Author Archives: Paul Sokoloff

The Month of Arctic Onions and Western Birch: Arctic Botany 2014

A trip to an Arctic river valley to study and sample the remarkable plant biodiversity yielded record results of a few different kinds. Museum botanist Paul Sokoloff reports on the significance of several of their fieldwork finds. Continue reading

Posted in Arctic, Collections, Fieldwork, Plants and Algae, Species Discovery and Change | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

No Microscopes, No Laptops, No Library, No Problem: The Challenges of Bringing Our Laboratory to the Field

Conditions during fieldwork being what they are, researchers must make do with little. One of our botanists who is working in the Arctic right now describes the essentials of their field lab. Continue reading

Posted in Arctic, Fieldwork, Plants and Algae | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Collecting on the Coppermine 100 Years after the Canadian Arctic Expedition: A Long Overdue Follow-Up Appointment

In a few short days, Canadian Museum of Nature botanists Dr. Jeff Saarela, Roger Bull and yours truly will depart Ottawa, bound for the Arctic hamlet of Kugluktuk, where adventure and new plant discoveries surely await us. For the next … Continue reading

Posted in Arctic, Fieldwork, Plants and Algae | Tagged , | 3 Comments

My Thoughts on Thinking Plants

Recent research shows that plants can communicate, respond to stimuli and even learn. Can we conclude that they are smart? Botanist Paul Sokoloff explored the question in a NatureTalks conversation. Continue reading

Posted in Events, Plants and Algae | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

The Most Prestigious Can of Tomatoes You’ll Ever See: The Canadian Museum of Nature’s R.W. Brock Award

Palaeontologist Xiao-chun Wu rewarded for his work by can of tomatoes? Yes! Paul Sokoloff explains the origin of the R.W. Brock Award, its prestige, and its unusual trophy. Continue reading

Posted in Fossils, Research | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Roses Are Red, Entodon seductrix Is Green, I Really, Really Like You, If You Know What I Mean

Roses are not the freshest choice as a way to declare one’s eternal love, says Paul Sokoloff. But don’t despair! Our botany team has five original suggestions for alternatives. Continue reading

Posted in Plants and Algae | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Amateur Collectors: The Original Crowdsourced Science

The contribution of amateur naturalists to the museum’s collections is invaluable. Paul Sokoloff presents three such “citizen scientists”: Arthur Waghorne, William Stewart and Eileene Stewart. Continue reading

Posted in Collections, History, Research | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Botanists Tend to Overthink the Holidays

Museum researcher Paul Sokoloff can’t help noticing that plants have a prominent place in Christmas, Hanukkah and winter-solstice celebrations. Get the botanical perspective on a few of the mainstays. Continue reading

Posted in Plants and Algae | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s the Great Cucurbita pepo, Charlie Brown!

It’s Halloween! Will the Great Pumpkin be seen in the pumpkin patch? Our botanist Paul Sokoloff sticks his nose into this mystery and traces the roots of this intriguing gourd! Continue reading

Posted in Education, Plants and Algae | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

We’re Going to Need New Satellite Photos…

A green roof was recently installed on the museum’s research and collections facility. Botanist Paul Sokoloff describes the advantages and installation of this hidden garden. Continue reading

Posted in Green Museum, Plants and Algae | Tagged , | 1 Comment