The Philip J. Currie is proud to present our free Virtual Speaker Series, starting every Saturday at 3pm (MT). Learn more about dinosaurs, palaeontology, the world around us, and many other fascinating topics straight from the experts! Our speakers will be presenting via Zoom and with our moderator, we are able to discuss and ask questions, just as an in-person presentation. Feel free to join us in person at the museum in the Aykroyd Familly Theatre (with restricted seating and proper safety measures in place) to view the presentation or watch online through our live YouTube stream! Questions are encouraged! If you are not at the museum, no worries. Comment on our YouTube stream or our social media channels and our moderator will pass along your questions.

Can’t make 3pm? All of our Virtual Speaker Series will be posted to our YouTube following the discussion so the Virtual Speakers Series can be viewed anytime!  Upcoming speakers are listed with their topic description below.

UPCOMING SPEAKERS

Jimgmai O’Connor

Palaeontologist
 
The evolution of dinosaurian flight and the rise of birds

Saturday, August 8, 2020 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre Or streaming live through our youtube channel

 

For a long time the evolution of birds and the evolution of flight in dinosaurs were essentially the same question. However, recent discoveries have decoupled these two questions, strongly suggesting flight evolved multiple times in the Dinosauria. In the Mesozoic birds were only one group of flying dinosaurs – early birds were very different from modern birds. Exceptional discoveries from China reveal the evolution of the key features that differentiate crown birds from all other amniotes.

No speaker on saturday, august 15, 2020

rebekah vice

msc. candidate – university of alberta
 
new insights from the pipestone creek bonebed

Saturday, August 22, 2020 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre Or streaming live through our youtube channel

 

Wembley, Alberta is home to one of the densest dinosaur bonebeds in the world – the Pipestone Creek Bonebed. First discovered in the 1970’s, Pipestone is the only site with remains of the horned dinosaur Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai. Over the decades, hundreds of elements have been collected from the site, and thousands more remain to be excavated. With new discoveries happening every year we are constantly expanding our knowledge of the bonebed and the dinosaurs discovered there. 

Come learn what makes Pachyrhinosaurus so special, and how it is changing the way we perceive horned dinosaurs!

Previous SPEAKERS

Dr. Emily L. Bamforth

Palaeontologist, Vertebrate Palaeontology Program, Royal Saskatchewan Museum
 
Canada Rocks! Canada’s 10 Greatest Paleontological and Geological Treasures

Saturday, July 25, 2020 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre Or streaming live through our youtube channel

 

Did you know Canada is home to 4.3 billion year old rocks, the world’s largest visible impact crater, and one of the best dinosaur fossil sites on Earth? Canada is geographically huge, which means that it contains a lot of rock and these rocks contain vast amounts of information about our geological past. Come learn about 10 of the coolest geological and paleontology places in the country, and find out why Canada Rocks!

Dr. Grant Zazula

Palaeontologist
 
The last integlaciation in Beringia: what ice age fossil from Yukon tell us about past global warming

Saturday, August 1, 2020 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre Or streaming live through our youtube channel

 

Since their initial discovery during the famed Klondike Gold Rush, the Yukon Territory remains Canada’s most impressive region for research on fossils of Pleistocene mammals. From radiocarbon dating and stable isotopes to the analysis of ancient genomes –  the interdisciplinary study of these fossil reveals important clues about how mammal communities responded to dramatic oscillations in climate during the recent geological past. In particular, fossils of particularly rare and strange North American species in the far North provide a dramatic backdrop to examine present day biogeographic range changes occuring in extant mammal communities.

Dr. Grant Zazula has been the Yukon Government palaeontologist since 2006 and conducts a wide variety of interdiscplinary palaeontological research on Northern Canada’s vast record of ancient mammals.

