Current Canadian Palaeos (2) – 150 things about Canadian palaeo, part 12

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to a few current Canadian (or at least working in Canada) palaeontologists. Obviously there are more than just the 8 that I mentioned last time. Here is Part 2 of some of the palaeontologists in Canada, again in no particular order. Starting with 86/150:

86. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is a growing palaeontology hot bed, in particular thanks to David Evans, Chair of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. David’s research focuses on Late Cretaceous dinosaurs, and large-bodied terrestrial vertebrates. Most of his work tends to focus on large-bodied herbivorous dinosaurs such as hadrosaurs and ceratopsians, but he’s worked on most groups. You can hear me chat with David about some of his work over at Palaeocast.

87. A recent addition to the ROM palaeontology group is Dr. Victoria Arbour, a postdoctoral researcher in the Evans Lab. Victoria is well known for her work on ankylosaur dinosaurs, the large, armoured dinosaurs which frequently have large tail clubs. You may have read about the recently described ankylosaur Zuul, described by Victoria and David, found in northern Montana a few years ago. Victoria gave a great interview with me at Palaeocast on ankylosaurs a few years ago.

88. Professor Jason Anderson of the University of Calgary focuses his research mainly on the evolution of reptiles, looking at fossils from the earliest periods of reptile and tetrapod evolution, including what has previously been called Romer’s Gap. This is a time period that Romer described as being devoid of tetrapod fossils – before it, we have the very beginnings of tetrapods, like Tiktaalik and Ichthyostega, afterwards, fully terrestrial reptiles. This is an important time period for understanding how animals evolved on land, and Jason has made some interesting discoveries about animals from this time. To hear about some of his work on Blue Beach fossils from Nova Scotia, check out this interview.

89. Another University of Calgary palaeontologist is Assistant Professor Darla Zelenitsky, who is best known for her research on dinosaur eggs. She has done a significant amount of work on dinosaur reproduction, and nesting. Darla also works on feathered dinosaurs from North America, and other aspects of dinosaurs like olfactory systems.

90. Professor Michael Caldwell, Chair of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta works mostly on the evolution of squamates, a group of animals including snakes and lizards. He is also known for working on marine reptiles, including mosasaurs (a group of extinct, marine squamates), as well as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, but he also works on modern snakes to better understand the functional anatomy of their skulls.

91. The Curator of Quaternary Palaeontology at the Royal Alberta Museum Chris Jass works on more recently extinct, typically mammalian fossils. Less well known than the dinosaur fossils, there are actually a large number of Ice-Age type fossils from around Alberta, including camels, horses, bears, and of course more well-known animals like mammoths from the Pleistocene. These fossils go to the Royal Alberta Museum where Chris curates and studies them.

92. Not exactly a palaeontologist, but Danielle Dufault of the Royal Ontario Museum is rapidly becoming one of the best palaeoartists around. She illustrates the palaeontology finds at the ROM for the Evans Lab and also those found by J-B Caron, bringing extinct organisms to life in a way that we can appreciate. Since palaeontologists frequently deal with poor fossils, illustrations are essential in showing what we are dealing with, and Danielle is making her mark.

93. Another great Canadian palaeoartist is Julius Csotonyi, who has long spent his time illustrating dinosaurs and other Mesozoic tetrapods. He’s well known for representations of extinct fauna, including life-like restorations of dinosaurs in their typical landscapes. His paintings are frequently found in museums, especially as large murals found on museum walls.

This was another 8 palaeontologists (or palaeoartists) working in Canada, and there are still a lot more! If I have time, I’ll try to do one more post in the Canada 150 series… Don’t forgot I’ve also mentioned Jean-Bernard Caron from the ROM in the Burgess Shale post earlier on!

The series:

Part 1: Intro

Part 2: The Burgess Shale

Part 3: Early Canadian Palaeontologists

Part 4: Canadian Fossil Names

Part 5: Dinosaur Provincial Park

Part 6: Marine Fossils

Part 7: Current Canadian Palaeontologists (1)

Part 8: Dinosaur Fossil Localities

Part 9: Palaeontology Museums

Part 10: Joggins Fossil Cliffs

Part 11: Significant Canadian Fossils


2 thoughts on “Current Canadian Palaeos (2) – 150 things about Canadian palaeo, part 12

  1. Funnily enough, I listened to your interview with David Evans on the way to SVP last October, and ended up meeting you both there. I’m happy to say you were both very nice. David even told me about one of the Sternberg’s contributions to the ROM collections after he learned that I’m involved at the Sternberg Museum in Kansas.


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