Dr. Jean Bernard Caron in Cambrian Country. The renowned fossil expert will be discussing the East Kootenay’s fossil record at the Cranbrook History Centre Thursday

Dr. Jean Bernard Caron in Cambrian Country. The renowned fossil expert will be discussing the East Kootenay’s fossil record at the Cranbrook History Centre Thursday

Come back to the Cambrian

Renowned fossil expert presenting at Cranbrook History Centre’s latest public lecture, July 21

  • Jul. 8, 2016 4:00 p.m.

Barry Coulter

One of Canada’s foremost “rock stars” (pun intended) is coming to Cranbrook this month, with some special information about the deep past under our feet.

Dr. Jean Bernard Caron will be speaking at the Royal Alexander Hall, Thursday, July 21, in the third installment of the Cranbrook History Centre’s public lecture series on the East Kootenay’s fossil heritage and paleontological past. Events begin at 7 p.m.

Dr. Caron is the Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto. He is one of Canada’s foremost experts on fossils.

Dr. Caron’s area of expertise is the fossilization and ecology of animals that lived during the Cambrian “explosion” of diversity around 540 to 485 million years ago. He leads regular fieldwork activities during the summers to recover fossils of these animals from the Burgess Shale in the Rocky Mountains. And he’s the driving force behind the creation of a new gallery at the prestigious ROM — which will be known as “The Dawn Of Life.”

But Dr. Caron’s subject of discussion in Cranbrook will very much close to home. He is returning to the area to follow up on a significant fossil find recently discovered in the Fort Steele area. Along with Dr. Bob Gaines, Dr. Mark Webster and Dr. Gabriela Mangano, the team looked at previously discovered species and possible new species, and assessed possible soft bodied created indigenous to this area during Cambrian time. Dr. Caron will be holding forth on that at the public lecture

Public attendance at other lectures in the series — for Dr. Robert Gaines last month and Dr. Richard Hebda earlier this year — has proved that public interest in our fossil heritage is quite strong. This coming lecture should prove to be no exception.