Beloved Assistant Curator Inspires Generous Gift to ROM Palaeontology Department

Janet Waddington was a cherished ROM staff member for over 40 years. Even after her passing in 2020 following a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer, her legacy continues to flourish, leaving a lasting impact on her colleagues and the Museum.

“Janet had a deep passion for fossils,” says Jean-Bernard Caron, Richard M. Ivey Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology at ROM. “I had the pleasure to know her as a volunteer, a student and then as a colleague. She was very personable and always went the extra mile to communicate the importance of our collection to the public.”

After completing her MSc in Geology at the University of Toronto, Janet joined ROM in 1972 as a research assistant in the Invertebrate Palaeontology Department. She would go on to become an Assistant Curator, and upon her retirement in 2012, continued her involvement with the Museum as a Departmental Assistant. During her long career, she worked on a variety of projects and priorities – from collection management to gallery development to public outreach activities. She enthusiastically shared her knowledge and passion for palaeontology and ROM with visitors, members and the public through events, publications, and public presentations.

Janet is deeply missed, but her spirit lives on through the relationships she forged and the contributions she made throughout her career. In tribute to her profound influence, her friends and colleagues rallied together to establish an expendable fund dedicated to supporting her lifelong passion. Their donations were further bolstered by significant matching gifts from her husband Dennis, and her siblings, Susan and James.

Over the years, the Janet Waddington Memorial Fund has continued to grow, becoming a beacon of support for collection and research initiatives, as well as education and outreach programs within the Invertebrate Palaeontology Department. In recognition of its enduring impact, Janet's family has decided to transform the fund into a named endowment that will continue to grow and uphold her legacy in perpetuity.

This fund will serve as a permanent memorial to Janet’s commitment to ROM palaeontology, enriching the collection she helped build and fostering a deeper appreciation of the wonders of the prehistoric world. The projects and activities selected for funding will reflect her passion and commitment to palaeontology and her meaningful involvement with the Museum over the past 40 years.

"It's been gratifying to see family, friends and colleagues come together to make this fund possible and I look forward to see it benefit the palaeontology department at ROM and its collection."

ROM is proud to be a part of Janet’s legacy and invites those who wish to honour her memory and support vital work in palaeontogy to make a gift to the Janet Waddington Memorial Fund. Simply select the fund from the scroll down menu.

Like Janet's family and friends, you too can make a memorial gift in honour of a loved one. Provide immediate support for a ROM program or department of your choosing with an outright gift or a future gift in your estate plans. To learn more about how you can pay tribute to Janet or create your own fund, please contact Janice Correa at