Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada

Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada

October 25, 2011 11:00 ET

Montreal Frog Expert Receives National Award From Canadian Museum Network

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 25, 2011) - Professor David M. Green of Montreal, noted conservationist and one of Canada's foremost experts on amphibians, is the distinguished recipient of the 2011 Bruce Naylor Award. This national award, presented by the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada (ANHMC), recognizes exceptional contributions to the museum-based study of natural history in Canada.

Green is currently a professor at McGill University and Director of the Redpath Museum. He has made his mark over a 30-year career as a scientist, museum administrator, teacher and conservation advocate.

Green's research zeroes in on the study of frogs and toads as a way of understanding the relationships of species, the structure of populations and mechanisms of evolutionary change. His long-term studies of Fowler's Toads have contributed to the species being listed as an endangered species. He has authored more than 120 scientific articles, books and publications, mainly about frogs and other amphibians.

"I was lucky to have discovered a passion for wildlife when I was very young, and I have long considered it a privilege to able to pursue that passion professionally," he says. His academic path has taken him across Canada, from undergraduate studies at UBC to a doctorate at the University of Guelph. After post-doctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley, he had brief stints as a biology professor at McMaster University and the University of Windsor. By 1986, he had landed at McGill University and the Redpath Museum, where he continues today.

Green's passion for nature goes well beyond the lab and his fieldwork. He is a leading figure in the promotion of conservation, demonstrated most visibly through his membership with the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), which he chaired for four years starting in the late 1990s. Every year this national group issues a public report identifying species at risk, based on scientific data.

While serving as co-chair of COSEWIC's Amphibians and Reptiles Subcommittee, he completed the first assessment of all Canadian amphibians at risk. He also led a task force that documented the decline in amphibian populations in Canada – a phenomenon that garnered much media attention given associations with environmental degradation and habitat destruction. And as Chair of COSEWIC, Dr. Green manoeuvered through a maze of policy and politics to bring COSEWIC assessments into the new Species at Risk Act.

Over his 25 years at the Redpath Museum, Green's drive and determination has ensured that the museum –one of Canada's oldest–was brought into McGill University's Faculty of Science. Since 2005, under his leadership as Director, the museum's public program has expanded and achieved stable funding, its teaching lab has been completely renovated, and a new program Minor in Natural History has been instituted along with new museum courses.

As noted by his nominators: "Any one of Professor Green's records of accomplishment in the fields of science, wildlife conservation, public service, education or advancement of museums would be--and have been--worthy of commendation. Combined, they demonstrate the exceptional contributions that he has made to museum-based natural history sciences and policy in Canada."

The Bruce Naylor Award is named for the former director of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. Deceased in 2007, Dr. Naylor had also served as president of the ANHMC. The award was presented at a special reception of the ANHMC on October 24, 2011 in The Speaker's Reception Room in the Centre Block of Parliament Hill, Ottawa.

Created in 2003, the ANHMC now has 17 members from coast to coast. Its goal is to increase visibility of Canada's natural history museums, which are responsible for preserving precious collections of millions of specimens that are the record of our natural heritage. The network strives to build capacity in the areas of scientific research, collections development and education about the natural environment, for the greater benefit of all Canadians.

Members

The ANHMC's 12 founding members are: the Royal B.C. Museum, Royal Alberta Museum, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre, Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Manitoba Museum, Canadian Museum of Nature, Montreal's Espace pour la Vie (Biodôme, Insectarium, Botanical Gardens and Planetarium), New Brunswick Museum, Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, and The Rooms Provincial Museum (Newfoundland and Labrador). The network continues to grow and now includes 17 members, with the addition of the Royal Ontario Museum in 2007, the Vancouver Aquarium, Toronto Zoo and Montreal's Redpath Museum in 2009, and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum in 2010.

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