The Philip J. Currie is proud to present our free Virtual Speaker Series. 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 online through our live YouTube stream.

Have questions? Perfect! Comment on our YouTube stream or our social media channels and our moderator will pass along your questions.

Can’t make it? All of our Virtual Speaker Series will be posted to our YouTube following the discussion so the Virtual Speakers Series can be viewed anytime!

Watch our Most Recent Virtual Speaker Series:

UPCOMING SPEAKERS

Please check back frequently for more awesome Virtual Speaker Series presenters this fall!

Previous SPEAKERS

DR. Federico Fanti 

“Folded, crushed, and underwater: the new Italian dinosaurs”

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2021 7:00pm • streaming live through the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum youtube channel 

Since 2006 Federico Fanti has been involved – with particular efforts in field-oriented research – in important projects related to a broad spectrum of primarily Mesozoic deposits and associated faunas in throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. The long-term goal of his research is to investigate how local or large-scale palaeocological dynamics as documented in sedimentary rocks drive evolutionary patterns in the fossil record via adaptations/extinction events. Having earned his Ph.D. in Earth Sciences in 2009 Dr. Fanti is currently Associate Professor in paleontology at the Alma Mater Studiorum, Bologna University in Italy. In 2017 he was chosen as one of the Emerging Explorer from the National Geographic Society.

“When I was a kid, Italy had no dinosaurs. Period. No wonders why I’ve been travelling around the planet looking for bones and traces of ancient worlds. Luckily things are changing, and my home country is no longer a ‘white spot’ on the dinosaur hunters maps. It all started with amazing discoveries, new species, complete skeletons of delicate animals that died during the Cretaceous. But all were isolated lucky strikes. Now we finally found a site that preserves more individuals of the same species and important clues to reconstruct a lost ecosystem.”

Katlin Schroeder

“The Influence of Juvenile Dinosaurs on Community Structure and Diversity”

SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, 2021 3:00pm • streaming live through the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum youtube channel 

Kat Schroeder is a PhD candidate studying paleomacroecology at the University of New Mexico. She completed her Masters degree in biology at UNM under the advisement of Dr. Felisa Smith. For her Master’s and PhD Kat has been studying the effects of extreme size and growth on the community structure and diversity of non-avian dinosaurs. Her research projects have included large data analysis of the body size diversity of dinosaurs across spatial scales, including an examination of the role of juvenile megatheropods in the structuring of dinosaur body size. She has also examined the evolution of skull structure in tyrannosauroids, and microscopic tooth wear in tyrannosaurids through ontogeny in hope of elucidating the dietary ecology of these long extinct animals.

Large carnivorous dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus rex are some of the most well studied non-avian dinosaurs in all of science, yet relatively little is understood about their interactions with the environment before they grew into their immense adult size. It has been widely speculated that these large, egg-laying animals would have behaved very differently as small, lightly-built juveniles. How did the presence of juvenile megatheropods affect the community, and how may that have led to relatively low dinosaur diversity at global scales? Join Kat as she examines these questions and more.

Mark Powers

PHD candidate – University of Alberta
“Evolution of Eudromaeosauria: biogeography led to strong divergent trends”

SATURDAY, July 3, 2021 3:00pm • streaming live through the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum youtube channel

Mark Powers is a Canadian PhD student studying vertebrate palaeontology at the University of Alberta. He completed his master’s degree at the University of Alberta under the supervision of Dr. Philip Currie. During Mark’s master’s studies he researched dromaeosaurid (raptor dinosaurs) evolution and ecology. His thesis focused on the trends in snout shapes through evolution and included the description of a new species of Velociraptor. His PhD studies are focused on the evolution of snake lizards leading up to the modern diversity, including how the advent of macrostomy (the ability to consume massive prey) evolved.

Dromaeosaurids are famously known as ‘raptors’ to most. They are some of the most iconic theropod dinosaurs due to their ferocious image complete with sharp serrated teeth and the striking raptorial foot claw. The claw has been hypothesized to be their primary weapon in taking down prey, however, examination of snout morphology across the group suggests it was the primary tool, more in line with other carnivorous animals. The shape of snouts and available prey may be correlated and responsible for driving evolutionary change in raptor dinosaurs. Follow Mark as he guides you through the series of changes these iconic dinosaurs made to adapt to various ecosystems throughout the Cretaceous.

