Noel Alfonso is a Senior Research Assistant in the Research Services Division. He studies flatfishes and other freshwater and marine fish species.
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 programs.
Bob is a research scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature. He specializes in the naming and classification of insects, specifically beetles of the family Curculionidae (the weevils). He has published almost 100 scientific papers on beetles and has conducted extensive fieldwork throughout Central and South America. He has been at the museum for almost 25 years. For the past few years, he has been collaborating on a project looking at diversity in weevils and ants in Central American mountain forests.
Jennifer has a Ph.D. from Queen’s University and has published nearly 20 scientific papers in the fields of biochemistry and chemistry. Her academic interests range from drug targets in protozoan parasites to the mechanisms of action of organonitrates in cardiovascular disease. As a volunteer in the museum’s school programmes, Jennifer is excited to learn more and teach children about mammals and dinosaurs. Her curiosity about science and her desire to see the museum’s latest exhibitions makes her and her boys frequent museum visitors.
Exhibit Technician, Live Animal Care, Canadian Museum of Nature.
As the former Director of Collections Services at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Roger had 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.
Administrative Assistant, Research and Collections, Canadian Museum of Nature.
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.
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.
I was 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.
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!
Dan Boivin has been exhibition designer/project manager at the museum since 2007. He contributed to the Bird Gallery and the Mammal Gallery, and he designed the Earth Gallery. He developed a number of temporary exhibitions, including Preternatural, Dino Idol and Frogs – A Chorus of Colours, among many others. Dan will be designing the new Arctic Gallery for 2017.
A student in Museology and Heritage Studies at Université du Québec en Outaouais, Catherine Bouchard chose to complete her internship in education. As a nature buff with an interest in interpretation, she joined the team at the Canadian Museum of Nature during the summer of 2013.
Samantha has been a Collection Assistant since 2016 in the invertebrate section of Research and Collections. Her focus for 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 is to digitize the backlog of marine invertebrates collected in the Arctic.
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.
Christian Capehart was an intern with the Mineralogy section of the Canadian Museum of Nature during the summer of 2018. He aided with the conservation and maintenance of the mineral collections as well as assisted with mineralogy research.
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.
Geoffrey is a University of Ottawa environmental-science undergraduate student loving his summer spent with the 2016 Environmental Monitoring Program at the museum.
Carly Casey is student at Carleton University studying Environmental Science. She worked as one of the Environmental Monitoring Program students at the museum over the summer of 2016.
Veronica is currently a Visiting Scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature. She studied the evolution and maintenance of alternative reproductive strategies in moths at the University of Jyvaskyla, in Finland. Lately Veronica has focused on hybridization genomics. Her current research project aims to determine the nuclear and mitochondrial genomic variation in hybrid canids.
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.
Marc Chrétien was the Director, Facilities and Protection, Canadian Museum of Nature.
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.
Conservator, Collection Services, Canadian Museum of Nature.
Brian Coad, Ph.D. is a Research Associate at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Brian is an ichthyologist (student of fishes) whose research interests focus on Canadian fishes and Iranian freshwater fishes. He is the co-editor and major contributor to the book Marine Fishes of Arctic Canada.
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.
Kathy is a marine biologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature who studies patterns and changes in the marine life that live on the sea floor. Hotspots and disturbance in the Arctic, upwelling in submarine canyons in Australia and recovery from pollution in the Antarctic are some of her projects. Kathy shares her polar adventures in the children’s book Under the Ice, which shows the immense beauty of polar oceans, the camaraderie of working in a dive team and the challenge of interpreting nature’s complexities. Best of all is having the museum’s team to so expertly enthuse the world about what she finds.
Catherine Couture is an intern at the Canadian Museum of Nature, where she has worked with our travelling exhibitions since April 2013. She is a student at Université du Québec en Outaouais, studying museology and heritage.
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 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.
