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ROM dinosaur palaeontologist Dr. David Evans named to Royal Society of Canada


Today, the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) announced the election of Dr. David C. Evans, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)’s James and Louise Temerty Endowed Chair of Vertebrate Palaeontology, into its College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Dr. Evans will be formally inducted November 20-24, 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario alongside his peers in the Class of 2019.

“We are very proud that one of the ROM’s world-class experts has been recognized with this distinguished scholarly honour,” says Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO. “This accolade reflects David’s leadership, science-advancing research, and commitment to developing programs that paint a larger picture of the world and encourage visitors of all ages to reflect on important topics such as climate change and extinction.”

Membership in the New College is one of Canada’s highest academic honours for an early-career scholar. In order to be eligible, candidates must have demonstrated excellence in their field at this stage in their career.

As an endowed curator, Dr. Evans oversees all dinosaur research at the Museum and is cross-appointed with the University of Toronto as an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Born in Ontario, Dr. Evans completed his undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia while working summers at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Alberta. He got his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 2007 and that same year, he became one of the youngest curators ever hired by the ROM, at age 26.  

“I have known Dr. Evans since he was a student employed by the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology and I feel privileged to collaborate with him now, both in the field and on research. He’s quick to recognize projects of significance, to identify the core of any problem, and is both creative and efficient. Above all, he is a wonderful person to work with,””says Philip Currie, pre-eminent dinosaur scholar, professor at the University of Alberta and Canada Research Chair in Dinosaur Paleobiology.

Today, Dr. Evans is a leading authority on the rich dinosaur fossil record of Canada, and on plant-eating dinosaurs that lived at the end of the Age of Dinosaurs. He has published over 100 scientific papers and several books. His research focuses on the evolution, ecology and diversity of dinosaurs, and their relationship to environmental changes leading up to the Cretaceous mass extinction event. Active in the field, Dr. Evans has participated in expeditions all over the world, including Africa, Mongolia, and the Arctic. His work on dinosaur diversity has revealed over 10 new species, including the remarkable horned Wendiceratops pinhornensis from southern Alberta, and Zuul crurivastator, the subject of a ROM original exhibition in 2018-2019.

Throughout his career, Dr. Evans has endeavoured to make his research relevant to broader audiences and is enthusiastic about sharing science with children and adults alike. He helped develop the ROM’s world-renowned dinosaur galleries and was lead curator of the landmark travelling exhibition Ultimate Dinosaurs. He regularly appears on television, and co-created HISTORY channel series Dino Hunt Canada, which earned a Canadian Screen Award nomination for its innovative cross-platform companion Dino Hunt Canada Interactive. He has given presentations on dinosaurs to general audiences all over the world and is a leading science communicator in Canada.

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