DR. aaron Leblanc

Palaeontologist – King’s college london (uk) with the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum
how to become a dinosaur dentist: making new discoveries by studying ancient teeth

SATURDAY, June 19, 2021 12:00pm • streaming live through the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum youtube channel

Dr. Aaron LeBlanc got his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees from the University of Alberta in his hometown of Edmonton, Canada. He then traveled across the country to do his PhD at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus where he learned how to turn fossil jaws and teeth into microscopic sections the thickness of a human hair. By studying the teeth of different kinds of living and extinct animals, Aaron combines histology – the study of tissues – with palaeontology to understand how teeth have evolved over the last 300+ million years. He is now a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences at King’s College London (UK) where he continues to study the teeth of extinct animals, like dinosaurs. 

Dinosaurs are our favourite extinct animals, and their teeth are particularly important for understanding how and what they ate. But at a fundamental level, dinosaur teeth were made from the same tissues as our teeth. We know this, because we can make microscopic sections of their teeth and can look inside them at high magnification. By combining the study of fossil teeth with the centuries-old profession of dentistry, scientists can now better understand how different species dealt with the problems of tooth wear, grinding tough plant material, or slicing through meat. The future of this budding field is bright and could lead to surprising avenues of research in oral medicine.

DR. oksana vernygora

Palaeontologist – University of Kentcky, Lexington with the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum
Fossil Record of Clupeomorph Fishes in Alberta

SATURDAY, May 8, 2021 3:00pm • streaming live through the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum youtube channel

Dr. Oksana Vernygora was born and grew up in Ukraine where she did my BSc degree in Aquatic Bioresources with an undergraduate honours thesis on the evolutionary relationships of the local species of shads (genus Alosa). Right after that (in 2011) she moved to the USA (Naperville, Illinois). There, Oksana went to North Central College to take various classes in genetics, virology, ecology, computer science, etc. to explore her research interests. By the end of her ‘exploration’ year, she knew that she wanted to continue research on the evolutionary relationships of fishes. 

In 2013, she was accepted to the MSc program at the University of Alberta in Dr. Alison Murray’s lab to do research on the evolution and systematics of the Ellimmichthyiformes (Clupeomorpha). In 2015, Oksana defended her MSc and started a PhD program in the same lab but now expanding her research question to include living and extinct members of the entire Clupeomorpha (herrings, sardines, anchovies, etc.). Oksana defended her PhD in August 2020 and moved to the US to work on the postdoctoral project developing diagnostic genomic markers for agricultural pests (specifically, mexican fruit fly). Her research interests include morphological and molecular phylogenetics, teleost systematic and evolution, and species delimitation. In her free time, she likes baking palaeo-themed cakes and pies and hopes that one day she can open a Palaeo Cafe.

Filippo Bertozzo

PHD CANDIDATE – QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY OF BELFAST, SCHOOL OF NATURAL AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT (IN NORTHERN IRELAND, UK) with the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum
 
“Pathologies Out of Time – Fossilised lesions and diseases in hadrosaurs and their significance”

SATURDAY, April 24, 2021 12:00pm • streaming live through the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum youtube channel

Filippo Bertozzo, MSc, is an Italian paleontologist. His fascination with the world of dinosaurs began early in the 1990s, thanks to watching the famous Italian documentary “Planet of Dinosaurs” (Piero Angela, 1993). He received a BSc in Natural Sciences at the University of Bologna after studying the skeleton of the ornithopod Ouranosaurus nigeriensis, exhibited at the Museum of Natural Science in Venice. Then, during his Master’s in Paleobiology at the Universitaet Bonn (Germany), he defended his thesis about paleohistological analysis of pneumatic bones in saurischian dinosaurs. Afterward, Filippo spent a research year at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), where he won a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Ph.D. Fellowship at Queen’s University Belfast (Northern Ireland) to study the paleopathologies in ornithopod dinosaurs. His research activities focus on paleobiological reconstructions of plant-eating dinosaurs, especially derived ornithopods (iguanodontians and hadrosaurids). Filippo has done fieldwork in Portugal, Spain, UK, United States, Canada, and Far Eastern Russia.  

