Monthly Archive: December Biod

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. 

Trees for Toronto - Our Urban Forest

Posted: September 22, 2016 - 12:05 , by Stacey Kerr
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evening sunlight streams through the leaves and branches of the trees in Queen's Park, casting shadows on the green grass. Photo by Rhi More

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication student Rhi More

Bringing more attention to trees is what the Royal Ontario Museum had in mind when its botanists and Creative Department partnered with the City of Toronto Urban Forester’s Office to create Trees for Toronto in 2004. EVC Student Rhi More decided to check out this ‘urban arboretum’ for herself, and share the findings with our readers.

ROM Collections Contribute to Checklist of Indian Birds

Posted: August 25, 2016 - 11:42 , by Brad Millen
Brad Millen examines one of countless drawers full of bird specimens from across the world. Photo by Filip Szafirowski

Museum collections are often undervalued and misunderstood. Regular visitors to the ROM don’t get to see what lies behind the public galleries, and yet less than 1% of the ROM’s collections are on display. These collections do far more than gather dust: they are a reference point in time, and, from a natural history perspective, provide a baseline for our understanding of life. I have received a lot of data requests from inside and outside the ROM. Some I can answer, and some I automatically forward along to collections. A group of recent emails stood out in particular...

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.

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...

BioBlitz at the Edge of Beringia

Posted: June 22, 2016 - 22:40 , by Stacey Kerr
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The Northern Lights over Fish Lake near Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Photo by Anthony DeLorenzo via Wikimedia Commons

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

What makes the Yukon a special place for the Biological Survey of Canada to conduct a bioblitz?

Behind the Blitz: Become the Biodiversity

Posted: June 9, 2016 - 15:08 , by Stacey Kerr
Four children stand with monarch wing costumes in front of an exhibit in the Schad Gallery at the ROM. Photo by Fatima Ali

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

At this year's Ontario BioBlitz, things are set to get a little wild... we've invited everyone to dress up as their favourite Ontario Species for our NatureFest Costume Contest. But what does it take to win a fabulous prize? Inside, in the final installment of our Behind the Blitz blog series, we've got some tips for how to come out on top, and "become the biodiversity"!

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: Eye to Eye with a Bat

Posted: May 25, 2016 - 22:50 , by Stacey Kerr
A young girl named Saskia peers closely at the bat being held in the hands of ROM mammalogist Burton Lim. The scene is illuminated by headlamp. Photo by Kendra Marjerrison

Blog by Environmental Visual Communication alumnus / Ontario BioBlitz Communications Assistant Fatima Ali

The second of four blogs in our Ontario BioBlitz: Behind the Blitz series introduces us to Saskia, a ten-year-old natural history enthusiast who was a participant in the Guided Blitz at the 2015 Don Watershed Ontario BioBlitz event. Watch a video about her experience as she follows ROM mammalogist Burton Lim into the woods with her group to capture and identify some bats!

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.