Robin Sissons

University of alberta laboratory for Vertebrate Palaeontology
 
Preparing Fossils: Challenges from Grande Prairie

Saturday, February 22, 2020 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre 

 

Simple in principle, it can take great patience and skill to transform a lump of plaster and stone into a beautiful specimen ready for research, display, and education. Dedicated and systematic prospecting in the area has begun to yield some exciting results. Learn about some of the fun and fossils coming out of the Boreal Alberta Dinosaur Project, an international group of palaeontologists and geologists working with the help of the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum and the Grande Prairie Regional College. Understand how preparation work ongoing at the University of Alberta on fossils from the Grande Prairie region is increasing our knowledge of the ancient ecosystems which used to thrive in the area. 

At 4:00pm, immediately following the lecture, stick around for a behind-the-scenes tour of the preparation lab at the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum.

Derek Larson & Nicholas Carter

Assistant Curator and education coordinator, Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum
 
A Guide to Dinosaurs: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know 

Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre 

 

A two part lecture and FAQ. The Boreal Alberta Dinosaur Project had a busy if wet summer in 2019. Come learn about the newest dinosaur finds in this corner of Alberta. Then, museum educator Nicholas Carter will answer some of the most common questions that many folks have about these often-misunderstood animals. You’ll get up to date on the latest in dinosaur knowledge and the opportunity to ask your own burning questions to our local experts!

Darren Tanke

Fossil Preparation Technician, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology

 
Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai : The Ugly Truth

Saturday, November 30, 2019 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre 

 

The talk will cover the history of discovery and excavation of the Pipestone Creek bonebed, the context of Grande Prairie pachyrhinosaur bonebeds to others across western North America and what has been learned from the Pipestone Creek site and important implications of those finding on our understanding of ceratopsian growth changes, individual variation, speciation, evolution, and behavior.

Photograph by Kerri Kamra.

Kris Kendell

Alberta Conservation Association Senior Biologist

 
Creepy Crawlies: Get To Know The Amphibians And Reptiles Of The Grande Prairie Area

Saturday, october 26, 2019 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre 

 

Join Kris Kendell, biologist with Alberta Conservation Association, for an informative presentation about the amphibians and reptiles of the Grande Prairie area. During the presentation you will increase your knowledge of the many unique adaptations and fascinating behaviours of these highly successful animals. You will also learn about the greatest threats to their survival as well as actions you can take in your backyard, or on your land, that can benefit amphibians and reptiles, as well as other wildlife.

Photograph by Amanda Rezansoff. 

Dr. Emily L. Bamforth

Palaeontologist, Vertebrate Palaeontology Program, Royal Saskatchewan Museum

 
Valleys of Hidden Secrets: Saskatchewan as a Canadian Paleontology Frontier

Saturday, September 21, 2019 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre Or streaming live through our youtube channel

 

In 1874, geologist George Mercer Dawson discovered Canada’s first dinosaur fossil in what is now Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan. Despite the province’s long paleontological history, its fossil resources – including T. rex, Triceratops, marine reptiles and Cenozoic mammal fossils – are far less well known than Alberta’s. With the 1991 discovery of ‘Scotty’, the world’s largest T. rex, the sleeping giant of Saskatchewan’s paleontological significance in Canada has begun to stir. Come and discovery why Saskatchewan is one of Canada’s next fossil frontiers.

Dr. Nicolas Campione

Vertebrate Palaeontology Program, Royal Saskatchewan Museum

 
Feathers or no Feathers

Saturday, august 3, 2019 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre Or streaming live through our youtube channel

 

The discovery that some dinosaurs possessed feathers was a breakthrough in our understanding of the origin of birds and the evolution of flight. Following these initial discoveries in the 90s, a wide range of dinosaurs, especially theropods (the meat-eating dinosaurs), are now known to have possessed feathers. Even some non-theropod dinosaurs, on the ornithischian side of the dinosaur evolutionary tree exhibit structures that some have identified as feathers. These discoveries beg the questions: when did feathers first evolve? Were they present in the ancestor of all dinosaurs? My talk will walk through our history on dinosaur research and explain how our ideas about what a dinosaur looks like has changed. We will explore the evolution of feathers and discuss the probability that the original dinosaurs was feathered.