Margaret is a technician in the Canadian Museum of Nature’s fossil collection. She works with everything from fossil fish to dinosaurs, and from Paleogene and Neogene animals to Pleistocene mammals.
James is a Carleton University undergraduate student who will be utilizing his biology background in summer 2015 as a part of the Environmental Monitoring Programme team!
Acquisitions/Cataloguing Officer, Research and Collections, Canadian Museum of Nature.
Joachim de Fourestier
Joachim de Fourestier, a Carleton University undergraduate student in Earth Sciences, was the museum’s Harry Reid Cox intern in mineralogy in summer 2017.
Exhibit Technician, Canadian Museum of Nature.
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.
I am a Master’s student at Carleton University studying vertebrate palaeontology. My thesis research is focused on specimens of the extinct reptile Champsosaurus held in the collections of the Canadian Museum of Nature. I am a lover of all things palaeo, but I am particularly interested in discerning what an extinct animal’s anatomy indicates about how they behaved and interacted with the environment when they were alive.
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!
Erica Eason is a volunteer in the museum’s herbarium. Her association with the museum dates back to her participation in a summer camp in Canadian First Nations culture when she was 10-years old. At the time, the museum’s animal dioramas made the biggest impression! Her blog article is the first she has written about anything botanical.
Dominique is a research scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature. His research aims to better understand the roles of micro-mammals in terrestrial ecosystems.
As Senior Exhibition Designer, 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.
Starting in autumn 2013, Charlotte has been a co-op student in the Marketing and Media Relations department at the Canadian Museum of Nature. She is pursuing an Immersion B.A. Honours in Communication with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa, and will graduate in December 2014.
Danielle Fraser, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist in Palaeobiology at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Her research is focused on understanding how mammals have evolved, both within Canada and North America as a whole. She is specifically interested in understanding the conditions that led to the formation of mammal faunas as we know them today.
Curator, Invertebrate Section, Canadian Museum of Nature.
President, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (2010–2012).
My relationship with the Canadian Museum of Nature began shortly after the creation of the insect collection in 1990. Since then, I have been in charge of managing the collection, which has grown from a few thousand specimens on my arrival at the museum, to about 1 million specimens—mostly beetles.
Marisa Gilbert has worked in Research with the Canadian Museum of Nature for over 10 years. Focussing mainly on Cenozoic mammals, she has helped lead three field seasons to the high arctic, which have yielded new genera along with insights to the paleoclimate. From the Pliocene to the Miocene Marisa continues to work on phylogenetic analysis, cladistics, reconstruction, preparation, among many things to help understand the past.
Sam is a graduate student at the University of Ottawa, working on her Master’s thesis in 2016 at the Canadian Museum of Nature under the supervision of Lynn Gillespie, Ph.D. Sam first came to the museum in 2012 to study a complex of Arctic plants for her honour’s thesis. Her current project investigates the small Arctic grass genus Phippsia. Her work at the museum has sparked a love of the Canadian Arctic that she hopes will continue to flourish.
Michel Gosselin managed the bird collection at the Canadian Museum of Nature until he retired in 2016. He continues to do volunteer work with the collection.
Susan Goods is a Project Assistant in the Research and Collections Division. Currently, one of her main projects is to organize the museum’s digital image collection so that it is more accessible and preserved for the future.
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.
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.
Joel Grice’s fascination for collecting minerals began as a youngster after visits to the Royal Ontario Museum. He attained his life-long dream in 1976 when hired as Curator of Minerals at the Canadian Museum of Nature. His research interests are varied and include taxonomic studies of new mineral species and their systematics, and the crystal chemistry of rare-earth-element minerals. Among his awards are the 2006 Peacock Medal, the highest award available in Canada for mineralogical research. Joel’s most recent book is The Beginner’s Guide to Rocks and Minerals, available for sale in the museum’s boutique.
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.
Stephanie is a student at the University of Ottawa, where she studies Art History and English. Hoping to enter the museum field after graduation, she wishes to attain her Master’s degree in either Public History or Museum Studies. Stephanie is currently working at the Canadian Museum of Nature as an intern and artist.