Extracting reliable ecological and behavioural data from fossilized lesions and diseases is one of the major challenges in dinosaur paleopathology. To understand the aetiology and the development of such ailments, and therefore improve our pathological interpretations, first, we need to build a comparative database as comprehensive as possible. Hadrosauridae ranks among the most promising clades for such an endeavor, as this family of ornithischian dinosaurs shows one of the highest frequencies of preserved injuries in their bones. These dinosaurs represent thus an ideal starting point for such an investigation. What kind of pathologies can we find? How much do the frequencies of these pathologies vary between hadrosaurids and other ornithopods? What are their possible ecological implications?

Please join us as we bravely venture into the difficult times of the Mesozoic era to reconstruct the troubled lives of giants past!

Dr. Thomas Holtz

Palaeontologist – University of Maryland, Department of Geology with The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum
“Teen Tyrants in a Gig Ecology: Tyrannosaurid Ontogenetic Niche Shifts in Light of Theropod Guild History”

SATURDAY, april 10, 2021 3:00pm • streaming live through the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum youtube channel

Dr. Thomas Holtz received his Bachelor’s at Johns Hopkins University in 1987, and his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1992. His work has concentrated on the evolution and adaptations of carnivorous dinosaurs, with a special focus on Tyrannosauroidea (T. rex and its kin). He is a Principal Lecturer in Vertebrate Paleontology with the Department of Geology at the University of Maryland, and a Research Associate with the Department of Paleobiology in the National Museum of Natural History.

Tyrannosaurus and its relatives are impressive giants as adults, but each of these hatched out of an egg much smaller than a human being. Over their lifespan the adaptations and ecological role of tyrannosaurs changed dramatically. How were the experiences similar, and how did they differ, from the experiences of other giant meat-eating dinosaurs, which typically lived in ecosystems with far more diversity of flesh-eaters than the world of the tyrants?

 

Dr. Greg Funston

Palaeontologist – University of Edinburgh, School of GeoSciences with the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum
 
Baby tyrannosaurs from Alberta and Montana

SATURDAY, March 27, 2021 12:00pm • streaming live through the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum youtube channel

Dr. Greg Funston is a Canadian palaeontologist currently working as a Royal Society Newton International Fellow at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Alberta, where his research on oviraptorosaurs took him into the field throughout Alberta and across the world to Mongolia. Now, he’s expanded his research beyond dinosaurs into our own ancestors, and he’s currently studying the physiology of the mammals that took over after the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Tyrannosaurs are among the best known theropod dinosaurs, but little is known of the first stages of their lives. The recent discovery of two embryonic tyrannosaur bones gives us our first look at these tiny tyrants, and an opportunity to learn more about the palaeobiology of tyrannosaurs. Join Dr. Greg Funston as he takes you behind-the-scenes of the discovery into the fieldwork and research that unveiled these exceptional fossils—and what else they may tell us in the future.

Nathan Enriquez

PHD candidate – University of New England, School of Environmental and Rural Science with Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum
 
Tracking dinosaurs in the Grande Prairie area and the palaeontological significance of dinosaur footprints

SATURDAY, March 13, 2021 3:00pm • streaming live through the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum youtube channel

Nathan is a PhD student at the University of New England in Australia, whose studies have primarily focused on the dinosaur footprints preserved near Grande Prairie, and their applications in reconstructing the Late Cretaceous dinosaur faunas of northern Alberta. In collaboration with the Boreal Alberta Dinosaur Project, including staff from the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Nathan has conducted fieldwork at a wide variety of fossil localities in the Grande Prairie area, as well as across parts of Australia and England. For his PhD project, he is currently investigating the structure and preservation of dinosaur skin, under the supervision of Dr. Phil Bell, Dr. Nicolás Campione and Dr. Christophe Hendrickx.

