Noel Alfonso is a Senior Research Assistant in the Research Services Division. He studies flatfishes and other freshwater and marine fish species.
Read all Noel Alfonso’s postings.
I have been an educator at the Canadian Museum of Nature since 2001. My previous experience is in research. My work at the museum has mainly been developing and animating school programmes.
Read all Suzanne Allyson’s postings.
As Director of Collections Services at the Canadian Museum of Nature, I have the pleasure of making 160 years of collecting available to our experts and colleagues around the world, and making these precious resources last for the lifetime of the country. My career path has been over 30 years in archives and museums settings, because what are papers, photos, artefacts and specimens but data and information in different physical forms? They all need structure, order and organization to be accessible, and proper conditions to be preserved. I love the fact I have spent the majority of my career in the “attics of the nation” with the Postal Museum, Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian Museum of Nature. As a musician, I know the value of structure and harmony and teamwork, so I guess I bring a lot of that to my workplace as well!
Read all Roger Baird’s postings.
Exhibition Designer and Project Manager, Exhibition Services, Canadian Museum of Nature
Meg Beckel joined the Canadian Museum of Nature in June 2011 as its President and CEO. Meg is responsible for overseeing the museum’s strategic direction, as well as increasing the museum’s public value, nationally and internationally, and securing the long-term sustainability of the museum.
She is a “museum person” going way back, with fond childhood memories of Saturday visits to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Meg served as Chief Operating Officer of the ROM from 1999 to 2007, then took on the challenge of Vice-President, External Relations, at the University of Waterloo, before moving to Ottawa as the Canadian Museum of Nature’s new leader.
Read all Meg Beckel’s postings.
Jeff Betz is a graduate of McMaster University, where he specialized in palaeoanthropology. He also has a graduate degree in science communication from Laurentian University and has worked at Science North in Sudbury, Ontario. In 2012, he worked as a research assistant in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, USA.
Read all Jeff Betz’s postings.
I am the Senior Technician in the Arius3D Imaging Centre. It’s a lot of fun creating 3D models of specimens that have been recently discovered or hidden from view in the museum’s collections. Each specimen that I scan has a story behind it. The story also gets told through the 3D data, which are used for research, in the exhibition galleries and on the museum’s web site.
Read all Paul Bloskie’s postings.
In January 2013, Elisabeth Boekhoven is an intern with the Conservation Department at the Canadian Museum of Nature. She is just about to graduate from the Museum Management and Curatorship programme at Fleming College and is excited about entering the museum field!
Read all Elisabeth Boekhoven’s postings.
Roger Bull is a Senior Research Assistant in the Research and Collections Division. He is the coordinator of the museum’s DNA Lab, a busy place where students and volunteers study mysteries of the natural world by unlocking information in DNA molecules. He works closely with the botany team, often travelling to the Canadian Arctic to participate in the team’s field research. The primary goal of this work is to document botanical diversity across the Arctic before these plant communities show significant change in response to a changing climate.
Read all Roger Bull’s postings.
Warren is a graduate student at the University of Ottawa working on his Master’s thesis at the Canadian Museum of Nature with Lynn Gillespie, Ph.D. He is doing a molecular phylogenetic study of the tribe Plukenetieae (Euphorbiaceae), highlighted by a plant-collection trip to Madagascar in autumn 2012. Warren grew up in a small community in northern Alberta and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Alberta.
Read all Warren Cardinal-McTeague’s postings.
Emily Choy is a Science Educator at the Canadian Museum of Nature. She works in the Discovery Zone and with guided tours. Emily studied biology and outdoor education at Queen’s University. She completed her master’s degree on Arctic ecosystems at the University of Ottawa. She has also worked at the Toronto Zoo, St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences and Environment Canada.
Read all Emily Choy’s postings.
I am a fourth-year student at the Institut national du patrimoine (INP), in Paris, France. I am studying art restoration for works on paper. Before entering INP, I studied science in high school and I earned a licence (equivalent to a bachelor’s degree) in history and one in art history. These two disciplines may not seem to go together, but they are complementary in the sphere of restoration. During my six-month internship at the Canadian Museum of Nature, I did restoration work in botany. The museum holds the largest part of Catharine Parr Traill’s (1802–1899) herbarium collections. She was a writer who immigrated to Canada from England in 1832. I hope that my work will help preserve this fabulous collection, and help it on the road to exhibition or entry into a database.
