Museums & Collections

I am an occasional assistant in both the teaching and research collections in Department of Biology at the University of Saskatchewan with Dr Tracy Marchant. As of June 2019, I am a member of the American Society of Mammalogy’s Systematic Collections Committee and look forward to serving the mammalogy community in this way.

I am especially interested in cataloguing and data management of such collections, and my work has primarily focused on cataloguing research and teaching specimens in databases of my own design rooted in Darwin Core standards.

I acknowledge the colonial history of many museums (e.g., In London, Natural History Museums Confront their Colonial History) and commit to educating myself in these topics and to work towards decolonization in these spaces.

Hooked on museums since the days at the London Regional Children’s Museum when my mother had to crawl through the dinosaur caves to fetch me, just to lose me again in the space exhibit.

I’ve have the great fortune of working with both art and biological collections over the past few years. Behind the famous red doors of the McIntosh Gallery, I researched paintings by great Canadian artists Mashel Tietelbaum and Jack Chambers to make recommendations to the acquisitions committee. The Tietelbaum work was accepted for acquisition with my recommendation and we now know far more than just the title of the beautiful Winterscape.

More recently, I volunteered in the UWO Herbarium for about a year before I was hired as herbarium technician and assistant to the curator, Dr R Greg Thorn. My focus was on digitizing records of Ontario specimens, and in particular those species of the families Orchidaceae and Pinaceae.

During this time I also volunteered with Western’s Zoological Collections with Dr Nina Zitani. Here I learned to appreciate the incredible diversity of Lepidoptera as I inventoried over 5000 of them, before working with amazing vertebrate and invertebrate specimens of taxa considered to be rare, endangered, and extinct (see the poster for the Biodiversity Gallery’s inaugural exhibit entitled Rare, Endangered, Extinct). I also got to peak at specimens of my current study organism, the North American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsconicus), and am privileged to be featured with them in a post on the zoological collections blog.