Meet the Ultimate Dino Team: Matthew Vavrek

Posted: August 20, 2012 - 09:43 , by royal

Matthew Vavrek in his tent during a research expedition.

Bringing an exhibition to life takes a whole team – especially an exhibition the size and scale of Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants of Gondwana. To help get this ultimate exhibition up and running the ROM brought it contract curator Matthew Vavrek.

We visited Matthew in the palaeo labs, where he answered a few questions about the exhibition.

This is the largest Dinosaur exhibition in ROM history which means there’s a lot of ground to cover. What is your favourite part of the show?

My favorite part of the show is the Madagascar scene. I love how Majungasaurus and Rapetosaurus are posed together, and the original fossils from Madagascar that we were able to borrow are some of the most spectacular I have ever seen.

The toughest question of all: which dinosaur in the show is your favourite and why?

My favorite dinosaur is Suchomimus. He has such a distinctive look, and he is part of a group of dinosaurs that we so rarely get to see in North America.

Putting this exhibition together couldn’t have been done without your help and expertise. What are your palaeo plans after your time here at the ROM?

This summer I will be travelling to northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories in search of Late Cretaceous (about 70 million years ago) fossils. I’ll also continue to study a number of other fossils (including dinosaurs) from the Canadian Arctic that I have been working on with other researchers.

What advice would you offer to an aspiring palaeontologist?

Reading and going to museums are great ways to learn about palaeontology, but one of the best things you can do is to just get outside and explore the natural world, and learn more about this amazing planet we all live on.