Read all Marion Cinqualbre’s postings.
Conservator, Collection Services, Canadian Museum of Nature
Read all Luci Cipera’s postings.
Katie is a science writer who is based in Ottawa. She has a BSc in Biology from the University of Prince Edward Island and a master’s degree in Science Communication from Drexel University.
Dr. Steve Cumbaa is a vertebrate palaeontologist with the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, an Adjunct Research Professor in Earth Sciences at Carleton University, and the author of several science books for children. His current research is on the palaeoenvironments and palaeoecology of 90–100 million-year-old fish, birds and marine reptiles from the Late Cretaceous Period of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and on 400 million-year-old fossil fishes from Early Devonian marine deposits in Yukon and Northwest Territories. Steve has written or co-authored five science books for children: The Bones Book and Skeleton, The Bones and Skeleton Game Book, The Neanderthal Book and Skeleton, Megalodon: The Prehistoric Shark, and his most recent, Sea Monsters. He helped develop the Canadian Museum of Nature’s Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery, a major permanent exhibition that features the marine and terrestrial Late Cretaceous world, including the extinction of the dinosaurs and the related environmental changes that enabled the rise of mammals as the dominant vertebrate life form.
Read all Steve Cumbaa’s postings.
I’m the curator of the museum’s plant collection, also known as the National Herbarium of Canada. I enjoy helping to make the link between information from the collection and the interests and research goals of students, enthusiasts and professionals in science, education, literature, history, fine art and more. My botanical specialization is bryology—the study of mosses and other non-vascular plants. Field work and microscopy first attracted me to botany, and I’m especially interested in rare species, biodiversity and conservation.
Read all Jennifer Doubt’s postings.
Exhibition Content Developer
Since 1994, I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside my colleagues to develop natural history exhibitions for our museum visitors. Getting to highlight our wonderful collections and research is such a privilege. One of the things I like most about my job is that each project is a chance to learn about a new topic. I’ve had the opportunity to work on the Mammal Gallery, the Water Gallery and Extreme Mammals. I’m really looking forward to my next challenge: Phase Two of the Earth Gallery!
Read all Nicole Dupuis’s postings.
Senior Exhibition Designer, Canadian Museum of Nature
There’s nothing more exciting to me than an exhibition! I love learning up close and hands on, especially with real-world stuff right under my nose. So huge rooms full of great specimens, models, games, live bugs or fish (and often interesting live scientists) is just where I like to be.
As an exhibition designer, I get to contribute to the making of exhibitions, which places me in the middle of a team of very talented people: writers, scientists, video producers, computer programmers, live-animal-care experts, engineers and builders of all types, to name a few.
No two exhibitions are the same, and each requires a new effort of invention. Working as a team to imagine a common vision for an exhibition, and then bringing it into reality is truly exhilarating—particularly when visitors tell us we have succeeded in creating a place full of rich and valuable experiences for their enjoyment and benefit.
Read all Jonathan Ferrabee’s postings.
Chief Collections Manager, Invertebrate Section, Canadian Museum of Nature.
President, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (2010–2012).
Read all Jean-Marc Gagnon’s postings.
I am the Vice-President of Research and Collections at the Canadian Museum of Nature and have been working in science for over 30 years. My scientific interests are in conservation biology. I have been an active researcher in the laboratory and the field, on topics that range from the blood physiology of flatfish to dental health in killer whales. My work has allowed me to explore all of the oceans around Canada, and I fully appreciate how wonderful a dry suit is for SCUBA diving.
Read all Mark Graham’s postings.
Helen Gregory is an artist based in London, Ontario, where she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Art and Visual Culture at the University of Western Ontario. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections, including The National Gallery of Canada, The National Library of Canada, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Loto-Quebec Collection and The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery. Helen has had a lifelong interest in natural-history museums, and she has a particular fondness for taxidermy.
Read all Helen Gregory’s postings.
