Where in the world are they? The who, what and where from our international curatorial team.
Working with volunteers, students, and staff from the ROM, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and Environment Canada, Mark Peck has spent the last three summers conducting "species at risk" bird surveys along the coast of James Bay in Ontario. The southwest part of the bay is a globally important breeding and migration site for several species, including the endangered yellow rail and red knot. The team monitored these and other birds and assessed habitat and resources. So far, this ecosystem has remained relatively undisturbed, but recent mining and energy exploration may greatly affect it in future. Peck also continues to assist Dr. Allan Baker with shorebird research in Florida and Chile as they try to improve protection for the red knot.
During February and March 2011, Hernan Lopez-Fernandez led a new expedition to the upper Mazaruni River. This remote watershed was explored for the first time ever during a ROM expedition in 2008. That trip unexpectedly revealed a unique community of fishes unknown anywhere else in the world. Sadly, the team also found that these fishes' habitat was rapidly being transformed by extensive gold mining. In 2011, with funding from a Schad Conservation Grant, the team collected new ecological data and genetic samples to assess the environmental requirements of these unique fishes and to gather information necessary for their conservation. Look for an upcoming article on these "fishes of the Lost World" in the summer 2012 issue of ROM magazine.
POLAND, AUSTRIA, GERMANY
During a research trip to Europe this past September, Karin Ruehrdanz took part in the 7th European Conference of Iranian Studies in Cracow, Poland. She presented research inspired by a miniature recently acquired by the ROM in her talk Princes, Wine, and Animated Nature: Tabriz Painting about 1500 and profited from hearing new ideas offered by specialists in Persian literature. She also spoke at a conference in Gottingen, Germany, and stopped in Vienna to conduct related research on early 16th-century Persian and Turkish illustrated manuscripts at the Austrian National Library.
South Asian Visual Culture
This year Deepali Dewan travelled to Delhi and Mumbai, India, to seek out artifacts for the ROM exhibition Bollywood Cinema Showcards and to interview insiders from the Bollywood cinema industry. She selected showcards (photo-collage and paint advertisements) from the 1980s, as well as song booklets, lobby cards, and other ephemera from historic Bollywood films to supplement The Hartwick Collection of vintage showcards, which was the core of the exhibition. One of her best finds was a group of original advertisements from the 1960s epic film Mughal-e-Azam, one of Bollywood's all-time biggest blockbusters. These materials are now part of the ROM's permanent collection.
A 40-year veteran of the ROM, Judith Eger has research interests in the systematics and biogeography of bats of Asia and Madagascar as well as mammals of the Canadian North. Her current research concentrates on tube-nosed bats of Southeast Asia, using morphology and DNA sequencing. Fieldwork has taken her on eight expeditions to Vietnam and China, where, along with colleagues from the ROM and the USA, she has participated in biodiversity studies of northern Vietnam and southwest China. On several occasions she has returned with a new species of bat. In April 2011, she participated in a short workshop in Belize on bat biology.
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|Date:||Dec 20, 2011|
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