6 December 2016

NB MUSEUM CURATOR WINS AWARD

Ossekeag Publishing - The Tides

Dr. Stephen Clayden is the 2016 recipient of the Alliance of Natural History Museum’s (ANHMC) Bruce Naylor Award. The award is given annually to an individual or individuals to recognize achievement of national or international significance in the field of natural history in Canada.
The award was presented to Dr. Clayden at the annual ANHMC reception hosted by the Speaker of the House on Parliament Hill on October 25. Well known in New Brunswick, Canada and internationally, Dr. Stephen Clayden is the Museum’s Research Curator and Head of the Botany and Mycology Section at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Nominated by his peers, Dr. Clayden has devoted a 30-year career to advancing understanding of the flora of Atlantic Canada. There is no other botanist in Canada with his breadth of knowledge of the vegetation of the Atlantic Canadian region. This is most evident in his varied publications that span fungi, through green plants to forest ecosystems. This deep understanding of New Brunswick forests has led directly to the creation of Protected Natural Areas in New Brunswick, as well as a namesake beetle, Thamiaraea claydenii, recently described from New Brunswick Silver Maple stands. A specialist on lichens, Dr. Clayden’s research has been mainly concerned with the floristics and biogeography of Atlantic Canada. Nonetheless, his output has also included studies of lichens from mountainous habitats as far afield as Snowdonia in North Wales and northeastern Iran.
Over the past three decades, as a museum curator, Clayden has daily fielded botanical questions from the public and the media, answering thousands of questions about the fungi and plants of the Atlantic region. Communicating botanical information has led to a long-term cross appointment at the University of New Brunswick and to teaching at the renowned Humboldt Field Research Institute in Maine. Although Dr. Clayden’s tutelage has encouraged a number of younger botanists to enter the field, his most lasting legacy may be his tireless efforts to develop and expand the herbarium resources of the New Brunswick Museum, which now numbers some 125,000 specimens.
The ANHMC is a national network of natural history museums and similar institutions dedicated to the preservation and understanding of Canada’s natural heritage and the enhancement of the benefits museums provide to the people of Canada.