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Presenters for Wings over the Rockies

Jean Bernard Caron

Jean-Bernard Caron is presently the Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum, ROM. He was the lead researcher for the recent fossil find in Marble Canyon, Kootenay National Park.

A profound curiosity about fossils during his childhood led Jean-Bernard Caron to collect and curate his own personal fossil collection in his native France. By the age of 10, he knew he wanted to become a professional paleontologist. As a teenager, he often joined various professional field crews across Europe for summer field expeditions collecting fossils, and the experience gained as a volunteer field assistant led to an invitation from Desmond Collins, then Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at the ROM, to join his field crew at the famous Burgess Shale fossil deposit in British Columbia in 1998. This was his first visit to Canada, and he returned to the Burgess Shale as a ROM volunteer for the following two summer field seasons.

Early in 2014, there was an extraordinary discovery of a new fossil deposit in Kootenay National Park. This new fossil assemblage is about the same age as the famous Burgess Shale deposit in Yoho National Park, and has the potential to become at least as significant. Since it was discovered by Charles Walcott in 1909, the Burgess Shale has remained the main source of information about Cambrian marine life – animals that lived about 505 million years ago.