Paul is a Senior Research Assistant in Life Sciences at the Canadian Museum of Nature. He specializes in phycology, the study of algae, and is presently Curator of the National Phycology Collection of Canada. Paul studies all forms of microscopic aquatic organisms. His Arctic research has been focused on freshwater microscopic biodiversity and paleo-climate reconstructions. He is also working on freshwater biodiversity projects in North America, Bolivia, southern India and Indonesia, as well as a pollution reclamation study in south-central China.
I am a Senior Research Assistant in Zoology here at the CMN, where I have worked for 33 years. My expertise is in the taxonomy of amphipod crustaceans, specifically deep-sea species, but I have a keen interest in all natural history. As you can see, I am a baseball fan and enjoy camping, cross country skiing and playing ball hockey. I am also a keen foodie and wine guy as well.
Joe Holmes retired from the Public Service in 2012 after nearly 33 years in Information Technology across six different departments. He now volunteers for the Canadian Museum of Nature for Paul Hamilton in the freshwater diatom lab. Joe has always had a keen interest in science, and holds a B.Sc. and B.Com. from Carleton University. While in the PS, he published and presented many IT-related papers. His other interests include Toastmasters, reading, astronomy and travel.
I am the collection technician for the vertebrate zoology collection. I do work as varied as monitoring the alcohol concentration in our fish collection, whale composting, scanning and 3D printing rare specimens and mounting giraffes for exhibits.
Shaleen Humphreys is a co-op student from the University of Ottawa. She spent her work term working in Botany with Paul Sokoloff and Jeff Saarela. Shaleen is completing her final semester of a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science with a specialization in Conservation and Biodiversity.
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.
Francesco Janzen is a Ph.D. student at the University of Ottawa. He worked as one of the Environmental Monitoring Program students at the museum over the summer of 2017.
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 Water Gallery.
Kamal Khidas, Ph.D., is a biologist and curator at the Canadian Museum of Nature. His long experience combines university and college teaching with research in mammalogy. Since December 2006, he has been curating the museum’s vertebrate collection, made up of almost 1 800 000 specimens. He is interested in the biology and ecology of land mammals, environmental factors that determine the distribution and abundance of species, mathematical modelling of community and species responses to environmental changes, and the biological conservation of species.
I was born and raised in the National Capital, then spent 20 years digging up dinosaurs and teaching palaeontology to the public. I started my love affair with fossils after finding a trilobite when I was nine. I love studying the interconnectivity of the natural world and the Canadian Museum of Nature is a great place to do that!
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.
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.
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 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.
Conservator, Collection Services, Canadian Museum of Nature.
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.
Shan first joined the Canadian Museum of Nature in 2011. He is excited to be working for the Environmental Monitoring Programme in summer 2015 and will leave to pursue medical studies in autumn.
Roberto Lima, B.C.L., M.I.S., served as the museum’s acting Acquisition and Cataloguing Officer from 2016-17. In this role, he was responsible for the library’s daily operations and providing access to resources.
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.
Aaron Lussier, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist in Mineralogy at the Canadian Museum of Nature. His research interests and efforts are concentrated on crystallography, nanomineralogy, biomineralogy, and theoretical mineralogy.
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.
I am a research scientist studying 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.
Elizabeth Maly holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and an advanced diploma in Applied Museum Studies from Algonquin College. She interned at the Canadian Museum of Nature in conservation and collections, developing protocols for pyrite mineral storage, maintenance of the Earth Gallery, and digitization of the parasite slide collection.
André is a research scientist specializing in the study of molluscs (malacology). His primary research interest is the native freshwater mussels (superfamily: Unionacea) found in Canada’s rivers and lakes. André focuses on the molluscs’ distribution, taxonomy and conservation status. He also conducts research on juvenile and adult shell morphology among the marine mussels (family: Mytilidae) found along Canada’s coastal zone.
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.
