25 June 2009

Geology Research Grants Awarded by New Brunswick Museum


The New Brunswick Museum announced that three George Frederic Matthew research grants have been awarded for 2009. These grants support the work of scientists in the field of geology who are conducting research focused on New Brunswick and related to the New Brunswick Museum collections.

Dr. Sören Jensen of the Universidad de Extremadura in Badajoz, Spain was awarded a grant to study the stratigraphy of the Saint John Group by looking at microscopic fossils called acritarchs. This project will help clarify the age of the Cambrian rocks of the Saint John Group first studied by G. F. Matthew, which is very relevant to fossils in the Museum collection.

Dr. Jensen and his colleague Dr. Teodoro Palacios from the same university will arrive in Saint John on June 30. They will spend several days working as part of a larger team to examine acritarch fossils in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Dr. Susan Turner of Monash University Geosciences, Australia, was awarded a grant to examine the nature and origin of the rocks that contain most of the vertebrate fossils from the Campbellton-Atholville site. Given the significance of this site it would be of great interest to determine if these rocks originated from a volcanic mudflow, as previous field work by Turner and the NMB suggests.

Dr. Turner plans a visit to New Brunswick this fall to work with NBM Curator of Geology Dr. Randall Miller in an effort to discover more about the important Campbellton-Atholville site which includes the Museum’s 400 million year old fossils of ancient sharks.

Taryn Gray, a Master of Science candidate at St. Mary’s University, was awarded a grant to study Late Paleozoic volcanic rocks in Southern New Brunswick.  Much of the early work in this region was conducted by members of the Natural History Society of New Brunswick.  Gray’s work will focus on electron microprobe analysis of specimens.

The Matthew Grant program connects the New Brunswick Museum to scientists and current research projects in New Brunswick.  Dr. Randall Miller, Curator of Geology and Palaeontology, commented that “these grants encourage scientists to conduct exciting research in New Brunswick and the province gains through the exchange of knowledge with experts.”  Miller noted that “Canada’s oldest fossil forest and the oldest complete shark fossil in the world are just two of the discoveries funded through the Museum’s research grant program.”

Jane Fullerton, Director and CEO of the New Brunswick Museum, noted “these research projects add to our knowledge about important geological sites in New Brunswick, thus enabling the New Brunswick Museum to maintain the quality and relevancy of its exhibits and programs.” 

For further information on the Matthew grants, check the New Brunswick Museum web site at www.nbm-mnb.ca or contact Dr. Randall Miller at (506) 643-2361 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For further information, contact:

Anne McHugh
New Brunswick Museum
(506) 643 2351
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.