Un essor prodigieux
By Oliver Haddrath, Ornithology Technician
DNA testing over the last 30 years has revolutionized many different fields ranging from health care to law enforcement to the study of human civilization and natural history. The ROM was quick to adopt techniques such as DNA sequencing and genetic fingerprinting as powerful tools to help study its collections.
Tél. : 416.586.5521
B.Sc., University of Toronto, 1985
M.Sc. (Honours), University of Toronto, 2001
Oliver Haddrath is a research technician in the ornithology division of the Department of Natural History at the ROM.
Oliver’s career at the ROM began 18 years ago. He is responsible for the operations of one of the ROM's two molecular genetic research laboratories, where the latest DNA technologies are used to study the phylogenetic relationships among different species, to examine the genetics of rare and endangered animals, and to unravel the mysteries of the past using ancient DNA.
Oliver graduated from the University of Toronto with a specialist degree in molecular biology and molecular genetics. His Master's degree focused on the diversification of the ratites, a group of large flightless birds including Ostriches, Emus, Cassowaries, Kiwis and Rheas, which are found spread across the southern hemisphere. Using complete mitochondrial DNA genome sequences from these birds, he determined how their distribution has been shaped by continental drift over the last 80 million years. Results from this study, one of the first to include complete mitochondrial genomes for extinct species, were published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London and ROM magazine . He is currently working on his Ph.D., developing new molecular markers to look further back in time to the earliest evolutionary events surrounding the origin of birds.
Tél. : 416.586.5523
University of Toronto, 1995-2000
Sheridan College Photography, 1982-83
B.Sc., University of Western Ontario, 1981
Mark Peck is a technician in the Department of Natural History, and oversees the ornithology collection.
Mark’s career at the ROM began as a summer assistant on field expeditions with Ornithology Curator, Ross James. It was a natural choice for Mark, as he had been introduced to birding at an early age by his father, ROM Research Associate George Peck. After several field seasons as camp cook and tree-climbing-nest-finder, Mark was hired in 1983 as a technician in the Ornithology Department.
Mark has broadened his skills considerably since his early days in the field camps. Though he still regularly participates in field expeditions, he is also involved in collections management, public programs, gallery development (Patrick and Barbara Keenan Family Gallery of Hands-on Biodiversity), and has served as a curatorial consultant for several exhibitions (Audubon’s Wilderness Palette: Birds of Canada, and The Nature of Birds: A Photo Essay). Most recently, Mark was a member of the Gallery Development Team for the ROM's Life in Crisis: Schad Gallery of Biodiversity.
In addition to his duties at the ROM, Mark serves as a committee member and ROM liaison for the Ontario Bird Records Committee, and as a consultant for Ontario Birds/Ontario Field Ornithologists. He is the co-coordinator of the Ontario Nest Records Scheme, Program Director of the Toronto Ornithological Club, and a member of the Canadian Shorebird Science Support Team.
Like his father, Mark is an avid natural history photographer with a special interest in breeding and nesting birds. He has travelled worldwide with the ROM, but he still considers Ontario and the Canadian arctic his favourite research locations.