At the time of her posting to this blog, Ebony Griffin was a fourth-year student at Carleton University. Graduating in April 2012 with a double major in Journalism and Anthropology, Ebony hopes to pursue a career in public relations. At the Canadian Museum of Nature as a student intern, Ebony worked alongside researcher and exhibition developer Roger Bull. Together the pair created and installed a photo exhibition about lichens in the museum’s Stone Wall Gallery.
Read all Ebony Griffin’s postings.
Cynthia is the senior public programming educator on the Water Project at the Canadian Museum of Nature. She studied biology at the University of Guelph and joined the museum education team right after graduation. She is fascinated by all of the people it takes to pull together a new museum gallery and is very happy to have this chance to share some of those stories with you.
Read all Cynthia Iburg’s postings.
A master’s student in museology at the Université de Montréal, Vanessa has worked as an intern in Exhibition Services at the Canadian Museum of Nature. She had the chance to learn about the many preparations involved in the development of the RBC Blue Water Gallery.
Read all Vanessa Jetté’s postings.
Marcie Kwindt is a conservation technician in the Research and Collections division at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Since starting at the museum in 1997, she has been able to combine her interest in the preservation of natural history collections with a special focus on the vertebrate collections. One of the favourite parts of her job is being surrounded, on a daily basis, by all of the amazing specimens that few people will ever have the chance to see. Although not a fan of house cleaning, she does enjoy the time she spends vacuuming and cleaning the specimens that are on display. Not many of us can say they’ve cleaned a blue whale!
Ève Laforest was an intern in Exhibits at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Having enjoyed her experience so much, she could not face leaving the museum and the Exhibits team, so she decided to volunteer. She has a master’s degree in museology and has started a Ph.D. in that field. Her main academic interest is the history of Canadian museums, but also exhibition text.
Read all Ève Laforest’s postings.
Senior Content Developer and Exhibition Project Manager
From concept to evaluation, including narrative development and scientific fact-checking, I plan and manage the various stages in the production of an exhibition. After having worked at several museums in Canada and abroad, I joined the team at the Canadian Museum of Nature in 2001. I’ve since had the good fortune of working on a number of exhibitions that explore a wide range of subjects such as genomics, birds, geology, moths and whales.
Read all Caroline Lanthier’s postings.
As a bachelor’s student in Education and an employee of Visitor Services at the Canadian Museum of Nature, I think it is very important that everyone has an opportunity to learn something new. I found the opportunity to write about the new RBC Blue Water Gallery very interesting because it gave me the chance to stay up-to-date on the gallery’s progress, but primarily because I could then share updates with the main stakeholders, that is to say, the general public, visitors.
Read all Caroline Larocque’s postings.
Conservator, Collection Services, Canadian Museum of Nature
Read all Carolyn Leckie’s postings.
Emma works as an environmental monitoring technician with the Canadian Museum of Nature Environmental Monitoring Program. She is a recent graduate of the University of Ottawa, having finished a double major in English and Biology. She hopes to go on to do her Master’s in Ecology or Evolutionary Biology. In the meantime, Emma is really enjoying sharing her knowledge with others of the property that has the museum’s research and collections facility.
Read all Emma Lehmberg’s postings.
A long-time contributor to the Canadian Museum of Nature, photographer Martin Lipman has travelled three times to the Arctic with museum scientist Natalia Rybczynski, Ph.D., to document her team’s fieldwork. He was present the day Dr. Rybczynski, Dr. Mary Dawson and student Liz Ross discovered Puijila darwini in 2007 on Devon Island. He also found the animal’s missing braincase upon returning to the dig site in 2008.
Read all Martin Lipman’s postings.
Jacqueline Madill is a Senior Research Assistant who works with André Martel, Ph.D., in the Life Sciences section of Research Services at the Canadian Museum of Nature. She has studied mussels and conducted hirudinology (study of leeches) research for 15 years. She has also spent eight years studying other freshwater invertebrates. Jackie earned an Honours B.Sc. in Zoology at McGill University (1969). She worked for Beak Consultants before her arrival at the museum. She has co-authored two peer-reviewed articles on freshwater mussels, and three on leeches.
