Natural History

Monthly Archive: December Natu

5 reasons to be excited for BioBlitz Canada 150 in Rouge National Urban Park

Posted: June 2, 2017 - 21:07 , by Stacey Kerr
Two young girls peer into a jar at the insect they just captured with a net during a bioblitz. Photo by David Coulson

While intensive biological surveying has taken place in the Rouge Valley before, this was before the creation of Rouge National Urban Park and a doubling in the park’s size. We are keen to make history by bringing this amazing citizen science event to Canada’s first and only national urban park for the very first time! 

Here are five reasons to be excited about Bioblitz Canada 150 in Rouge National Urban Park, written by Guest Author Omar McDadi from Parks Canada

Who sings for blues? How Blue Whales became ingredients in everyday products

Posted: June 2, 2017 - 16:38 , by Stacey Kerr
A photo of a canister of Canadian Blue Whale Brand Fertilizer - made from blue whale products in the 1950s. Photo by Katherine Ing

Living in Ontario, the Blue Whale in the vast ocean may seem a distant thought from our daily lives. But our history with these animals is more intertwined than we realize - for example, would you ever use fertilizer in your garden made from blue whales? Canadians used to! Read this guest blog post by ROM Biodiversity / Blue Whale team member Katherine Ing to find out a bit more about the other ways whale products became a part of everyday life during the peak of industrial whaling, and what that means for modern global whale conservation.

Adventures in the Great Bear Rainforest: from the Royal Ontario Museum to the wilds of British Columbia with Paul Nicklen

Posted: May 5, 2017 - 09:11 , by Aaron Phillips
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A moss-covered, First People's-made wooden carving amidst lush-green undergrowth

Guest blog by recent EVC grad Paul Esposti relating his adventures and insights from exploring the Great Bear Sea & Rainforest.

Science communication at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto and the Natural History Museum, London: two experts compare notes

Posted: January 10, 2017 - 11:25 , by Aaron Phillips
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An image of text panel in a museum, which reads: This is where the boundaries between the public galleries and behind-the-scenes science are blurred. Come in and explore.

Guest blog by recent EVC grad Temira Bruce comparing opinions from science communicators at museums in Toronto and London, UK, on the how the way in which museums communicate science to their visitors is changing.

The Ultimate Collaboration: Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the ROM and EVC

Posted: December 12, 2016 - 11:09 , by Aaron Phillips
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A woman crouches in the woods, her camera raised to her face, ready to take a photo.

Guest blog by recent EVC grad Rhi More examining staff & student reactions to wildlife photography and the Environmental Visual Communication program.

An Interview with Deborah Samuel on "The Extraordinary Beauty of Birds"

Posted: December 6, 2016 - 15:01 , by Stacey Kerr
A Crimson Topaz, one of the thousands of bird skins found at the ROM and feature of photographer Deborah Samuel’s new book. Photo by: Deborah Samuel

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication graduate David Coulson

Deborah Samuel's latest book, “The Extraordinary Beauty of Birds” is a stunning exposé of the ROM ornithology collection; an attempt, in her words, to bring these birds and feathers back to life. Here, EVC graduate David Coulson interviews Deborah about her photography and experiences working in collaboration with the ROM's Natural History collections.

Your Photo Could Be Put On Display at the ROM!

Posted: December 6, 2016 - 14:50 , by Aaron Phillips
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A Great blue heron stands in a misty marsh. Photo by Peter Bowers

Guest blog by recent EVC grad Filip Szafirowski on our upcoming ROM Photographer of the Year contest.

Storytelling: Art, Culture, Nature

Posted: November 29, 2016 - 13:35 , by Stacey Kerr
This year’s overall winner of Wildlife Photographer of Year is Tim Laman and his photo story, “While the forest still stands.” This image from the story is titled “Entwined lives.” It shows an orangutan high in a tree with the rest of the canopy below

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication graduate Samantha Stephens

Art, Culture, Nature. They may be separate words, but if we consider them separate disciplines, we are doing a disservice to the potential of human wisdom. Without nature, there is no culture. Without culture, there is no art. EVC grad Samantha Stephens gives us some examples of how these themes intertwine in recent ROM research and exhibits, including the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit, open now!

Not just for show: how and why museum specimens are collected

Posted: October 31, 2016 - 13:42 , by Stacey Kerr
ROM technician Brad Millen processes a bird specimen that will be added to the ROM's collections. Photo by Samantha Stephens

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication student Samantha Stephens

The sign on the door seemed quite appropriate. “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” I imagine that, as this quote from Dante’s Inferno indicates, this might be what hell feels like. As this last barrier swings open and the dim room is revealed, the swarm of hundreds of tiny creatures moving across the concrete floor completes that vision. However, for some of the ROM’s tireless workers, this environment is heaven. Here resides the dermestid beetle colony. These ravenous beetles are eagerly seeking their next meal. Manoeuvring themselves into the crevices of skeletons, they strip the flesh from delicate specimens with more precision and speed than the nimblest of human fingers.

Sebastian Kvist: Leech Hunter

Posted: October 25, 2016 - 13:34 , by Stacey Kerr
A portrait photo of Sebastian Kvist out in front of a swamp in the field in Minnesota, U.S.A. Photo by Vincent Luk

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication student Sally McIntyre

When most people think about the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), they think of dinosaurs or mummies. However, it is the invertebrates that live on the ocean floor and crawl through the soil that make up the most diverse collection at the ROM. So who holds the daunting position of keeper of this vast museum collection? Meet Dr. Sebastian Kvist: Leech Hunter.