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Prehistoric climate change and alligators in the Arctic

David Greenwood Brandon University

Dr. David Greenwood, at the Princeton Chert fossil locality, near Princeton, B.C. photo: Brandon University

Dr. David Greenwood, a professor of Environmental Science at Brandon University (BU) has earned an international reputation for reconstructing the ancient world from fossil plants of the Eocene Epoch.

That was a time about 50 million years ago at the height of prehistoric global warming, a period involving significant reorganization of the world’s plant and animal life.

The world was so warm, great forests and diverse animals including alligators lived in the Canadian Arctic.

Dr. Greenwood’s research has wide applications for scientists and Canadians working to understand how modern-day climate change will affect plant and animal life.


Every summer during his time at BU, Dr. Greenwood and his students have been visiting fossil sites in British Columbia looking for plant, insect and mammal fossils – yielding several impressive discoveries.

Dr. Greenwood played a pivotal role in discovering two new prehistoric mammals which roamed North America 52 million years ago

“We discovered an ancient tapir relative, about the size of a large dog, and a hedgehog relative, smaller than a mouse,” he says.

“This is remarkable because very few fossil mammals of this geological age have been described before in Canada.”

Dr. Greenwood used fossils to reconstruct the forest setting and climate where the ancient animals lived. “We can gain insight into how the Earth was coping with a problem then that’s re-emerging now,” he says.

This past summer, the expedition yielded boxes and boxes of plant fossils along with some superb insect fossils, including a large saw fly.

Dr. Greenwood will talk about his impressive research to the world-renowned Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller, Thursday, February 18.

“It is a real honour to be a part of the Royal Tyrrell Museum’s 2016 Speaker Series, along with so many impressive paleontologists from across the continent and around the world,” says Dr. Greenwood.

“This is an opportunity to share some of the exciting and important research being done at Brandon University with a world-wide audience who are interested in current research and hot topics in palaeontology.”

The Royal Tyrrell Museum will post a video of the talk to YouTube.

Local residents will have an opportunity to hear Dr. Greenwood discuss his research on Friday, February 26 in an afternoon talk that is part of the BU Science Seminar Series.

The public is welcome to attend the talk, scheduled for 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm in Room 4-47 of the Brodie Building on the BU campus.

For more: Brandon University



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Cape Cod Kitchen Island

• The Green Spot’s distinctive furniture is imported from Indonesia.
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Today’s Throwback

Baptist church Feb 11 Bill Hillman collection

Baptist Church

Lorne Avenue and Eleventh Street, 1908

– Bill Hillman collection


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Sandra Parlow, co-owner, Lasting image

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