Field Work

Grasslands National Park (Saskatchewan)

Field Season: Summer 2017, Summer 2018

Blog post: https://canadianmuseumofnature.wordpress.com/2017/10/31/hunting-for-mammal-fossils-in-grasslands-national-park/

The East Block preserves outcrops of early Paleocene age, which are critical for understanding the diversification of terrestrial mammals following the extinction of the dinosaurs. They are also critical for understanding early Paleocene ecosystems in Canada.

The East Block also preserves some outcrop of early Miocene age, one of the very few areas of Miocene age in Canada (limited to a small area in the Cypress Hills (Sask.), the Wood Mountain Formation (Sask.), Hand Hills of Alberta, and the Haughton Crater on Devon Island). There is therefore considerable opportunity to enhance our understanding of early Miocene-aged mammals in Canada and, given the relatively high latitude of the area, North America as a whole.

We will also be prospecting in Miocene-aged rocks outside the park during the 2018 field season. Miocene-aged deposits are thicker and more spatially extensive in other regions of Saskatchewan than in the park, providing a fantastic opportunity for understanding the age of the fossils in the park using biostratigraphy.

Looking out across the valley from the butte with Wood Mountain
A view of the north eastern section of Grasslands National Park
A picture of the KPg boundary in the park
Exposure of the KPg in the north eastern section of Grasslands National Park

 

Haughton Crater (Devon Island, Nunavut)

Field Season: Summer 2021 (planned)

The Haughton Impact Crater preserves the highest latitude Miocene fauna in North America. It is therefore an important site for understanding the evolution of Arctic ecosystems under global warming and the evolution of faunal differentiation amongst latitudes. My research at Haughton Crater will therefore combine my interests in community ecology and the evolution of macroecological phenomena.

This is the same site where my PhD adviser, Natalia Rybczynski, discovered the famous fossil of Puijila darwini.

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Photo credit: Natalia Rybczynski
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Photo credit: Natalia Rybczynski