Dr. Corwin Sullivan

Philip J. Currie Professor of Paleontology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta & Curator, Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum

 
Cretaceous North: Exploring the Lost Dinosaurian World of the Peace Region

Saturday, July 27, 2019 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre 

 

The Boreal Alberta Dinosaur Project (BADP) is an international collaboration among palaeontologists interested in the dinosaurs and other Cretaceous vertebrates of northern Alberta, and particularly of the Wapiti Formation in the vicinity of Grande Prairie. On July 27, Corwin will take a break from this year’s BADP field season to share some of the project’s latest findings, including rich deposits of duckbill dinosaur bones and some tantalizing evidence that the Cretaceous fauna of the Peace Region was substantially different from its counterparts in southern Alberta and the western United States.

Photographed by John Ulan

Paul Hvenegaard

BIOLOGIST – ACA MANAGER

 
Monitoring The Bull Trout Spawning Run In Lynx Creek

Saturday, July 22, 2019 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre 

 

This ACA sponsored lecture will include project highlights that define spawning areas, determine spawning frequency and fidelity, as well as highlight the conservation importance of Lynx Creek.

A born and raised Albertan, Paul has been personally and professionally immersed in fisheries since the age of 18. After spending 7 summers guiding fishermen across the Arctic, he obtained his formal education and embarked on a wonderful career with fisheries. Paul’s very rewarding career has taken him to many wonderful places across western Canada but Alberta has always been his true passion. For the past 23 years Paul has worked at Alberta Conservation Association as a fish biologist and more recently, a manager for all ACA operations in Northwestern Alberta.

Dr. Ryan McKellar

Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology, Royal Saskatchewan Museum

 
When Amber and Dinosaurs meet: Amber from Dinosaur Bonebeds, and Dinosaur Remains Preserved in Amber

Saturday, may 11, 2019 8:00pm Grande Prairie Regional College, Room L106

 

Join us for a lecture featured during the Canadian Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology Annual Meeting.

Amber was first reported from a dinosaur bonebed in 2004, as part of work on the Pipestone Creek Pachyrhinosaurus bonebed, near Wembley, AB. Since this initial report, amber research has overlapped with dinosaur palaeontology in two different ways: (1) examining tiny pieces of amber from dinosaur bonebeds, (2) searching for inclusions of dinosaurs within larger amber pieces. The first major line of enquiry has been used extensively in Western Canada to examine dinosaur bonebeds and the surrounding strata. By examining the chemical and geochemical characteristics of fossil plant resin, and searching for tiny inclusions within these amber samples, it has been possible to identify the resin-producing trees in the habitats surrounding bonebeds. This work also sheds some light on ecological conditions in ancient forests (e.g., precipitation patterns, and sources of plant stress). When amber is relatively abundant, a moderate diversity of insects and plant fragments provide further ecologicalclues and new species for palaeoentomology.

The second major line of research has focused on rare inclusions of vertebrates within amber, based on deposits that produce larger, gem-quality amber pieces, such as mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber. Advancements in this line of research over the last five years have included the discovery of multiple enantiornithines (primitive toothed birds), a coelurosaur (non-avian theropod) tail fragment, numerous feather specimens, and a wider range of vertebrates, including snakes, lizards, and amphibians. These specimens have been biased toward smaller taxa and juvenile individuals, but preservation is unmatched elsewhere in the fossil record. The amber inclusions preserve microscopic details of soft tissues in three-dimensions, along with traces of original colour patterns and chemistry, faunal associations, and frozen behaviours. Ultimately, amber inclusions have confirmed many of the inferences drawn from fossils preserved in other settings.

They have also refined our understanding of feather evolution, palaeobiogeography, and habitat use in the Cretaceous. Amber is
becoming an increasingly valuable supplement to vertebrate palaeontology.

