Dr. Greenwood’s Research Team

Students and research associates in my research group have access to a comprehensive array of equipment and facilities. The lab includes facilities funded by grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Manitoba Research Innovation Fund, with additional resources provided by Brandon University, industrial partners, and NSERC.

  • If you are interested in joining my research group as a graduate student, opportunities are available at Brandon University for Masters (MSc) students through our MSc program ‘MELS’.
  • Interested students please note that acceptance by me of new graduate students is subject to both matching of your prior skills and experience with a project, AND support funds being in place for each student.
    • I currently have no funds for student stipends for a 2022 or 2023 commencement.
  • New students will be considered subject to normal vetting of academic preparation (i.e., have a suitable background and interest in my research questions) and GPA as per Brandon University MELS criteria.

Research Personnel:

Cathy L. Greenwood — B.Sc. (Hons., Palaeobiology) University of Saskatchewan, graduate work Monash University – Palynology Research Assistant (Oct 2020—Oct 2023).

  • Cretaceous and Cenozoic palynology (spores & pollen) and fossil plant microscopy.
  • Olympus BX51 and MVX10 microscope bookings and general operations.
  • Technical assistance on the nodosaur gut content project (with Dr. Caleb Brown at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology).

Current Students:

Nidhi Utkarshbhai Patel — B.Sc. Hons (Biology), BU; M.Sc. student, Brandon University Sept. 2021 –

  • Nidhi first joined the Greenwood lab in September 2020 for an undergraduate thesis
    • For her Honours thesis Nidhi analyzed the microflora (spores & pollen) of the early Paleocene Goodlands member of the Turtle Mountain Formation, southeastern Manitoba.
    • Nidhi’s paper from this research is now published in the journal Palynology.
  • Nidhi commenced a Masters in the Greenwood lab September 2021
    • her Masters project is a palynological (spore-pollen) analysis of a K-Pg section on Vancouver Island, BC (Oyster Bay Formation), that may include the Iridium anomaly from the end-Cretaceous extinction event impactor.
    • Nidhi was awarded in 2022 a NSERC scholarship, and the Winifred Goldring award from the Association for Women Geoscientists and the Paleontological Society, presented to an outstanding female student pursuing a career in paleontology.
    • Her project includes assistance from Dr. Jen Galloway (adjunct Prof. BU Geology; Chief Palaeontologist, Geological Survey of Canada, Calgary), Dr Sandy McLachlan (U Victoria), Dr Vera Popselova (U of Minnesota), and Greenwood Lab’s Cathy Greenwood.
    • Funding for Nidhi’s project includes a research grant to Nidhi from the Canadian Association of Palynologists (1 of only 2 awarded in 2022) and a MAPS award to Nidhi from the Paleontological Society.
      • Mid-America Paleontology Society (MAPS) Outstanding Student Research Awards are given to the top three proposals each year.

    Janelle Vachon — B.E.Sc. (Physical Sciences), BU; M.Sc. student, Brandon University 2018 –

    • Thesis topic: Insect herbivory, paleoclimate and paleoecology of the early Eocene Whipsaw Creek and McAbee macrofloras, British Columbia.
      • Manitoba Graduate Scholarship recipient for 2018-2019.
      • 1st prize for her research poster at the 2019 Prairie Universities Biological Symposium at the University of Manitoba.
    • Fall 2018 & Summer 2019; field work at Whipsaw Creek BC, assisted by Ken Pugh and Greenwood lab graduate students Jessica and Markus.
    • Spring 2019; research collaboration visit to Currano Lab, University of Wyoming
    • Spring to Summer 2020; analysis of the McAbee leaf collection (with S. Schira) made by Greenwood lab alumni Alex Lowe, Markus Sudermann, and Dr. Christopher West.

    Recent Students and Research trainees:

    Jessica E. Kalyniuk — B.Sc. (Geography), BU; M.Sc. student, Brandon University Sept. 2019 –

    • Jessica joined the Greenwood Lab Fall 2019, and is working on the nodosaur gut content project with Dr. Caleb Brown at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology (Alberta).
    • Jessica was awarded a C$3093 RTMCS Student Research Program grant and a grant from the Paleontological Society of US$1400 for her project “Dietary analysis of the preserved gut contents of Borealopelta markmitchelli” to work with Dr. Caleb Brown at the RTMP and for field work and related research support.
    • a paper on the diet content research with Jessica as a coauthor is now published in Royal Society Open Science.
    • over the past year Jessica reviewed the Late Albian Gates Formation macroflora and microflora (Grande Cache member) to assess whether B. markmitchelli was a selective feeder.
      • fieldwork in Grande Cache Alberta funded by student research grants from the Paleontological Society (USA) and the Dinosaur Research Institute (AB).
    • Jessica was awarded a NSERC CGS-M scholarship for her 2nd year.
    • Thesis defense April 29th 2022 – Jessica passed!

    Sandra Schira — B.E.Sc. (Physical Sciences), BU; NSERC USRA summer 2020

    • Sandra joined the Greenwood Lab to work on 2 projects over the 2020 summer:
      • with Janelle on the McAbee leaf collection for assessing insect leaf damage.
      • with Jessica on analysis of the Albian age Gates Formation macroflora as a source of food for the nodosaur herbivorous dinosaur Borealopelta markmitchelli.
    • Sandra moved to Germany in October 2020 to start a Masters (MSc) in Environmental Geography at the University of Bayreuth.

