Research

Monthly Archive: December Rese

The TRCA Calls Upon Batman for Help

Posted: August 18, 2016 - 14:33 , by Stacey Kerr
Dr. Burton Lim (left) and ROM Biodiversity's Nicole Richards (right) walk along the Scarborough Bluffs waterfront en route to one of the three bat detectors. Photo by Filip Szafirowski

It’s been a hot summer, the sun is shining and the Scarborough Bluffs are standing tall above the Lake Ontario shoreline. But they might not be for long. The Scarborough Bluffs in Toronto’s east end are eroding at a rapid rate, increasing the likelihood of slope failure and damage to local species’ habitats. Although the cliffs have been eroding since the 1940s, the view from atop the Bluffs was too enticing to prevent people from further settling there. As houses were feverishly built along the Bluffs, the rate of erosion further accelerated.

Go with the Flow: Technology & Early Glass

Posted: August 5, 2016 - 15:04 , by Robert Mason
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Six-handled green glass jar - Blown glass with trailed handles, Syria - Late Roman - c. 300-425 AD, ROM #909.3.41   - The Walter Massey Collection - Height 12.9cm  Width 9.4cm  Diameter 7.6cm. ROM Photography.

Glass is probably the most fluid of solids. Looking at blown glass, such as that in the ROM's Chihuly exhibition, is like watching movement made still. If you look carefully at the handles of the perfectly preserved handles of this Roman glass vase from Syria (above), it looks as though it is still a fluid, still dynamically moving along its flow. In a way, that is because it is. Glass essentially has the atomic structure of a fluid, but it has been so rapidly cooled that it is essentially stuck in that condition. 
 

Yukon BioBlitz: Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun

Posted: July 13, 2016 - 17:49 , by Stacey Kerr
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A single bioblitz participant takes notes on top of a ridge in the Dawson Mountain Range near Carmacks, Yukon. Photo by Stacey Lee Kerr

Blog by Stacey Lee Kerr, Biodiversity Storyteller / Creative Producer for the ROM's Centre for Biodiversity

The idea of what “midnight sun” really means is rather obscure to the uninitiated traveller. It doesn’t strike home until you’ve been sitting at a picnic table with some entomologists while they pin bees and flies without anything more than the ambient light, and you realize it’s almost midnight when it looks and feels more like 8pm...

Behind the Blitz: The Heart of the Data

Posted: June 1, 2016 - 22:11 , by Stacey Kerr
Angela Telfer, database coordinator for the Ontario BioBlitz program sits hard at work at a computer in the middle of the species depot during the 2015 event. Photo by Stacey Lee Kerr

Guest blog by Angela Telfer, the Data Management Lead for Bio-Inventory and Collections Unit of the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO), and Database Coordinator for the Ontario BioBlitz program

Ever wonder what happens to all those observations made at the Ontario BioBlitz? Where do your species lists and iNaturalist observations go? Angela has those answers and some tips for making sure that everyone's hard work collecting data in the field is preserved and accessible to everyone for years to come.

Behind the Blitz: Three Young Scientists

Posted: May 19, 2016 - 20:25 , by Stacey Kerr
Wide view of the species depot at the 2015 Ontario BioBlitz, where scientists bring back specimens to examine and identify along tables with microscopes and field guides. Photo by Krystal Seedial

Blog by Nadine Leone, ROM Hands-on Biodiversity Gallery Assistant Coordinator 

The first of four blogs in our Ontario BioBlitz: Behind the Blitz series is an interview with three young ROM scientists, who share their favourite highlights from last year's event in the Don Watershed.

How Drone Photography is Saving Wildlife

Posted: March 3, 2016 - 15:41 , by Stacey Kerr
Research conducted by scientists from the NOAA Fisheries and the Vancouver Aquarium using the hexacopter to capture images of killer whales to assess their health. Photo from NOAA Fisheries.

Guest Blog written by Environmental Visual Communication student Lisa Milosavljevic

A number of photos in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibit make use of aerial photography techniques, including the use of drone photography. There is also a growing demand for its use in professional and academic fields as people are recognizing how drones can be a valuable tool in their work; one of these areas is wildlife conservation. Here we are going to look at the different ways in how drone photography is saving wildlife around the world, as well as some of the controversies and questions that this developing technology raises.

Have you got 15 minutes to be part of something BIG?

Posted: February 11, 2016 - 16:46 , by Stacey Kerr
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White-breasted Nuthatch, common bird of Toronto.  Photo by Mark Peck

Guest blog written by Bird Studies Canada's Toronto Projects Coordinator, Emily Rondel

What if you could be part of a global conservation project by standing in your yard (or local park, or well…anywhere) for 15 minutes? This coming Family Day weekend (Feb 12-15), be part of the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), a four day worldwide “blitz” of wild birds. The GBBC is an invaluable snapshot of worldwide bird abundance and distribution; and it’s only possible due to the participation of tens of thousands of “citizen scientist” volunteers around the globe. 

Mexican Cartel lands are home to a newly described species: Goode’s Thornscrub Tortoise

Posted: February 10, 2016 - 12:00 , by Dave Ireland
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A new species of tortoise named Goode’s Thornscrub Tortoise, described today by Dr. Robert (Bob) Murphy and colleagues in the Journal ZooKeys. Photo taken in Reserva Monte Mojino, Sonora, Mexico, 24 August, 2013 Photo by Taylor Edwards

ROM curator of reptiles and amphibians, Dr. Bob Murphy and a team of international scientists use leading edge genetic techniques and dangerous fieldwork activities to describe a new species of tortoise in Mexico and shine light on the conservation status of other rare and threatened tortoises from the region

ROM in the Field: Bats, Barcoding, and a Baby

Posted: September 8, 2015 - 16:15 , by Stacey Kerr
A tube-nosed bat (Murina cyclotis) in flight. Photo by Vincent Luk

ROM Biodiversity (@ROMBiodiversity) is in the fields and forests of Sri Lanka for an intense four weeks doing the first comprehensive survey of bats and other small mammals in close to 80 years. Follow the South Asian adventure on social media with #ROMSriLanka, and join Burton Lim and the Team LIVE from the field on September 10 at noon: https://www.rom.on.ca/en/activities-programs/events-calendar/hangout-with-our-rom-biodiversity-team-in-sri-lanka  

My Experience as a Web Intern at the ROM

Posted: July 31, 2014 - 15:14 , by Jaime Clifton-Ross
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Behind the entrance to the Bat Cave, is this delightful diorama of deer in the forest. This reminded me so much of the forest diorama at The Royal British Columbia Museum.  Photos by Jaime Clifton-Ross (left) and Royal British Columbia Museum (right).

Jaime Clifton-Ross reflects on her Summer 2014 internship at the ROM.