Canadian Museum of Nature Blog

A sneak peek into what goes on behind the scenes

About the authors

Noel Alfonso

Noel Alfonso.

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

Suzanne Allyson

Suzanne Allyson.

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.

Read all Suzanne Allyson’s postings

Robert Anderson

Bob Anderson.

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.

Read all Robert Anderson’s postings

Jennifer Artz

Jennifer Artz.

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.

Read all Jennifer Artz’s postings

Stuart Baatnes

Stuart Baatnes.

Exhibit Technician, Live Animal Care, Canadian Museum of Nature.

Read all Stuart Baatnes’s articles

Roger Baird

Roger Baird

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.

Read all Roger Baird’s postings

Lory Beaudoin

Lory Beaudoin.

Administrative Assistant, Research and Collections, Canadian Museum of Nature.

Read all Lory Beaudoin’s postings

Marc Beck

Exhibition Designer and Project Manager, Exhibition Services, Canadian Museum of Nature.

Read all Marc Beck’s postings

Meg Beckel

Meg Beckel.

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

Jeff Betz.

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

Paul Bloskie

Paul Bloskie.

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.

Read all Paul Bloskie’s postings

Elisabeth Boekhoven

Elisabeth Boekhoven.

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

Dan Boivin

Dan Boivin.

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.

Read all Dan Boivin’s articles

Catherine Bouchard

Catherine Bouchard.

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.

Read all Catherine Bouchard’s postings

Samantha Brooksbank


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.

Read all Samantha Brooksbank’s postings

Roger Bull

Roger Bull.

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

Christian Capehart


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.

Read all Christian Capehart’s postings

Warren Cardinal-McTeague

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

Geoffrey Carter

Geoffrey Carter.

Geoffrey is a University of Ottawa environmental-science undergraduate student loving his summer spent with the 2016 Environmental Monitoring Program at the museum.

Read all Geoffrey Carter’s postings

Carly Casey

Carly Casey.

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.

Read all Carly Casey’s postings

Veronica Chevasco


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.

Read all Veronica Chevasco’s postings

Emily Choy

Emily Choy.

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

Marc Chrétien

Marc Chrétien.

Marc Chrétien was the Director, Facilities and Protection, Canadian Museum of Nature.

Read all Marc Chrétien’s postings

Marion Cinqualbre

Marion Cinqualbre.

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

Luci Cipera

Luci Cipera.

Conservator, Collection Services, Canadian Museum of Nature.

Read all Luci Cipera’s postings

Brian Coad


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.

Read all Brian Coad’s postings

Katie Compton

Katie Compton.

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.

Read all Katie Compton’s postings

Kathleen Conlan

Kathleen Conlan.

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.

Read all Kathleen Conlan’s articles

Catherine Couture

Catherine Couture.

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.

Read all Catherine Couture postings

Steve Cumbaa

Steve Cumbaa.

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.

Read all Steve Cumbaa’s postings

Margaret Currie

Margaret Currie.

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.

Read all Margaret Currie’s postings

James Darling

James Darling.

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!

Read all James Darling’s postings

Elizabeth Debeljak

Elizabeth Debeljak.

Acquisitions/Cataloguing Officer, Research and Collections, Canadian Museum of Nature.

Read all Elizabeth Debeljak’s postings

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.

Read all Joachim de Fourestier’s postings

Angela Desjardins

Angela Desjardins.

Exhibit Technician, Canadian Museum of Nature.

Read all Angela Desjardins’s postings

Jennifer Doubt

Jennifer Doubt.

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

Thomas Dudgeon


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.

Read all Thomas Dudgeon’s postings

Nicole Dupuis

Nicole Dupuis.

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

Erica Eason


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.

Read all Erica Eason’s postings

Dominique Fauteux

Dominique Fauteux, fieldwork on Bylot Island, Nunavut

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.

Read all Dominique Fauteux’s postings

Jonathan Ferrabee

Jonathan Ferrabee.

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.

Read all Jonathan Ferrabee’s postings

Charlotte Field

Charlotte Field.

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.

Read all Charlotte Fields’s postings

Danielle Fraser


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.

Read all Danielle Fraser’s postings

Jean-Marc Gagnon

Jean-Marc Gagnon.

Curator, Invertebrate Section, Canadian Museum of Nature.
President, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (2010–2012).

Read all Jean-Marc Gagnon’s postings

François Génier

François Génier.

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.

Read all François Génier’s postings

Marisa Gilbert


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.

Read all Marisa Gilbert’s postings

Samantha Godfrey

Samantha Godfrey.

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.

Read all Samantha Godfrey’s postings

Michel Gosselin

Michel Gosselin.

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.

Read all Michel Gosselin’s blog articles

Susan Goods

Susan Goods.

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.

Read all Susan Goods’s postings

Mark Graham

Mark Graham.

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

Helen Gregory.

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

Joel Grice

Joel Grice.

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.

Read all Joel Grice’s postings

Ebony Griffin

Ebony Griffin.

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

Stephanie Hachey

Stephanie Hachey.

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.

Read all Stephanie Hachey’s postings

Paul Hamilton

Paul Hamilton

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.

Read all Paul Hamilton’s articles

Ed Hendrycks

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.    

Read all Ed Hendrycks’s postings

Joe Holmes

Joe Holmes.

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.

Read all Joe Holmes’s postings

Marie-Hélène Hubert


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.

Read all Marie-Hélène Hubert’s postings

Shaleen Humphreys

Shaleen Humphreys.

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.

Read all Shaleen Humphreys’s postings

Cynthia Iburg

Cynthia Iburg.

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

Francesco Janzen


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.

Read all Francesco Janzen’s postings

Vanessa Jetté

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.

