Let’s Build the Currie Museum!

A message from my colleague Dr. Phil Bell:

Hi all,

Some of you are already aware of the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, which is scheduled to be built in Grande Prairie, but certainly all of you are aware of Philip Currie himself. As part of the final push to raise the remaining construction funds, we have launched a crowd-fundraising campaign on www.indiegogo.com/curriemuseum. The aim is to raise $1,000,000 in 120 days. In the first hour alone, we raised $1,600!

Every donation, no matter how small, is important and donors are rewarded with a range of increasingly cool gifts including a museum logo pin, t-shirts, and original artwork by palaeo-art master Julius Csotonyi. It’s all outlined on the website, so please check it out, spread the word, and help us build a world-class museum and research institute.

Many thanks!

Phil Bell

Head Palaeontologist

Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative

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What I Did on My Summer Vacation: Take the Left Turn at Albuquerque

I visited the New Mexico Museum of Natural History in June for a couple of days with my friend and colleague Mike Burns to look at [top secret specimen yet again, sorry!]. OH MAN was Albuquerque toasty in June. But we had a very fine time indeed eating southwest food and visiting the museum.

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What I Did on My Summer Vacation: Happy Campers

This is Happy Jack’s (or as it used to be called, Old Mexico Ranch), an old homestead occupied by Happy Jack Jackson from 1903 to 1942. There are a couple of log cabins, some with cacti growing on the roof. Happy Jack’s is found on the north side of the Red Deer River in Dinosaur Provincial Park, and is the home base for the Currie Lab when we do fieldwork in DPP.  Continue reading

5 Questions for Stephanie Blais

I’m hoping to feature some more University of Alberta-related research over the next few weeks, and first up is an interview with Stephanie Blais, a UALVP grad student studying ischnacanthid acanthodians. Stephanie recently published a paper in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology with new information on the origin of vertebrate teeth. So without further ado, here are five questions for Stephanie Blais: Continue reading

Care of Magical Creatures

The University of Alberta is currently hosting an exhibit called Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine, in the John W. Scott Health Sciences Library. Let’s Talk Science, a Canadian science outreach organization with a U of A chapter, was asked to organize ‘classes’ for a Harry Potter-themed science day, so my good friend Scott Persons and I put together “Care of Magical Creatures”. You may think it would be hard to mix magic and mythology with science, but we were pretty happy with how much natural history education we were able to convey over the course of the day. For those interested in science outreach and education, here’s how to do your own Care of Magical Creatures class. You might be surprised by the results!

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Congratulations Phil Bell!

Some congratulations are in order for my fellow grad student Phil Bell, who successfully defended his PhD thesis today!

Phil’s thesis is titled “Systematics and palaeobiology of the crested hadrosaurine Saurolophus, from Canada and Mongolia.” He’s been working for the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum (previously the River of Death and Discovery Dinosaur Museum) since last fall.

You can read more about his work on Saurolophus in these papers; I’m sure there will be several more to come:

Bell PR, Evans DC. 2010. Revision of the status of Saurolophus (Hadrosauridae) from California, USA. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 47:1417-1426.

Bell PR. 2011. Redescription of the skull of Saurolophus osborni Brown 1912 (Ornithischia: Hadrosauridae). Cretaceous Research 32:30-44.

Bell PR. In press. Cranial osteology and ontogeny of Saurolophus angustirostris from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia with comments on Saurolophus osborni from Canada. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.