Read all Jacqueline Madill’s postings.
I am a postdoctoral fellow researching dinosaurs at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Specifically, I am interested in questions relating to dinosaur ecology (Who ate what? Who lived where, and when?). My work to date focuses mostly on dinosaurs from western Canada, which are the strength of the museum’s fossil collection. I completed my undergraduate education at Carleton University in Ottawa, and earned my Ph.D. at the University of Calgary.
Read all Jordan Mallon’s postings.
Research Scientist, Life Sciences (Malacology), Research Services, Canadian Museum of Nature
Read all André Martel’s postings.
As Coordinator for Guest and Client Services, I fill my days trying to find 1001 Things to Make Visitors Happy (P.S.: I am always open to suggestions!). I have been with the Canadian Museum of Nature for more than 11 years and my love for this place, and nature in general, only increases incrementally with each passing year. A museum, such as this one, plays a fundamental role in planting the seed of curiosity, imagination and a love for nature in children of all ages. I am so grateful to be a part of that sowing.
Read all Jennifer-Lee Mason’s postings.
Laurel has more than twenty years of professional experience in museum and environmental education, as well as extensive knowledge, field skills and interest in biology and ecology. She’s an avid kayaker, canoeist, hiker and vegetable gardener. Laurel is passionate about our natural world, loves learning from other people and continually strives to live more sustainably.
Read all Laurel McIvor’s postings.
I am a civil engineering undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa and despite my field of study, I’ve always been an avid nature-admirer. I’ve been working part time at the Canadian Museum of Nature since the Grand Reopening in May 2010 and absolutely adore this amazing place, as well as the incredible team, who are the “real” foundation to this building!
Read all Andrea McKay’s postings.
I have been very fortunate to witness the inner workings of the Canadian Museum of Nature for more than two years in many different capacities—as a guest-services host, a science interpreter and a volunteer supporter. With a background in History, French and Museum Studies,I am thrilled to work in an environment where I’m constantly learning something new. In turn, I hope to share these new discoveries with you!
Read all Sarah McPherson’s postings.
Donna Naughton was a Senior Research Assistant when she retired from the Canadian Museum of Nature in 2011. Over more than 37 years at the museum, she worked in collections, research and exhibitions, and spent most of her time in the mammal collections and research field. She has conducted field work in the Arctic, Prairies, British Columbia, the Maritimes and Central Canada.
Read all Donna Naughton’s postings.
Research Scientist, Earth Sciences, Canadian Museum of Nature
Read all Paula Piilonen’s postings.
Broadcast and Multimedia
Read all Pierre Poirier’s postings.
Researcher, Canadian Museum of Nature
Dr. Poulin’s research focuses mainly on the systematics and taxonomy of brackish and marine diatoms from mid and high latitudes. He conducted field work in the St. Lawrence Estuary, Hudson Bay, across the Canadian High Arctic, and in East Antarctica.
Read all Michel Poulin’s postings.
Now a Web Content Developer at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Kathleen started in 1997, manually registering the museum’s web site, nature.ca, in search engines and directories. How the web has changed since then! Her work has changed considerably, too, and her favourite part is making culture about nature.
Read all Kathleen Quinn’s postings.
Claude B. Renaud is a Research Scientist who has been working at the Canadian Museum of Nature since 1986. He is a fish specialist (an ichthyologist) whose main interest is the study of lampreys, which are primitive, fish-like vertebrates. His fields of investigation include taxonomy, systematics and conservation biology.
Read all Claude Renaud’s postings.
I am a fourth-year Biology student at the University of Ottawa. I have worked at the Canadian Museum of Nature’s research and collections facility as both an intern and an Honours student at the National Herbarium, and I am now part of the environmental monitoring team. I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for natural history with anyone who will listen, and I have a special place in my heart for mosses and other non-vascular plants.
Read all Cassandra Robillard’s postings.
I’m a young American Robin. I spent my early days with my family on a window-ledge at the research and collections facility of the Canadian Museum of Nature. There, I starred in my first photo and video shoots, but I decided not to become a model or actor after all. My writing career started in the museum’s blog, with the story of my most memorable early experiences upon my abrupt departure from the nest. What started off as a frightening event made me the happy bird I am today who likes to travel and make new friends.
