From the Field

Monthly Archive: December From

My journey with Sir David Attenborough

Posted: January 21, 2013 - 10:00 , by Jean-Bernard Caron
Sir David Attenborough with Jean-Bernard Caron at the Walcott Quarry (Burgess Shale)

Sir David Attenborough has been filming Nature all his life. In 2009, at the age of 83, he traveled the world again to discover how Life began and diversified into the myriad of organisms that form the basis of today's biodiversity. The result of this journey is the beautiful documentary, "First Life," that won three Emmy Awards in 2011. The new ROM Gallery of Early Life anticipated to open by the end of 2014 will feature some of the key fossils shown in the documentary, many of those will come from our own ROM collections! 

The origin of animals represents a turning point in Life history. About half a billion years ago all the major animal groups that are still around us today appear in the fossil record. One of the best sites in the world to study this key interval in Life history is the 505 million year old Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park, British Columbia. As an expert of the Burgess Shale biota, I was invited to accompany Sir David Attenborough to the field. Here are few snapshots from the Burgess Shale I took during this specific trip.

Adventures at Big Fish River

Posted: December 10, 2012 - 15:38 , by Mia Ijacic
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This blog post was written by Dr. Kim Tait, Curator of Mineralogy at the ROM. As the new recipient of the YPC Research Fund, Kim has travelled to the northeastern corner of the Yukon—a remote region rich with minerals called Rapid Creek. Her work builds on the legacy of ROM research on phosphate minerals, which are one of the largest and most complex in the mineral kingdom and act as the atomic building blocks of our natural world.

ROM Mycologists in the field

Posted: September 24, 2012 - 13:20 , by admin
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Posting by Kirstin Bourne

Mushroom season has only just started and already ROM mycologists have been out in the field conducting research and searching for new specimens to add to the museum collection. Last week I got the chance to join Jean-Marc Moncalvo, the ROM’s Senior Curator of Mycology, along with Ph.D. Candidate Santiago Sanchez and Josie Carding, a summer intern in the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity for a few days of foraging and camping in Ontario’s Awenda Provincial Park.

Pronghorns and Prickly Pears and Bison…oh my! Thoughts on Grasslands National Park

Posted: September 11, 2012 - 17:48 , by Nicole Richards

Submitted by Alexander Muth, winner of the Find the Baby Bison Contest

Alexander loving the view from the top of 70 mile Butte

We’re back.  We all had a great trip out west. It’s hard to pick out highlights, as it all seems like highlights to me.

Facebook Features A Fishy Story!

Posted: September 11, 2012 - 10:30 , by Ryan Dodge
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When ROM Ichthyologist Dr. Hernan Lopez-Fernandez was unable to attend a 2011 expedition to the Cuyuni River in Guyana, he found other creative ways to collaborate with fellow scientists. Dr. Lopez-Fernandez enabled Devin Bloom, a U of T graduate student with extensive experience in Guyana through previous joint expeditions, to attend in his place and share the specimen collections and tissue samples with the ROM.

Go West Young Man, and take a ROM Employee with you

Posted: September 6, 2012 - 10:47 , by Nicole Richards

I’ve just come back from Grasslands National Park with the Grand Prize Winner of the Find the Baby Bison contest, Alexander Muth. I’m the lucky ROM employee chosen to accompany him and his family on the trip (actually no luck involved at all, it was an arm wrestling competition and I’m stronger than I look).

I found the Baby Bison and now I’m on my way to Grasslands National Park

Posted: August 24, 2012 - 15:55 , by Nicole Richards

By Alexander Muth, winner of the Find the Baby Bison Contest

Alexander Muth, Family, and ROM Staff. Winner of the Find the Baby Bison Contest ceremony

Alexander with brothers Isaac and Leonard. The boys won't see this bird in Grasslands National Park but they did get to see lots of amazing things in their behind-the-scenes tour of the ROM.

Invertebrate Life in the Ocean: Curator’s Corner

Posted: August 23, 2012 - 16:53 , by Claire Healy

Hello, I’m Claire Healy, Associate Curator of Invertebrate Zoology here at the ROM. It’s almost that time again – Curator’s Corner is gearing up to bring you another opportunity to meet a curator (me!) and learn a bit more about the animals here at the museum, and the delightful organisms that I study.

Many Eyes Make Light Work: ROM Field Botany

Posted: August 22, 2012 - 16:35 , by Tim Dickinson
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Submitted by David Baxter

As student staff in the ROM Botany Section, my summer work has mostly involved sitting in a basement office updating the plant specimen database, and occasionally working with the herbarium specimens themselves. This last week, however, I’ve been in Montana and Washington searching for Crataegus (hawthorn) trees. Quite a change of pace!

Southern Alberta Dinosaur Project 2012

Posted: August 14, 2012 - 08:32 , by David Evans

Tents in a grassy field with a rainbow across a grey sky.

Fig. 1. Camp after a rainstorm.