Tracks have long been recognized for their ability to provide valuable information on the behavioural, palaeoenvironmental and palaeoecological aspects of dinosaur biology. Such insights complement the skeletal record and provide evidence for hypotheses that are otherwise difficult to investigate using just bones, such as the occurrence of herding behaviours, associations between trackmakers and particular environments, and estimations of dinosaur speeds and gaits. This talk will discuss these concepts by evaluating a large footprint locality along the Redwillow River near Grande Prairie in Alberta, Canada. The site preserves the most abundant record of dinosaur footprints within the Grande Prairie area, and more broadly, provides an important supplement to our understanding of the palaeoecology of dinosaurs within western North America during the Late Cretaceous.

Michael Hudgins

MSC. candidate – University of Alberta
 
From neglected to appreciated: the paleobiology and evolution of thescelosaurids.

SATURDAY, February 20, 2021 3:00pm • streaming live through the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum youtube channel

Michael is from Yorktown, Virginia (3 hours south of Washington D.C.). Growing up, Michael was captivated about the natural world, including rocks and extinct animals. Although his interests about the natural world wavered throughout life, he ultimately pursued and completed his undergraduate degree in Geology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Michael then went on to pursue his Master’s in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, supervised by Dr. Corwin Sullivan. He is currently writing his Master’s thesis on thescelosaurids from northern and southern Alberta. 

The dinosaurian group Thescelosauridae lived in the Late Cretaceous. This diverse, but poorly studied, group of small-bodied herbivores existed in North America and Asia. In the past, thescelosaurids have often been neglected in paleontological research. However, with recent discoveries on the paleobiology, paleoecology, behavior, and evolution of thescelosaurids, we are expanding our knowledge on a forgotten, yet fascinating group of dinosaurs. 

ALEXIS BAZINET

bsc HONOURS – University of victoria 
 
Bird Fossil Feathers from the McAbee Fossil Beds

SATURDAY, February 6, 2021 3:00pm • streaming live through the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum youtube channel

 

Alexis recently graduated with a B.Sc.(Hons) from the University of Victoria (Apr 2020) majoring in Biology. In the last few months (Jul-Oct 2020), she has completed a research project as part of an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award in partnership with School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at UVIC and the Royal BC Museum, guided by her supervisor Dr. Victoria Arbour. Alexis is excited to share all she has learned about paleontology with you!

 

The McAbee fossil beds, presently a formation of dry cliffs near Cache Creek, BC, capture the story of an ancient lake during the early Eocene epoch, approximately 52 million years ago. The Leahy-Langevin Collection donated to the Royal BC Museum contains about 150(+) isolated bird fossil feathers of varying types, sizes, and preservation quality. Only two partial bird skeletons were recovered from the site, so by studying the anatomy of these fossil feathers, we hope to learn more about the biodiversity of extinct birds.

Please come join us for a behind-the-scenes look at these fossil feather images and remote scientific research!

Jared Voris

PHD candidate – University of Calgary
 
A dynasty recorded in stone: Alberta’s fossil record of tyrannosaur dinosaurs

SATURDAY, January 23, 2021 3:00pm • streaming live through the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum youtube channel

 

Jared Voris received a BSc in Geology with minor in Biology from Appalachian State University and a Master’s degree from the University of Calgary researching the growth of the Albertan tyrannosaur Gorgosaurus libratus. Jared is currently a PhD student at the University of Calgary researching the growth and evolution of tyrannosaurs and other theropods from here in Alberta. Jared most recently led in the discovery of the earliest known Canadian tyrannosaur, Thanatotheristes.

Tyrannosaurids were gigantic meat-eating dinosaurs, well-known for their big heads, powerful jaws, and tiny, two fingered front limbs. The fossil record of Alberta boasts a particularly diverse assemblage of tyrannosaurs that includes six named species as well as several nearly complete skeletons. Because of the completeness of this record, much of what we know of tyrannosaur biology can be attributed to discoveries from Alberta.

Join as we talk about some of these discoveries, what they tell us about the life and history of tyrannosaurs, and what future discoveries may teach us!