Read all Vanessa Jetté’s postings

Kamal Khidas

Kamal Khidas.

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.

Read all Kamal Khidas’s postings

Pamela Kirk

Pamela Kirk.

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!

Read all Pamela Kirk’s postings

Marcie Kwindt

Marcie Kwindt.

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!

Read all Marcie Kwindt’s postings

Ève Laforest

Ève Laforest.

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

Caroline Lanthier

Caroline Lanthier.

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

Caroline Larocque

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.

Read all Caroline Larocque’s postings

Carolyn Leckie

Conservator, Collection Services, Canadian Museum of Nature.

Read all Carolyn Leckie’s postings

Emma Lehmberg

Emma Lehmberg.

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

Shan Leung

Shan Leung.

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.

Read all Shan Leung’s postings

Roberto Lima

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.

Martin Lipman

Martin Lipman

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

Aaron Lussier


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.

Read all Aaron Lussier’s postings

Jacqueline Madill

Jacqueline Madill.

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

Jordan Mallon

Jordan Mallon.

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.

Read all Jordan Mallon’s postings

Elizabeth Maly

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.

Read all Elizabeth Maly’s postings

André Martel

André Martel.

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.

Read all André Martel’s postings

Jennifer-Lee Mason

Jennifer-Lee Mason.

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

Mel Massey

Mel Massey.

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.

Read all Mel Massey’s postings

Gaëlle Mazé

Gaëlle Mazé.

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.

Read all Gaëlle Mazé’s articles

Alan McDonald


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.

Read all Alan McDonald’s postings

Lauren McGregor

Lauren McGregor.

Lauren worked as an environmental monitoring technician with the Canadian Museum of Nature Environmental Monitoring Program as a summer student.

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Laurel McIvor

Laurel McIvor.

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

Andrea McKay

Andrea McKay.

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!

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Troy McMullin


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.

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Sarah McPherson

Sarah McPherson.

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

Marrissa Miller

I am an undergraduate student at Carleton University studying biology. I am currently working in botany at the museum, but my special interest is in carcinology (particularly isopods!) and I hope to pursue a masters in zoology after my degree. 

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Dana Moretti

Dana Moretti.

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.

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Meaghan Murphy

Meaghan Murphy.

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

Donna Naughton.

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

Teresa Neamtz


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


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.

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Shyong En Pan

Shyong En Pan is a palaeobiology collections technician at the Canadian Museum of Nature. He works on fossil projects in the collections and helps manage the Nunavut archaeology collection that is temporarily housed at the Museum. 

Read all Shyong En Pan’s postings

Mylène Philippe-Gagnon

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.

Read all Mylène Philippe-Gagnon’s postings

Michel Picard


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.

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Paula Piilonen

Paula Piilonen.

Research Scientist, Earth Sciences, Canadian Museum of Nature.

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Glenn Poirier


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.

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Pierre Poirier

Pierre Poirier.

Broadcast and Multimedia.

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Raene Poisson


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.

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Michel Poulin

Michel Poulin.

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.

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Ann Presley


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.

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Judith Price

Judith Price.

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.

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Kathleen Quinn

Now a Web Content Developer at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Kathleen started in 1997, manually registering the museum’s web site,, 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.

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Erika Range

As a student in Collections Conservation and Management at Fleming College, Erika completed an internship at the museum in 2015.

Read all Erika Range’s articles

Claude Renaud

Claude Renaud.

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.

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Cassandra Robillard

Cassandra Robillard.

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.

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MacKenzie Robin

MacKenzie, the young American Robin (Turdus migratorius).

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.

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Nathalie Rodrigue

Nathalie Rodrigue.

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

Guy Romain

Guy Romain.

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.

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Scott Rufolo

Scott Rufolo.

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.

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Jeffery Saarela

Jeff Saarela.

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.

Read all Jeff Saarela’s postings

Elliott Schmidt


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.

Read all Elliott Schmidt’s postings

Kieran Shepherd

Kieran Shepherd.

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.

Read all Kieran Shepherd’s postings

Tera Shewchenko

Tera Shewchenko.

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.

Read all Tera Shewchenko’s postings

David Shorthouse


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.

Read all David Shorthouse’s postings

Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith is a research assistant at the Canadian Museum of Nature and has ongoing survey and inventory projects on the scarab beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea) of both Canada and southern South America. He has expertise in scarab taxonomy and has described numerous new species, genera, and tribes. Andrew also has experience using molecular phylogenetics and barcoding techniques for his beetle research. 

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Laura Smyk

Laura Smyk.

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 Sokoloff

Paul Sokoloff.

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

Shayda Spakowski

Intern, Collection Services, Canadian Museum of Nature

Julian Starr

Julian Starr.

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.

Read all Julian Starr’s postings

Kathlyn Stewart

Kathlyn Stewart.

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.

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Lyndsey Sullivan

Lyndsey Sullivan.

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

Laura Sutin

Laura Sutin.

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

Ted Sypniewski

Ted Sypniewski.

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.

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Valerie Tait

Research Associate and volunteer, Research and Collections, Canadian Museum of Nature.

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Myriam Thibodeau

Myriam Thibodeau.

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.

Read all Myriam Thibodeau ‘s postings

Sean Tudor

bald man with arm put inside a dinosaur models mouth

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.

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Stephanie Webb

Stephanie Webb.

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.

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Tessum Weber

Tessum Weber.

Operations Manager, Arctic Watch Lodge.

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7 thoughts on “About the authors

    1. Thanks for you interest. The maps used in It’s Hard to Get There from Here were available from Parks Canada in 2011. Perhaps you might enquire with them about obtaining the images? In case it helps, these are the URLs where we got the images in 2011:

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