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Monthly Meetings

Monthly Public Meetings of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club

The Hamilton Naturalist’s Club meets monthly, September through May, usually on the second Monday of each month. Meetings are held at 7:00 PM, at the Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd West, Burlington. Parking is free. We begin with socializing. The formal part of the meeting begins at around 7:30 pm.


HNC Monthly Meeting at RBG headquarters (Photo: Stephanie Lechniak-Cumerlato)

Monthly meetings can also been seen on our calendar along with other HNC events.


Date: Monday, January 9, 2016

Speaker: Becky Cudmore

Topic: Asian Carps: Their Threats and Canada’s Actions

Becky Cudmore is the Manager for Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Asian Carp Program as well as the department’s Senior Advisor on aquatic invasive species. Becky has a post-graduate degree in Zoology from the University of Toronto and degrees in Biology and Environmental Science from Trent University. Becky has worked on aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes for almost 20 years and was the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee award for her contributions and efforts to protect the Great Lakes from aquatic invasive species.

Asian carps are a group of four highly invasive freshwater fishes that are currently threatening the Great Lakes ecosystem. These species have been the focus of prevention, control and management efforts in both Canada and the United States. The talk will provide a background to Asian carps, the threat they pose and how Canada is working with partners within the Asian Carp Program to protect the Great Lakes.


Date: Monday, February 13, 2017

Speaker: Dr. Erin McCallum

Topic: Invasive fish and pollutants in Hamilton Harbour

Dr. Erin McCallum recently received her PhD at McMaster University in September 2016, and previously received her Bachelors at the University of Western Ontario in 2011. Working alongside Dr. Sigal Balshine, Erin has spent the last five years of her doctoral training studying how wastewater pollution affects fish behaviour and physiology in Hamilton Harbour and Cootes Paradise Marsh. Erin is passionate about conservation, and understanding how wild animals adapt to human stressors in their environments. She is active in many academic pursuits including research in ecotoxicology and behavioural ecology, teaching, and science communication.

Invasive species and pollutants are two major stressors in the Hamilton Harbour and the Cootes Paradise Marsh environments. Focusing on a relatively new invader in the Harbour, I will discuss the problem of the invasive round goby fish in the Great Lakes. I will then address how pollutants impact the invasive round goby in Hamilton Harbour, assessing changes in their population across time and their behavioural responses to different contaminants.


Date: Monday, April 10, 2017

Speaker: Jackie Prime, PhD

Topic: Always Looking Up Duration: 45-60mins

Researcher, Lecturer, Specialist in Primatology, Children’s Book Author

Like you, anthropologist and children’s book author, Jackie Prime is ready to implement change to make our world a more compassionate place. Feeling the impacts and experiencing the dramatic
social change driven by globalization, environmental change, economic crises, and growing
inequalities in basic human rights, we all see that people, animals, and the planet are suffering, but how can we implement lasting change? Is there a way to regain balance and reconnect? Are humans really separate from each other and from nature? Or is there a different story waiting to be told?

With over a decade of teaching and research experience studying the behaviours and cognitive
abilities of primates, Jackie’s view on humanity’s connection with nature is radically different from
most. Recognizing that humans are not superior to the rest of life on earth, Jackie shares with us in “Always Looking Up” that the foundation for compassionate living exists in humanity’s deep
connection with nature.

An engaging speaker, educator, and storyteller, Jackie’s conversational techniques connect with her audiences of all ages at an intimate and individual level, as she fuses her experiences growing up in Burlington with her real life adventures trekking through the rainforests of Thailand studying gibbons and macaques. She leads audiences to feel empowered to become active participants in a global society that respects and reveres nature, human diversity, and our planet, by understanding where we fit within a global system, even on a local level.

One of the few dedicated gibbon specialists in the world, Jackie is the Founder and Executive
Director of Prime Earth Education, a nonprofit organization that combines natural wildlife research, experiential education opportunities, and compassion-in-action projects to educate and empower people to become environmental stewards and humanitarians who understand that we are all
connected. She is also the author of the Gibby’s Great Adventure children’s book series that
introduces young readers to the world of gibbons and establishes a connection for children with
real animals and nature, through storytelling.

Learn more about Prime Earth at www.primeearthonline.org


Date: Monday, May 8, 2017

Speaker: Antonia Guidotti

Topic: Household pests or many legged guests?

Antonia Guidotti is an entomologist in the Department of Natural History at the Royal Ontario Museum. She identifies insects for the public, museums and other institutions, and responds to general inquiries about insects, as well as giving an occasional media interview on the “insecte du jour”.
She is a co-author of the ROM Field Guide to the Butterflies of Ontario and was a member of the working group that wrote the Butterflies of Toronto. For the last 5 years, she has helped to organize the scientific teams for the Ontario Bioblitzes in the watersheds around Toronto.
In her spare time, she is the Programme Coordinator for the Toronto Entomologists’ Association and is currently the President-Elect of the Entomological Society of Ontario.

Everyone has a few arthropods in their home. What are they? Why are they there? Should you be concerned about them? What are they eating? We’ll take a look at the diversity of domestic arthropods. This is your chance to see some (dead) specimens of arthropods that you may find in your home.

Some copies of the Butterflies of Ontario will be available for purchase ($20).