After a career in international commercial law, Mel has embarked on several unpaid but rewarding activities. He has been a volunteer in the museum’s school programmes for several years, helps at the YMCA and follows interests in archaeology, writing and sports. While he is a neophyte in ecological matters, he considers that humans occupy a privileged place in the biosphere. He believes that the museum plays a key role in educationg the public regarding Canada’s natural resources and in promoting responsibility for the environment.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the Université de Montréal, I started an M.A. in museology in 2013. With this in mind, I decided to do my internship at the Canadian Museum of Nature to acquire an exciting museum experience and add more to my bowstring. My true passion is the outdoors and travel. On horseback or on foot, I hope to help the people who will cross my path become more in tune with nature and to raise awareness about the preservation of our natural heritage.
Alan is a Collections Technician with the Palaeobiology section at the Canadian Museum of Nature. He can often be found in the museum’s Heavy Dry Preparation Lab, coordinating the meticulous work of the fossil preparators and in the Palaeobiology Workshop preparing a number of diverse fossilized specimens. More recently, he has spent a great deal of time using the new 3D scanning equipment, digitizing some of the more important specimens for the museum’s collection database and research projects. Summer field work can find him in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, combining his love for the outdoors and prospecting for fossils.
Lauren worked as an environmental monitoring technician with the Canadian Museum of Nature Environmental Monitoring Program as a summer student.
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.
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!
Troy McMullin is a Research Scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature. His research program is focussed on the biogeography, conservation, ecology, systematics, and taxonomy of Canadian lichens.
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!
A fourth-year student at the University of Ottawa majoring in Arts Administration, I chose to complete two consecutive work terms at the Canadian Museum of Nature. I am interested in developing life and learning for people of all ages through cultural organizations. In this capacity, I completed all five months at the museum in the educational services department, first in workshop programming for junior-kindergarten students, and my second work term was focused on assisting with the NatureTalks programme.
Meaghan Murphy is the staff scientist and coordinator of the Riverwatch Program for Ottawa Riverkeeper, an NGO that advocates for the health of the Ottawa River watershed. A wetland ecologist by training, Meaghan coordinates a network of over 65 citizen scientists and stewards along the river from Lac Temiscaming all the way to the river’s confluence with the St. Lawrence River in Montréal. She holds a Ph.D. in geography from McGill University.
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.
Teresa Neamtz is a recent graduate of Algonquin College’s Library and Information Technician Program. She worked in the library and archives of the Canadian Museum of Nature during the summer of 2017 as part of the Scientific Training Program.
Thomas Onuferko, Ph.D. is an entomologist whose research background is in bee restoration ecology and systematics / phylogenetics. He is currently in receipt of the Beaty Postdoctoral Fellowship for Species Discovery at the museum, where he is studying the effects of declining sand dune activity in the southern Canadian prairies on native arthropod communities, mainly bees and wasps.
Mylène Philippe-Gagnon is in charge of acquisitions and cataloguing at the library of the Canadian Museum of Nature. She also manages the library’s integrated management system, as well as scientific periodical subscriptions. As a lover of the great outdoors, she considers herself lucky to be able to promote respect for nature while carrying out her duties.
Michel Picard worked at the museum for over 30 years. He was the Assistant Collection Manager of the Mineralogy Section when he retired in 2016 and is now an Associate.
Research Scientist, Earth Sciences, Canadian Museum of Nature.
Glenn Poirier works for the mineralogy section of research and collections, where he manages electron microscopy laboratories for the museum and the University of Ottawa. He also helps out mineralogy researchers with their fieldwork programs near and far, and looks after the national meteorite collection at the museum.
Broadcast and Multimedia.
Raene is an objects conservator whose internship at the Canadian Museum of Nature in the summer of 2018 let her treat natural history artifacts and conduct material research. Her background consists of a Bachelor of Fine arts in Studio Art from the University of Saskatchewan, and a post-graduate diploma in Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management from Fleming College.