Melina Jobbins

PHD candidate – University of Zurich in Switzerland
 
First African thylacocephalans from a Late Devonian Lagerstätte

SATURDAY, december 5, 2020 3:00pm • streaming live through the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum youtube channel

 

A lagerstätte is a site with excellent fossil preservation and one of these most famous sites include the British Columbian Burgess shale. Come and take a look at a recently discovered lagerstätte from the Late Devonian of the Moroccan Anti Atlas. Abundant in sharks, placoderms and invertebrates, it is most famous for its richness in small crustaceans called thylacocephalans. Come and learn about this small underrated group of extinct arthropods and their first African occurrence in this Moroccan site. 

Darren Tanke

Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Palaeontology Technician
 
Successful efforts to relocate lost 100+ year dinosaur quarries in the badlands of southern Alberta

SATURDAY, november 28, 2020 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre Or streaming live through our youtube channel

 

Alberta has a long legacy of dinosaur discoveries going back to the 1870’s. Intensive fieldwork was done prior to WWII when most of the dinosaurs familiar to Alberta were collected. For reasons unknown, the early dinosaur collectors, while collecting many important specimens, were bad at recording exactly where they came from. This type of information is critical in modern studies such as dinosaur evolution and biostratigraphy. Some sites were marked with a brass and iron quarry stake set in concrete, but many were not marked in any way. These lost quarries, now largely eroded away, can still be relocated using maps, old field photographs, bones left on site, and datable garbage. The talk will discuss the importance and methodology of the project and recovery of a spectacular, complete ankylosaur tail club from a quarry worked in 1913-1914.

AAron dyer

MSC. candidate – University of Alberta
 
The problematic pachycephalosaurid Gravitholus albertae: synchrotron imaging facilitates reappraisal of taxonomic validity

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2020 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre Or streaming live through our youtube channel

 

The only known specimen of the dome-headed dinosaur Gravitholus albertae represents an incomplete and heavily fused skull. This fusion has inhibited a detailed description and comparison of G. albertae to other dome-headed species. Thus the taxonomic validity of G. albertae has remained unstable. In this presentation, I will show how Synchrotron micro-CT images allow us to identify and separate the cranial bone of G. albertae, then re-evaluate the validity of this taxon. I hope this isn’t anyone’s favourite species of dinosaur…

Yan-YIN WANG

PHD candidate – University of Alberta
 
Uncinate in archosaurs, a tale of Captain Hook in the fossil record

FRIDAY, October 30, 2020 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre Or streaming live through our youtube channel

 

Archosaurs are a major group of vertebrates that include living birds crocodylians, and fossil dinosaurs. On several dorsal ribs in living birds and crocodylians, we can find uncinates, which are hook-like or tab like protrusions located at the back side of the ribs. We use anatomical and histological methods to identify the presence of uncinates in fossil archosaurs. The data we have been collecting from North American and Chinese archosaurs suggest that uncinate is likely a feature shared by many if not all archosaurs.

Bray Holland

msc. candidate – University of NEw England Australia
 
Rediscovering the lost dinosaur babies of the Spring Creek Bonebed

Saturday, October 17, 2020 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre Or streaming live through our youtube channel

 

The Late Cretaceous deposits of the Grande Prairie area are a largely untapped palaeontological resource in comparison to the famous southern Alberta strata. Recently, the Boreal Alberta Dinosaur Project (BADP) rediscovered a dinosaur bonebed, the Spring Creek Bonebed, which was lost due to riverbank slumping in the early 2000s. The BADP team recovered hundreds of specimens from juvenile lambeosaurine dinosaurs (Ornithischia: Hadrosauridae) in 2018 and 2019. The Spring Creek bonebed marks the first description of lambeosaurines from the Grande Prairie area, and the exclusive preservation of juveniles raises some interesting insights into the life histories of hadrosaurids.

robin sissons

msc. palaeontology
 
Preparing and visualiSing fossils, chippings and scribblings

Saturday, september 26, 2020 3:00pm • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre Or streaming live through our youtube channel

 

Take a look into the process of fossil preparation and other techniques used to acquire, analyze, and preserve data from specimens. There is a lot of work that is done to a specimen after it is removed from the ground, and before it can be used in research, display, and education. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of some of this work, and learn a little bit about how fossils are then visualized in different ways to communicate findings to the scientific community as well as to the general public.

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!

DR. JiNgmai 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.

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.

DR. Emily 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!

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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