Media Type: Video
Burgess Shale Virtual Museum of Canada Launch - Part 1
Added: August 29, 2012 - 16:31
Media Type: Video
Added: August 29, 2012 - 16:31
It’s one of the most interesting jobs at the ROM – the museum artist. Working in a studio soaked in natural light, Georgia Guenther creates replicas of objects in the collection and other artistic displays you may see inside the galleries. She works closely with curators to ensure her creations are both scientifically accurate and realistic.
We stopped by the studio to ask Georgia a few questions about her role at the ROM.
B.Sc., Geology, University of Toronto, 1970
M.Sc., Geology, University of Toronto, 1972
Janet Waddington is Assistant Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology in the Department of Natural History, and manages the ROM’s collection of invertebrate and plant fossils.
Janet was hired in 1971 to digitize the invertebrate fossil catalogue and became a permanent staff member in 1972. Since then, she has developed a keen interest in collection management practices and in aspects of preventive conservation of invertebrate fossils. She is an active participant in the ROM’s bi-monthly ID clinics for rocks, fossils, gems, minerals and meteorites and fields numerous public enquiries about fossils. A founding member of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC), Janet served as Managing Editor for SPNHC for six years.
Janet’s research interests include Silurian scorpions from Ontario. She was the coordinating curator of the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs and was also involved with aspects of the Reed Gallery of the Age of Mammals.
B.Sc., Geology and Biology, University of Toronto, 1975
Dave Rudkin is an Assistant Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology at the ROM and a recently "retired" cross-appointed lecturer in the Geology Department at the University of Toronto, where he taught 2nd-year undergraduate palaeontology for almost 20 years.
Like most of his fellow earth scientists, Dave Rudkin grew up with an abiding fascination for the natural world in general, but fossils and minerals obviously held a particular thrall. Perhaps because rocks didn’t smell quite as much as live voles, dead frogs, or dried crayfish, his family actively encouraged his geological collecting activities above biological ones and patiently tolerated demands to stop at every road cut and outcrop encountered on annual camping vacations.
Dave Rudkin was born and raised in the Toronto area, and to balance these childhood field forays, there were also frequent opportunities to visit the ROM, where a primal fear of encountering mummies around every corner was overcome by the stronger lure of seeing the fossil and mineral displays. Throughout his high school years and during subsequent geology and biology studies at the University of Toronto, the ROM functioned as an extended classroom, a learning laboratory, and a quiet refuge. Sometime during that interval, he became determined it would also be his place of employment.
By very good fortune (and with a little dogged persistence), Dave’s ROM career began in Spring, 1974 in what was then the Department of Invertebrate Palaeontology. Under the glorified title of ROM Researcher, he joined two other undergraduates assisting with the initial computerization of catalogue records and general lab work. When the others went back to school in the fall, he stayed on as part-time cataloguer, unknowingly setting himself up for an extraordinary opportunity. The ROM’s first Burgess Shale expedition, organized by Desmond Collins, headed to Yoho National Park (British Columbia) in June 1975, and he signed on as a field assistant to collect at the most famous fossil locality in the world!
For more than 30 years now, he has had the continuing good fortune to remain at the ROM, as a Technician, Curatorial Assistant, and Assistant Curator, developing research projects on trilobites, trace fossils and the palaeontology of the Hudson Bay and James Bay lowlands, among many others. Fieldwork, including many return trips to the Burgess Shale, is an important component of all these studies. He is also active in geoscience education, organizing and promoting interest in geology and palaeontology through public programs, field trips, lectures, exhibitions, and popular writing.
David C. Evans
Curator, Vertebrate Palaeontology (Dinosaurs)
B.Sc., Integrated Sciences Program, University of British Columbia, 2003
Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, 2007
David Evans is a Curator in Vertebrate Palaeontology and oversees dinosaur research at the ROM. He is also a cross-appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto.
David was born in Ontario and grew up in Kelowna, British Columbia. He first laid eyes on dinosaur skeletons in the galleries of the ROM and has been fascinated with dinosaurs and palaeontology ever since. As an undergraduate student David spent several summers working as a field technician for the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta, where he studied the duck-billed dinosaur Corythosaurus for his undergraduate thesis. David’s doctoral dissertation focused on skull growth and evolution in crested hadrosaurs, with an emphasis on the striking diversity of these animals from Alberta, Canada. Since the ROM has one of the best collections of these dinosaurs in the world, it was natural that David chose to do his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto.
David's research has led to publications on systematics and evolution of dinosaurs, functional morphology, and phylogenetic methods and theory. His research program at the ROM focuses on the evolution, historical biogeography, and palaeobiology of dinosaurs and their role in Late Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems. His aim is to clarify the evolutionary relationships and diversity of dinosaurs, and to evaluate patterns of their evolution and biogeography as they relate to environmental changes leading up to the end Cretaceous extinction event. David is also known for his re-discovery of a giant Barosaurus skeleton within the museum’s own collection, which became the centre-piece of the Temerty Gallery of the Age of Dinosaurs in 2007. He is also the Lead Curator of the ROM's major travelling exhibition Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants from Gondwana.
Because new fossil discoveries have the potential to change our perception of the history of life, David is also active in the field searching for and collecting dinosaurs and other vertebrate fossils. He has organized and led fieldwork to the Sahara Desert, Mongolia, South Africa, Alberta, and the Canadian arctic. Current fieldwork includes a systematic survey of the Milk River region of southern Alberta, which is part of a multi-year collaborative field research project organized and initiated with colleagues from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Royal Tyrrell Museum, as well as exciting field exploration of the Sahara desert in northern Sudan. These projects have the potential to reveal new dinosaur species and to contribute to our knowledge of a poorly known aspects of Late Cretaceous dinosaur evolution.
Unescoceratops koppelhusi, 2012 (Ornithischia: Ceratopsia)
Gryphoceratops morrisoni, 2012 (Ornithischia: Ceratopsia)
Xenoceratops foremostensis, 2012 (Ornithischia: Ceratopsia)
by Nicolás Campione, PhD Candidate, University of Toronto