Mammalogy: Who's Who
Dr. Mark Edwards joined the Royal Alberta Museum as Curator of Mammalogy in May 2009. He received his M.Sc. in Biology at the University of New Brunswick where he examined the ecology of ermine (Mustela erminea) on forestry lands in north-central New Brunswick. He received his Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of Alberta where his research took him to the Arctic to explore the behaviour and ecology of the barren-ground grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) prior to the onset of land use change resulting from oil and gas extraction activities and climate change. His field experience includes the deployment of camera traps to record tiger presence in peninsular Malaysia, snow-tracking of furbearers, and small and large mammal live capture, and the use of conventional and GPS telemetry, in a variety of remote regions. Mark's research interests are diverse, but he is keenly interested in questions that focus on populations, how behavioural ecology of individual's influences spatial and temporal distribution and resource use, and on the conservation and management of large carnivores, especially bears. When not working on his research projects, Mark enjoys being outdoors with his family whether it is hiking or biking during the summer months or cross-country skiing in the winter.
Bill Weimann has been the Assistant Curator of Mammalogy at the Royal Alberta Museum since 1981. He has extensive experience with the mammal collection and field surveys, preparation, and archiving of specimens. He has a diploma in Natural Sciences from Vanier College, Quebec.
Sean McFadden began working at the Royal Alberta Museum in 2008 as the Natural History Technician in the Ichthyology Department, through a contract with the Friends of the Royal Alberta Museum Society. Today, he is the Assistant Curator of Ichthyology. Sean graduated with distinction from the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. in Conservation Biology in 2003. Following graduation, he worked for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development as a lab technician in the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) program in 2007 and 2008. Sean has experience conducting both field and lab based studies and has assisted the Mammalogy program in these regards. In his spare time he enjoys camping, backpacking, fishing, and reading and this year he plan to take up snowshoeing, kayaking, and scuba diving.
Karyn Swedberg began working with the mammalogy department as a volunteer assessing specimen quality for a collection of grizzly bear skulls, which had been acquired by the province over the course of 30 years. From over 100 skulls, 25 were determined to be suitable for accessioning into the collection. She later worked as a research assistant with the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) and with the Canadian Association of Science Centers on research two projects entitled Community ecology of small mammals and fire succession in semi-forested sand hill ecosystems and Niche partitioning behaviour among sympatric species, respectively. Please visit the Research and Projects section to learn more about these ongoing studies.
Naomi Korner worked with the mammalogy department as a volunteer cleaning and preparing American marten (Martes americana) skulls for accessioning into the collection. In addition, she also helped to develop a database and entered all the available information for each individual skull.
Kerri Krawchuk and Mark Edwards have been working together since September 2012, when she began her 499 honours research project with the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta (UA). Under the co-supervision of Drs. Edwards, Derocher (UA) and Merril (UA), Kerri is looking at the temporal and spatial movement of grizzly bears in the Mackenzie Delta region, in Canada's western Arctic. She is now a M.Sc. student in Dr. Merril's lab where she has expanded her interest in movement ecology to include other species, such as wolves and cougars.
Corey Smereka began working in the Mammalogy Department with Dr. Mark Edwards and Bill Weimann in January 2016 as a Mammalogy Assistant. Corey first began working with Mark in September of 2014 when he started his biology 499 honours research project at the University of Alberta under the supervision of Drs. Derocher, Edwards, Bayne and Pilfold. For his research project, Corey looked at den selection by grizzly bears in the Mackenzie Delta of Canada's Northwest Territories.
Currently, he is assisting on the Museum Renewal project by preparing wolf skulls, obtained from trappers in the Northwest Territories, for use a future exhibit showing the nature of one aspect of a natural history collection. In addition, Corey is assisting on a research study working with these same skulls to look at regional and associated dietary implications on skull morphology and individual/population health of wolves in the Canadian western Arctic. When not cleaning wolf skulls in the Zoology Prep Lab, Corey enjoys the outdoors, playing sports and staying in shape!
Amy Macleod grew up in Ontario and graduated from University of Waterloo with a B.Sc. in Honours Biology. In between academic terms she worked on large mammal wildlife projects and after graduating started working full time for the University of Montana and U.S. Geological Survey on grizzly bear research projects in northwest Montana. These projects were based out of Glacier National Park in northwest Montana, USA, and focused on non-invasive genetic sampling for population estimation of the threatened grizzly bear population. After 11 years with the University of Montana she started her M.Sc. at the University of Alberta under the co-supervision of Drs. Scott Nielsen (University of Alberta) and Mark Edwards (Royal Alberta Museum). Her thesis research focuses on assessing niche separation of sympatric grizzly and black bears using DNA identification of individuals and naturally occurring stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen to identify the diet of bears. This research will provide diet information for the threatened grizzly bear and sympatric black bear population which is critical to understanding habitat needs for management and conservation.
Melissa joined the Mammalogy Department at the Royal Alberta Museum as a Summer Research Assistant in 2016 to help collect field data on the Ronald Lake wood bison (Bison bison athabascae) herd. This project is a collaborative study between Dr. Mark Edwards (Royal Alberta Museum), and Dr. Scott Nielsen (University of Alberta) that will assess the effects of insect activity on wood bison habitat selection. Melissa completed her B.Sc. in Natural Resources Conservation at the University of British Columbia in 2014, and has been involved in forest ecology and wetland research since 2012. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, photography, playing music, and reading.
We occasionally have openings for volunteers to assist on research and collection-based projects. These projects are generally designed to provide a unique learning opportunity for skills development in both the field and the lab. If interested please contact the Curator of Mammalogy.