As a retired researcher, 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.
Ann Presley is currently in her 3rd year of a B.Sc. in Earth Sciences at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in hydrogeological and groundwater studies.
As the former Assistant Collection Manager (now retired) in the Canadian Museum of Nature’s invertebrate section, Judith was responsible for a collection that represents over 95% of all life on Earth. Although most of the specimens are small, the task is not, because this collection keeps growing. It’s no surprise, then, that Judith is a leader in her professional community. She acts on the executives of several professional societies, including her current post on the executive of the International Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections.
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.
As a student in Collections Conservation and Management at Fleming College, Erika completed an internship at the museum in 2015.
Claude B. Renaud is a Research Scientist (now retired) 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.
Cassandra Robillard began her relationship with the Canadian Museum of Nature in 2011 with co-op placements at the National Herbarium of Canada. Since then she has worked at the museum as an environmental monitoring intern, a botanical illustrator, and currently is a technical assistant for the Botany collection. She has a particular fondness for lichens and bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts), and has expertise in bryophyte identification.
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.
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.
Guy is a Visitor Services Host and a Rentals & Events Technician. He studied broadcast media and has an extensive background in jewellery with an affinity and expertise for diamonds in particular. Guy feels very fortunate to be able to interact with members and visitors and share the museum’s fascinating and awe-inspiring stories every day.
Scott Rufolo is a research assistant with the Palaeobiology Section of the Canadian Museum of Nature and also the collections manager for the Arctic archaeological material that the museum is temporarily housing for the territory of Nunavut. He holds a Ph.D. in zooarchaeology from The Johns Hopkins University, as well as master’s degrees in palaeontology, museum studies, and the archaeology and ancient languages of the Middle East.
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.
Elliott Schmidt worked as a collections technician at the museum in the fall of 2017. He has an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and Conservation from the University of Guelph and a Masters’ degree from Laurentian University. He has spent numerous summers working on small mammal projects at the Algonquin Provincial Park Wildlife Research Station.
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 fossil gallery. He has also been part of research teams that described two new Ceratopsian dinosaurs, Vagaceratops irvinensis (formerly Chasmosaurus irvinensis) and Xenoceratops foremostensis.
I am a co-op student at the University of Ottawa studying in biology and doing a minor in sociology. I am working at the National Herbarium for the summer of 2013 and really enjoying it. I hope to complete my bachelor’s degree by the end of 2013.
David Shorthouse is the Canadian Museum of Nature’s Assistant Collections Information Manager. He is a biodiversity informatician with a background in spider ecology. David’s previous employment includes working on the Encyclopedia of Life and Global Names projects at the Marine Biological Laboratory, and on the Canadensys project at the University of Montréal’s Biodiversity Centre.
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!
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.
Intern, Collection Services, Canadian Museum of Nature
Julian Starr is a research associate at the museum and 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.
Kathlyn Stewart, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist (now retired) and was the Palaeobiology Section Head at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Kathy collects and studies fish, bird and mammal fossils from across Canada and Eastern Africa to better understand what life was like for these long-dead animals.
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.
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.
Ted Sypniewski was the Acquisitions and Serials Officer for the Canadian Museum of Nature Library. He was responsible for an interesting, unique and occasionally odd collection of books, journals and manuscripts that reflects the institution it has served for over 150 years.
Research Associate and volunteer, Research and Collections, Canadian Museum of Nature.
Myriam Thibodeau is an editor at the Canadian Museum of Nature. She spends most of her time in the virtual world of the web and social media to raise awareness of the activities of the museum and the wonderful world of nature.
Sean Tudor is the Head, Collection Services and Information Management. He leads the Canadian Museum of Nature’s collection data services. He has an interest in all things museum but takes a special interest in access to collection information and the digital footprint that we create. Aside from his work in the museum, Sean is an avid casual gamer and is regularly consulted for his expertise with reference to video game and born digital preservation.
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.
Operations Manager, Arctic Watch Lodge.