Learn more about dinosaurs, palaeontology, the world around us, and many other fascinating topics straight from the experts with our monthly free lecture series! Upcoming speakers are listed with their topic and lecture description below.
DR. MATT WHITE
University of New England
Digging for Dinosaurs in Australia
From the surf to the Outback
Saturday, July 28 • 4:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre
The southern cost of Australia (Flat Rocks/Dinosaur Cove/Otway Ranges), Lightning Ridge (Central NSW), and Winton (Central Queensland) – with current environments ranging from beach, bush, and Outback savannah – each have their own unique array of difficulties in extracting dinosaur bone for scientific study. Learn about dinosaur hunting in Australia, plus a look 3D digital dissection of fossils from rocks and how it could revolutionize dinosaur bone preparation and preservation.
DR. RYAN MCKELLAR
Royal Saskatchewan Museum
Dinosaur and bird remains preserved in Cretaceous amber, and amber from the Pipestone Creek dinosaur bonebed
Saturday, June 23 • 4:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre
Over the last seven years, our understanding of feathers in amber has grown through discoveries in Canadian Cretaceous amber, and more recently, feathers attached to skeletal material in Cretaceous amber from Burma (Myanmar). We are rapidly learning which types of feathers belonged to particular groups of organisms. Most of these details have come from snapshots of ancient forests that were preserved in amber near the middle and end of the Cretaceous period. As part of this talk, we will explore the recent discoveries from Burmese amber, and what we hope to learn from these specimens. We will also describe some of the discoveries from amber found in the Pipestone Creek dinosaur bonebed, and how these deposits can provide new information on ancient ecosystems and the evolution of feathers.
University of Alberta
What Else Could it Be?
A brief history of ‘whoopsies’ in palaeontology and biology, and how they were corrected
Saturday, May 26 • 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre
Science may not be perfect, but neither is a lot of the evidence that scientists have to work with. In other words, it is often very difficult to figure out what exactly we are looking at. Here, John Acorn shares stories of famous misidentifications, of everything from fossils to lumps, and birds to stumps. Fortunately, for each category of human perceptual failing, there is also a means by which science corrects its own mistakes, and moves on with both humility and greater understanding.
In addition for those interested, join John for a nature walk at Saskatoon Island Provincial Park from 11:00am.
DR. VICTORIA ARBOUR
Royal Ontario Museum
Zuul, the Destroyer of Shins
A New Armoured Dinosaur from Montana
Saturday, April 21 • 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre
Zuul crurivastator is an exciting new dinosaur described by Royal Ontario Museum palaeontologists in 2017. Based on a nearly complete and incredibly well preserved skeleton, Zuul gets its name from one of the monstrous creatures in the 1984 film Ghostbusters, and from its wicked, shin-destroying tail club. ROM palaeontologist Victoria Arbour will talk about the latest research on this amazing ankylosaur fossil.
DR. COREY SCOBIE
Royal Alberta Museum
Influence of human development on burrowing owl habitat selection and reproductive success
Saturday, February 24 • 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre
The Canadian prairies have changed dramatically since European settlement. Over two thirds has been converted to cropland and more recently, petroleum development has introduced an extensive network of infrastructure (roads, well heads, etc.) and sensory disturbances (sound and light) to the landscape. It is thought that the decline of the Burrowing Owl is linked to these changes to the prairie landscape, but no single cause has yet been shown to be the culprit. I will summarize the results of my doctoral research where I tried to understand the relationship between this endangered owl and the landscape in which it lives. I will show the choices Burrowing Owls make when they arrive in the spring and decide what type of landscape in which to nest. This is important because they are stuck with the resources (food, perches, etc.) and predators that surround their nest while they try to raise a nest of owlets. I will also give a peak into the nocturnal lives of burrowing owls by showing where they spend their time at night. When the eggs hatch and there are many mouths to feed, they must make good choices about where to hunt in order to bring enough food back to the nest. Overall, I will explore how changes to the grasslands affect where they choose to nest and hunt and how these choices then affect their success in raising a brood of owlets.
Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum
Living Dinosaurs of the Peace Region
Saturday, January 20 • 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre
The Grande Prairie area is designated as one of Canada’s many important bird areas, and is rich in a variety of birdlife. Many charismatic species which are uncommon or rare in other parts of the province continue to thrive here, such as trumpeter swans and bald eagles. As the last living dinosaurs, birds hold a special interest to both palaeontologists and naturalists in general. The Peace Region is, deservedly, becoming more and more well known as a rich trove of dinosaur fossils, and the birdlife of the region represents a continuation of the dinosaur legacy that survives here to this day. Anyone interested in natural history will benefit from knowing and understanding the diversity of our living dinosaurs.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 587-771-0662 to reserve your spot.