The museum is a national leader and an important international contributor in the field of collection-based scientific research. Our expertise is in systematics research, which includes work in discovering, naming, describing and classifying species, understanding how and where they live, how they relate to other species and how they evolve. That scientific expertise is applied to specimens of minerals, fossils, animals, plants and algae. As part of the scientific process, the museum has a recognized expertise in storing its specimens as valuable, shared scientific data, conserving it and making it available for others.
Our Science Leaders
Our research and collection staff members are highly trained science experts who work with plants and algae, minerals, fossils and animals. They have leadership roles in professional communities, help to improve science, and serve Canadians and others.
Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections
The Canadian Museum of Nature has had a long-standing interest in the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC), an international society whose mission is to improve the preservation, conservation and management of natural-history collections to ensure their continuing value to society. The museum's collections experts take active roles in committees and as part of the governing board.
Global Biodiversity Information Facility
The Museum of Nature is a long-standing contributor to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), an organization that promotes and facilitates the mobilization, access, discovery and free use of information about the occurrence of organisms over time and across the planet. The museum's experts have contributed as member of the Science Committee and as the Canadian representative on the governing board.
Federal Biodiversity Information Partnership
The Museum of Nature is a founding member and active contributor to the Federal Biodiversity Information Partnership (FBIP), a group of federal departments and agencies committed to increasing the value and use of biodiversity data held by the federal government.
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada
The museum is a founding member and an active contributor to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), a group of experts that assesses and designates which wildlife species are in some danger of disappearing from Canada. The museum's science experts are members of the main committee and frequent contributors to the expert working groups.
International Mineralogical Association
Our mineral experts have a record of leadership roles within the International Mineralogical Association (IMA), a professional body that approves all new mineral names, as Chair of the Commission for New Mineral Names, Nomenclature and Classification and as regular reviewers for new mineral proposals.
Society of Vertebrate Paleontologists
The museum's palaeontology experts are regular contributors to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontologists (SVP), including membership on the Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant Committee that provides assistance for advanced studies.
Global Taxonomy Initiative
The museum often represents Canada in the Coordination Mechanism for the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI), and took a leadership role as the Chair. The GTI addresses the lack of taxonomic information and expertise to improve decision-making for biodiversity.
International Phycological Society
The museum's research experts contribute to the International Phycological Society (IPS), and have leadership roles on its board of directors.
Northern Scientific Training Program
The museum's science experts are long-standing members of the Management Committee of the Northern Scientific Training Program, which distributes funds to students who travel to the North to conduct research.
Arctic Council: Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna
The museum's botany experts are long-standing members of the Flora Working Group and the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program as part of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF). These international teams work on behalf of the Arctic Council to address the conservation and sustainability of biodiversity, and to communicate findings to governments and residents of the Arctic.
- Arctic Council: http://www.arctic-council.org/index.php/en
- Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna: http://www.caff.is
The museum's science experts have leadership roles in the publication of new scientific knowledge through their roles on editorial boards for these scientific journals:
- Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria: http://www.aiep.pl
- Biologia: http://www.springer.com/life+sciences/journal/11756
- Canadian Field-Naturalist: http://www.canadianfieldnaturalist.ca/index.php/cfn
- Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics: http://jm.um.ac.ir/index.php/biosys
- Iranian Journal of Fisheries Sciences: http://www.jifro.ir
- Killi-Data Online: http://www.killi-data.org
- Phytotaxa: http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa
- Zoology in the Middle East: http://www.kasparek-verlag.de/ZME-allgem.htm
- Zootaxa: http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa
Science Committee for Antarctic Research
The museum is a long-standing Canadian representative on the Science Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR), including as Chief Officer of Standing Scientific Group on Life Sciences, an important group that coordinates research on environmental change.
The Coleopterists Society
The museum is a long-standing contributor to The Coleopterists Society, an international society devoted to the study of beetles, including leadership roles as one of its officers.
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
The museum is a long-standing contributor to the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH), an organization dedicated to the study of fishes, amphibians and reptiles, including membership on the Advisory Committee on Fish Names.
The museum's experts provide guidance and training to a wide range of university students through their affiliations with universities across Canada and abroad. Our staff members are Adjunct Professors at
- Carleton University: http://www.carleton.ca
- Université du Québec à Rimouski: http://www.uqar.ca/english
- University of Manitoba: http://umanitoba.ca
- University of Ottawa: http://www.uottawa.ca/en#
- University of Victoria: http://www.uvic.ca
As a corporation, the Canadian Museum of Nature also plays a role in enhancing and advancing Canada's reputation and position through its participation and leadership in national and international organizations with aligned values and purpose.
Annual Summary of Publications
Each year, many research publications are enabled by staff and associates, and/or by our research and collections facility. We publish Research Review as an annual overview.
Nature Inspiration Awards
The museum annually presents its own Nature Inspiration Awards. These honours recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that, through their work or specific projects, encourage Canadians to take an interest in natural history, create links with nature and contribute to its preservation.
Arctic Inspiration Prize
The museum is an Ambassador for the Arctic Inspiration Prize, which recognizes and promotes the extraordinary contribution made by teams in the gathering of Arctic knowledge and their plans to implement this knowledge to real world applications for the benefit of the Canadian Arctic, Arctic Peoples and therefore Canada as a whole.