Read all MacKenzie Robin’s postings.
Following my training in Environmental Biology at McGill University, I followed a path in education related to the environment and worked for national and municipal parks. After a detour into international development and social justice, I found my niche at the Canadian Museum of Nature as an Educator, and more recently, as a Project Leader.
Read all Nathalie Rodrique’s postings.
Jeff Saarela, Ph.D., is Research Scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Jeff is a botanist, with a research program focused on Arctic plants and the biodiversity of grasses and their relatives. He works in the field, herbarium and DNA laboratory to characterize morphological and molecular diversity in these plant groups, and to reconstruct their evolutionary history.
As the museum’s Curator of Paleobiology, Kieran Shepherd ensures that the museum’s thousands of vertebrate fossils are properly cared for and preserved. Kieran has been with the museum for nearly 25 years. He enjoys fieldwork, for which he has travelled as far away as China in the search for fossil dinosaurs, or closer to home in the Ottawa Valley where he prospects for Champlain Sea fossils. Kieran has also taught a course in the curation of natural history specimens for a college-level museum studies program, and was part of the exhibition team that developed the museum’s Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery. He has also been part of research teams that described two new Ceratopsian dinosaurs, Chasmosaurus irvensis and Xenoceratops foremostensis.
Read all Kieran Shepherd’s postings.
Laura Smyk has been a Collections and Conservation Technician at the Canadian Museum of Nature since 2000. She has done everything from environmental monitoring to data entry, and collection maintenance to risk assessment. She even helped move the mammal dioramas from one side of the museum to the other across the great void of the atrium. Since 2005, she has been running the Integrated Pest Management Programme, which focuses on prevention, education for staff and monitoring. You can often find her crawling under and behind exhibits, picking up sticky traps to inspect for bugs!
Read all Laura Smyk’s postings.
Paul is a research assistant with the botany team at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Here, he gets to combine his love of the outdoors with his enthusiasm for plants as his research projects have taken him into the field from southern Labrador to northern New Brunswick, and even the Canadian Arctic. Splitting his time between the museum’s DNA lab and its National Herbarium of Canada, his research frequently uses molecular and morphological evidence to unravel evolutionary mysteries in Canada’s plant species. Most recently, he is a member of the secretariat for the Arctic Flora of Canada and Alaska project.
Read all Paul Sokoloff’s postings.
Intern, Collection Services, Canadian Museum of Nature
Julian Starr splits his time as a research scientist for the museum and as a biology professor at the University of Ottawa. His research has taken him to parts of North America (including Baffin Island), Europe and Argentina for fieldwork. As a botanist, his interests lie in the biodiversity and evolution of flowering plants, with a special focus on Carex from the sedge family Cyperaceae.
Read all Julian Starr’s postings.
As an intern in Exhibits at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Lyndsey Sullivan is working with the travelling exhibitions programme. She is currently researching and writing content for the 5th edition of the Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year exhibition, as well as installing the annual Ikebana exhibition. Lindsey obtained a B.Sc. in biology from the University of Ottawa, and expects to complete an advanced diploma in Applied Museum Studies from Algonquin College in April 2013. She is eagerly anticipating the beginning of her career in the museum field.
Read all Lyndsey Sullivan’s postings.
Growing up in Ottawa (although I was actually born in Africa), I always enjoyed coming to the beautiful museum castle with my family when I was young. Having children of my own reintroduced me to the spectacular museum and to the many fascinating aspects of our natural history. I was thrilled to join the museum’s Communications Services division in 2002, and proud to promote all the great things to see, do and learn here to the public. I’m also an enthusiastic “tweeter” on behalf of the museum.
Read all Laura Sutin’s postings.
Stephanie Webb was born in Canada but she was raised in a travelling family. From swimming with cuttlefish to sharing bugs with a woolly monkey, she is ever on the look-out for new adventures and the chance to share a good story.
Read all Stephanie Webb’s postings.
Operations Manager, Arctic Watch Lodge
Read all Tessum Weber’s postings.