge and Pragmatic Experimentation. The Village of Nsei, Cameroon as a Multisited Pottery Workshop

Silvia Forni, Curator (Ethnology), Department of World Cultures

4:45 pm Three Unpublished Sketchbooks of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)

Corey Keeble, Curator (European Decorative Arts), Department of World Cultures


The Dawn of Animal Life Revisited

Jean-Bernard Caron, Associate Curator (Invertebrate Palaeontology), Department of Natural History

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, Canada’s Burgess Shale is revered as one of the most important palaeontological localities ever discovered. Famous for its exceptional preservation of Middle Cambrian age (505 million years old) marine soft-bodied animals, this site provides unique insights into the morphology, ecology and evolution of some of the oldest animals on Earth.

Almost a century after the serendipitous discovery of the main locality by Charles Walcott, research on animal origins is still thriving and continues to enjoy an unprecedented level of interest from the scientific community. This renewed interest is in part linked to the exquisite Burgess Shale collections at the ROM. Intensive explorations by ROM teams since 1975 have revealed abundant Burgess Shale-type fossils, including many new forms, throughout the Canadian Rockies. These expeditions demonstrated that Burgess Shale-type biotas were much more diverse, abundant, and widespread spatially and temporally, than previously thought.

Today, the Burgess Shale collections at the ROM, the largest in the world, are used for a host of collaborative taxonomic, ecological and evolutionary studies. Recent publications in Nature and Science combined with planned new field expeditions, conferences and exhibits perpetuate the tradition of the institution as a world leader in early animal evolution studies.

Presented by: Cathay Pacific