    Markus Sudermann — B.Sc. (Hons) Geology BU; M.Sc. Brandon University 2019

    • MSc Thesis topic: Palynology and palaeoecology of the Early Eocene Margaret Formation, Stenkul Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut (provisional title).
      • Co-project PIs; Dr Jennifer Galloway (GSC/NRC-Calgary) and Dr Lutz Reinhardt (BGR).
      • NSERC CGS-M recipient 2017-2018; Manitoba Graduate Scholarship recipient 2018-2019.
    • Spring 2018; the Paleontology Society awarded Markus the Elvira and Bob Gastaldo Deciphering Earth History Award in Applied Paleobotany (US$1200), which recognizes an outstanding proposal that focuses on the application of paleobotanical techniques to the fossil record and history of life.
    • Summer 2017; Field work July 2017 on Ellesmere Island with Germany’s Federal agency ‘Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe’ (BGR) and the Geological Survey of Canada (NRC), funded by BGR under BGR’s expedition CASE 19 (Circum-Arctic Structural Events).
    • Spring 2017; Markus was granted a Northern Student Training program (NSTP) award for his July 2017 field season at Stenkul Fiord on southern Ellesmere Island.

    Christopher K. West — B.Sc. (Hons) Paleobiology U Sask; Ph.D. University of Saskatchewan 2019

    • Dr. West is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta in the Reyes Lab. West’s research website is here.
    • Summer 2017; Field work July 2017 on Ellesmere Island with Germany’s Federal agency ‘Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe’ (BGR) and the Geological Survey of Canada (NRC), funded by BGR under BGR’s expedition CASE 19 (Circum-Arctic Structural Events).
    • Spring 2017; Christopher was awarded a graduate student grant by the Geological Society of America for a collaboration with Alex Lowe for research on McAbee. In addition he was granted a Northern Student Training program (NSTP) award for his July 2017 field season at Stenkul Fiord on southern Ellesmere Island.
    • Dissertation: Early Eocene Arctic climate from macrofloras from Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada; PhD successfully defended August 9th 2019!
    • NSERC PGS-D and CGS-D recipient.

    Alexander J. Lowe — B.Sc., University of Utah; M.Sc. Brandon University 2018.

    • MSc Thesis: Variation in plant community composition and climate at the Early Eocene McAbee fossil beds, British Columbia.
      • Chapters of his thesis were published in the journals Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences and in Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology!
      • Alex was awarded grants for his Masters research at McAbee from SEPM (US$2500) and the Paleontological Society (US$800).
        • He was placed in the top 3 applicants by the Paleo. Soc., receiving a Mid-American Paleontology Society (MAPS) Outstanding Student Research Award!
      • Alex moved September 2018 to Caroline Strömberg’s lab at the University of Washington in Seattle for his PhD.

    Ashley Greenley — B.Sc. Botany, BU, M.Sc., Brandon University.

    • Thesis: Climate distribution and effects of climate change for Manitoba endangered plants.
    • Ashley successfully defended her MSc thesis June 27, 2016, and is now working for Nature Conservancy Canada in Brandon.
    • prior to her MSc, Ashley had worked as a Research Assistant, collecting data on the project Taxonomic assessment of Manitoba fossil woods (funded by BU Research Council).

    Markus Sudermann — B.Sc. (Hons) Geology BU

    • Thesis: Palaeoclimate of the McAbee fossil site using the census collection approach.
    • Completed field work July-August 2015 (student field assistant, funded by the BU Student Union, ‘BUSU’).
    • Thesis work January – June 2016.

    Other notable alumni from the Greenwood lab.

    Cale Gushulak — B.Sc. Biology (Honours BU), Brandon University, Sept. 2013 – April 2014.

    Christopher K. West — B.Sc. Paleobiology (Honours), University of Saskatchewan, undergraduate thesis Sept. 2012 – April 2013.

    Rachael L. Keefe — B.Sc. (Hons), PhD, Victoria University (Melbourne)

    S. Bruce Archibald — B.Sc., SFU, Ph.D. (2007) Harvard – NSERC Research Associate, Simon Fraser University & Brandon University

    Mark J. Scarr — B.Sc. (Hons), PhD, Victoria University (Melbourne)

    Robin Y. Smith — B.A., M.A. Univ. Victoria (BC), Ph.D., University of Saskatchewan

    Mackenzie Desautels — B.Sc. (Environmental Science / Geology) Brandon University, Honours (Geology), Sept. 2010 – April 2011.

    Colin Sproat — B.Sc. (Hons, Geology) Brandon University, MSc & PhD Western (NSERC USRA with Greenwood)

    Robin Wilson — B.Sc. University of Saskatchewan, NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award*.

    David. C. Steart — B.Sc. (Hons) LaTrobe Dip.Ed. LaTrobe Ph.D. Victoria University (2004)

    Anthony Vadala — B.Sc. (Hons), Melbourne, Ph.D. Melbourne – ARC-funded Postdoc, Victoria University, Melbourne

    Patrick T. Moss — B.Sc. (Hons), Melbourne, Ph.D. Monash – ARC-funded Postdoc, Victoria University, Melbourne


    Websites of Professional Societies

    American Geophysical Union
    Botanical Society of America
    Canadian Botanical Association
    Geological Association of Canada
    Geological Society of America
    International Organisation of Palaeobotany

    Other useful websites

    Links for palaeobotanists