Area: Natural History
B.Sc., Geology, University of Toronto, 1982
Brian Iwama is a collections technician in the palaeobiology division of the Department of Natural History at the ROM.
Born and educated in the Toronto region, Brian enrolled in the palaeontology specialist program of the Geology Department at the University of Toronto. During his studies, he began his career at the ROM, working as a summer student, volunteer, and contract employee in the departments of Invertebrate Palaeontology and Vertebrate Palaeontology. In 1982, he joined the Exhibit Design Department working on the renovation of the previous Dinosaur Gallery, and in 1984, he moved to the Department of Vertebrate Palaeontology as a technician.
Brian has spent many summers engaged in fieldwork. He has assisted in the collection of vertebrate fossils from the Chihuahua desert of northeastern Mexico, and the Badlands of Alberta. Many collecting seasons were spent in the fossil-rich Upper Triassic age deposits of northern British Columbia. His work has been diverse, and includes: the Maiasaur Preparation Lab on Level 2; recovering recently deceased animal skeletons; as well as the preparation of Upper Triassic ichthyosaurs, dinosaurs from Alberta and Africa, and extinct “giant armadillos” from south-central America and southern North America.
In addition to fossil preparation, Brian is involved in molding and casting of specimens. He also teaches firearms safety to Museum staff working in wilderness areas. These two areas of interest have led to his involvement in invertebrate fossil fieldwork in Churchill, Manitoba. Other duties involve assisting with the palaeobiology collections database, working on cataloguing recent additions to the collections, and assisting in the inventory and reorganization of various segments of the collections. He was part of the team conserving, and in some cases, remounting fossil specimens for the new Reed Gallery of the Age of Mammals and the Jim and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs. Brian was also part of the team involved in the installation of the fossil specimens in both galleries.