Editor: Hans Larsson;  Co-Editors: Ingrid Birker & Anthony Howell

Vol. 1, No. 1, Dec. 2016


It is my pleasure to introduce to you the first electronic newsletter from the Redpath Museum. This format is exciting and will allow us to update you throughout the year on exciting events and milestones at the Redpath Museum. Although the museum has six research groups toiling away at research on invasive species and microplastic pollution in the St. Lawrence Seaway, monitoring the progress of Lyme disease and mice hosts in southern Quebec, saving Fowler’s Toads in southern Ontario, catching lizards, birds, and fish in the Caribbean, Galapagos Islands, and Vancouver Island to measure contemporary evolution, and digging dinosaurs, we do much more. In the following pages are updates on what the Museum’s outreach and curatorial groups have done. We are also continuing to develop our gallery spaces with our new Entrance Hall kiosk arriving for the New Year and opening of our first gift shop, themed as an historical research office. These are exciting times in the Museum and we would like to celebrate with all. We are hosting our inaugural Black Tie Gala, perhaps the first since Dawson’s famous opening of the Museum in 1882. 135 years later, our Gala will take place on 20 January 2017 with cocktails, dancing to the tunes of the McGill Baroque Ensemble, animation by Steampunk Montreal (which includes a photobooth), specimen identification games and prizes for the best ‘Museum’ look. PHOTO: William Dio.

Don’t delay, buy your tickets online : $40 student OR $75 non-student

As we close this productive year at the Museum, I can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring!

More e_NEWS from various divisions of the Museum but certainly not all of the research labs, public education or curatorial updates have been compiled here. Instead, whet your appetite from this e-newsletter and then check the links for more information and details.


Students and staff on both campuses had a fantastic time learning traditional skills together in workshops this fall. We foraged for wild edibles, preserved foods, made fire by friction, learned knots and cordage, and explored food justice and beekeeping. We’ll start up again in January and end in March with a full day of skills and nature connection at the Morgan Arboretum. This project is coordinated and co-taught by Jacky Farrell and is funded by the McGill Sustainability Projects Fund. Photo: Staff and students learning fire by friction techniques during survival training 2016. 


This year, the Redpath Museum opened its galleries and spaces more formally to special events and film crews. It all started when the Gorgosaurus took a 90-degree turn to welcome the Montreal Baroque Festival for an intimate concert in the Dawson Gallery in June. Since then, the galleries, the auditorium and the front hall have welcomed a variety of events, from special lectures to VIP cocktail receptions, including celebrating the retirement of a prominent professor. Lights! Camera! Action! The Museum was also chosen as a setting by two production companies looking to highlight the beauty and uniqueness of the space as part of their project. The Museum was featured in a video clip produced by TV5 with French Canadian story teller and artist, Fred Pellerin. and served as a discussion point and back drop for an episode of TéléQuébec’s science program Électrons libres. Photo: Dawson Gallery in preparation for the Baroque music festival 2016.


The highlight of the year is having the opportunity to prepare a Sarcosuchus imperator skull on loan from the Field Museum in Chicago. Two months into this project, this beautifully preserved specimen is already an impressive sight. Measuring at a length of almost one meter there is still quite a bit of work until its completion. Photo: A sub-adult Sarcosuchus imperator and a juvenile Alligator mississippiensis (American Alligator)


This year the Redpath Museum established new collaborations with two local zoological institutions in an effort to fill in gaps in the diversity of our collection, and to improve the quantity of our teaching material. In January, the Exoterium located in Saint-Eustache, QC, donated a large freezer of herpetological material for the BIOL 352 - Vertebrate Evolution: Mammals and Dinosaurs course, and in November Le Nichoire, located in Hudson, QC, donated 25 migratory birds found in Quebec, for use in the upcoming Birds of Quebec exhibit, to be installed in 2017 in the biodiversity area on the 2nd floor of the Redpath Museum. Both institutions provide a much needed resource for the Redpath, and will greatly improve the diversity and quality of our teaching collection of natural history material. Photo: Going through the Exoterium herpetology donation of specimens, 2016.

Among then new donations received in 2016 were a wonderful collection of coral specimens from the Malaysian state Penang, collected by McGill alumni Philip Distin, in 1955. These specimens will replace a current exhibit of corals on the main floor of the museum. In addition, the museum also received a beautiful Eretmochelys imbricate (Hawksbill turtle) mount of exceptional size and quality. This is an endangered species, and will be at home among the other herpetological specimens we have housed at the RM. Photo: A northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) from Le Nichoire donation, 2016.

Lastly the collections relocation project is nearing an end, as the last large collection of cabinets and specimens has been relocated to our offsite facility for the foreseeable future. This project has been essential towards our plans to renovate and reorganize the basement storage space at the RM, and have alleviated many of the space constraints we have facing collections storage. Photo: The offsite storage space, 2016. 



The Council of the Friends of the Redpath Museum helps and guides the Museum's public program 

Bruno Paul Stenson - President

Anthony Zerafa (2016/2017) - Recording Secretary

Ingrid Birker - Museum Liaison

Janina Szuszkowska - Welcome-Desk Liaison

Isle Sullivan – Member without Portfolio

Martine Richard - Treasurer

Hans Larsson - Museum Director

Pamela Miller - Member Without Portfolio

Heads up for Public program Winter 2017

Some of the vertebrate skeletons in the collectionNEW!  5 à 7 FREAKY FRIDAYS

This year the Freaky Fridays feature examination of some of the Museum's most striking science collections while sampling local beer, wine and appetizers. Check here for details.

Feb. 10 février: Herps and Ichths

Mar. 10 mars: Slugs, snails and scorpions

April 7 avril: Them bones

When: 17h-20h

Cost: $5/student, $10 non-student.  RSVP: science.outreach [at] mcgill.ca