New Brunswick Museum Celebrates Dr. Donald McAlpine’s Contributions to Natural History in a Special Issue of The Canadian Field-Naturalist

Saint John, NB, February 1, 2024 — The New Brunswick Museum (NBM) is delighted to acknowledge the publication of a special issue of The Canadian Field-Naturalist (CFN) recognizing the exceptional contributions of Dr. Donald F. McAlpine, Research Curator of Zoology and Head of the Department of Natural History at the museum. The CFN is a quarterly scientific journal that publishes the results of original research on Canadian and North American natural history. The special issue is titled “Honouring Donald F. McAlpine: Contributions to the Natural History of the Canadian Maritimes.” It includes a biographical introduction and twelve research articles authored by colleagues of Dr. McAlpine. He began contributing to the CFN himself in 1976, and about a quarter of his more than 160 research papers have appeared in this journal.

“Don McAlpine’s outstanding contributions in biodiversity research, conservation, collections development, and public education have made and continue to make a lasting impact in New Brunswick and beyond,” said William Forrestall, Interim Chair of the Board of Directors for the New Brunswick Museum. “As we celebrate Don’s substantial contributions as a researcher, curator, and science communicator, we sincerely appreciate the legacy he has created in advancing our understanding of the natural world.”

The issue covers a diverse range of topics, reflecting Dr. McAlpine’s broad interests and collaborations. Several of the papers delve into the dynamics of vertebrate species populations affected by human activity, such as River Otter in Prince Edward Island, Moose in mainland Nova Scotia, and occurrences of Gray Treefrog and Eastern Painted Turtle in urban settings in New Brunswick. Others report new findings on the diversity and ecology of groups of organisms as diverse as slime moulds, molluscs, and mushrooms.

Several of the articles include research findings originating from BiotaNB, an ambitious NBM project conceived and led by Don. Initiated in 2009, BiotaNB bringstogether biodiversity specialists, students, volunteers, and artists for two weeks of intensive field studies each year in New Brunswick’s protected natural areas. Its main objective is to create a base of knowledge supporting the conservation of species and ecosystems in the province, while providing unique opportunities for student involvement and interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists and artists.

For more information and to access the special issue of The Canadian Field-Naturalist, click here.


About New Brunswick Museum

The New Brunswick Museum is the oldest continuing museum in Canada, dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich history, art, and natural heritage of New Brunswick. With a commitment to education, research, and community engagement, the NBM serves as a hub for exploration, learning, and appreciation of New Brunswick’s vibrant past and present. To learn more, visit


For more information:

Vanessa Burley

Duke Creative Collective

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