Special Event – Andrew Manske

Director | Producer | Cinematographer 

 
Wolverine: Ghost of the Northern Forest

Saturday, april 13, 2019 1:00pm & 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre 

 

Wolverine: Ghost of the Northern Forest (52min) recounts the fascinating story of Canadian wildlife filmmaker Andrew Manske’s relentless, five-year quest to find and film one of the most legendary and elusive creatures on the planet.

The wolverine is a small animal with a big reputation. It might weigh less than 20 kilograms, but this intrepid member of the weasel family has been known to back down marauding grizzly bears and wolves in defence of its young or its food. Armed with fearsome claws and canines, a bite force stronger than any other carnivore on earth and a reputation for fearlessness, the wolverine, whose Latin name Gulo gulo literally means glutton, is not the kind of animal any other animal, humans included, really wants to mess with.

But nasty reputation aside, the reality is we really don’t know much about the secretive world and life of the wolverine. Living in remote areas of the Rocky Mountains and the boreal forest, it is rarely ever seen. After two decades of filming most of the other major predators of the north, award-winning cinematographer Andrew Manske takes up the ultimate challenge of his career when he set out to make a film about this animal.

Rick SCott

Nature photographer 

 
Wildlife of Saskatoon Island Provincial Park

Saturday, april 13, 2019 1:00pm & 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre 

 

Wolverine: Ghost of the Northern Forest (52min) recounts the fascinating story of Canadian wildlife filmmaker Andrew Manske’s relentless, five-year quest to find and film one of the most legendary and elusive creatures on the planet.

The wolverine is a small animal with a big reputation. It might weigh less than 20 kilograms, but this intrepid member of the weasel family has been known to back down marauding grizzly bears and wolves in defence of its young or its food. Armed with fearsome claws and canines, a bite force stronger than any other carnivore on earth and a reputation for fearlessness, the wolverine, whose Latin name Gulo gulo literally means glutton, is not the kind of animal any other animal, humans included, really wants to mess with.

But nasty reputation aside, the reality is we really don’t know much about the secretive world and life of the wolverine. Living in remote areas of the Rocky Mountains and the boreal forest, it is rarely ever seen. After two decades of filming most of the other major predators of the north, award-winning cinematographer Andrew Manske takes up the ultimate challenge of his career when he set out to make a film about this animal.

Ryan Northcott

Executive Producer – Gruvpix Inc. 

 
Bone Hunters: Searching The Peace Region For Clues From Our Past

Saturday, FEbruary 23, 2019 2:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre 

 

Bone Hunters is a documentary that follows a small group of palaeontologists as they navigate treacherous terrain in Northern Alberta, on the small chance they might make the next big prehistoric discovery. Join Executive Producer Ryan Northcott and palaeontologists featured in the documentary for a Q&A session after the film screening. Limited seating available for this free event. Book your spot with Visitor Services by calling 587-771-0662 today!

Andrew Manske

Producer – Cinematographer 

 
View From The Blind

Saturday, January 26, 2019 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre 

 

Join acclaimed cinematographer Andrew Manske, for an evening of film, stories, and photos…chronicling a lifetime of observations from his camera blind. While enduring the isolation of his blind Andrew came to appreciate the ubiquity and beauty of the bird world and began to observe and document the hidden world of birds. Join us as Andrew shares his experiences, and spectacular film images, from the bird kingdom; showcasing everything from the diminutive Humming Bird to the regal Blue Heron. Come and share a side of nature that few are privileged to observe.

Join us after for a light reception sponsored by ACA! Limited seating available for this free event.

Miriam reichel – bodner

 Adaptive Consulting 

 
A Song of Ice and Fire: Exploring Alberta’s Quaternary Environments

Saturday, November 24, 2018 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre 

 

The Province of Alberta is world famous for its rich fossiliferous content. However, the Ice Age fossils and environments are often overlooked, and dismissed as “overburden”. The extensive Quaternary sands and Gravels across Alberta tell fascinating stories about extinct species and their interactions with early humans. Recovering and preserving fossil resources from this time period has become increasingly significant to our understanding of the transitional environments from melting glaciers to modern river systems.

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