Selfie-style headshot of Dr. Brigit Tronrud smiling at the camera.

Dr. Brigit Tronrud

Dr. Brigit Tronrud earned her D.Phil in Earth Sciences from the University of Oxford (2022) specializing in paleontology and zoology, following her B.Sc. from the University of Chicago (2017). Her doctoral research focussed on living and fossil birds and the relationship between avian foot function and shape. She has worked and volunteered at natural history museums in Canada (Royal BC Museum), Norway (Oslo Naturhistorisk Museum), and the UK (Oxford University Museum of Natural History), which contributed to her wide range of collections experience. At the Manitoba Museum, Brigit is responsible for the management of all collections within Natural History, including specimen preparation, storage, documentation, conservation, and access.

Meet the team

Dr. Brigit Tronrud

Collections Management Specialist – Natural History

Dr. Brigit Tronrud earned her D.Phil in Earth Sciences from the University of Oxford (2022) specializing in paleontology and zoology, following her B.Sc. from the University of Chicago (2017). Her doctoral research focussed on living and fossil birds and the relationship between avian foot function and shape. She has worked and volunteered at natural history museums in Canada (Royal BC Museum), Norway (Oslo Naturhistorisk Museum), and the UK (Oxford University Museum of Natural History), which contributed to her wide range of collections experience. At the Manitoba Museum, Brigit is responsible for the management of all collections within Natural History, including specimen preparation, storage, documentation, conservation, and access.

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Aro van Dyck

Collections Technician – Natural History

Aro van Dyck earned her B.Sc. from the University of Manitoba, majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Entomology. She has also researched the diversity of wasps and bees Winnipeg’s greenspaces. As the Collections Technician for Natural History, she catalogues and cares for the conservation of plant, animal, and fossil specimens. When Aro is away from the Museum, she can be usually be found out looking for bugs.

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Cortney Pachet

Collections Technician – Human History

Cortney Pachet started working at the Manitoba Museum in 2001 as a tour guide while earning her a BA (Honours) from the University of Winnipeg. She quickly realized that she wanted a career in museums and pursued a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester. Cortney’s role as a collections technician involves documenting and researching artifacts in the Human History collections, as well as administering the museum’s collections management system.

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Carolyn Sirett

Senior Conservator

Carolyn Sirett received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba, Diploma in Cultural Resource Management from the University of Victoria, and Diploma in Collections Conservation and Management from Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario. Working at the Manitoba Museum since 2013, Carolyn’s role as the Senior Conservator is to ensure the long-term preservation of the Museum’s large and diverse collection of artifacts and specimens, and world-class dioramas through preventive maintenance techniques, remedial treatments, and exhibit development.

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Dr. Roland Sawatzky

Curator of History

Roland Sawatzky joined The Manitoba Museum in 2011. He received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Winnipeg, M.A. in Anthropology from the University of South Carolina, and Ph.D. in Archaeology from Simon Fraser University (2005). Roland conducts research, is responsible for acquisitions, and develops exhibits related to the settlement period in Manitoba, including the development of Winnipeg. His research interests include the social meaning of material culture, 19th Century settlement in Manitoba, life in the home, and historical archaeology.

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Dr. Joe Moysiuk

Curator of Palaeontology & Geology

Joe Moysiuk recently completed his doctoral dissertation at the University of Toronto and Royal Ontario Museum. His expertise centers on the oldest animal fossils and insights they provide about the evolution of major groups. Much of his research has focused on early arthropods, distant relatives of modern insects and spiders. Joe has taken part in paleontological field work across Canada, notably including major expeditions to the Burgess Shale in B.C. that have unearthed troves of new fossil species from the dawn of animal life. He has also enjoyed many opportunities to share these discoveries with the public, including through museum exhibitions and public talks. At the Manitoba Museum, Joe expands his previous research of rare fossil deposits exhibiting soft tissue preservation to Manitoba.

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Dr. Randy Mooi

Curator of Zoology

Dr. Mooi received his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Toronto working on the evolutionary history of coral reef fishes. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Fishes of the Smithsonian Institution, he was Curator of Fishes and Section Head of Vertebrate Zoology at the Milwaukee Public Museum. While there he participated in several expeditions to Indo-Pacific coral reefs for fish research. Dr. Mooi joined the Manitoba Museum in 2004, focusing on fish evolution and post-glacial biogeography of snakes, toads, and frogs in the province. He was also involved with data collection and production of the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas. His fieldwork has spanned the province, bringing him to the southern and northern borders of Manitoba and many remote places in between. Research has resulted in over 50 peer-reviewed publications including the description of well over a dozen species of fish new to science and a new fish family.

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Dave Finch

Curator of Archaeology

Dave is an archaeologist and ethnohistorian who currently works with communities in the Canadian Subarctic. He was born in Winnipeg and was raised in northern Manitoba and northwest Ontario. He is currently a PhD candidate at Memorial University, partnering with the Innu Nation to record their archaeological presence in Labrador. Dave caught the archaeology bug at the University of Winnipeg where he studied Manitoba’s culture history and human biology. Afterwards, he completed a Masters degree at Lakehead University on the experiences of Cree trappers with provincial wildlife law. He has also worked on the archaeology of mining camps, the fur trade, governments regulated land and water use, burial repatriation, and forensic cases. On this journey, he worked with our past Manitoba Museum Curators of Archaeology, Dr. Leigh Syms and Kevin Brownlee, on the Museum archaeology collections in the early 2000.

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Dr. Amelia Fay

Curator of Anthropology & the HBC Museum Collection

Amelia Fay is Curator of Anthropology and the HBC Museum Collection at the Manitoba Museum. She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba (2004), an MA in Archaeology (2008) from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), and her Doctoral degree from MUN (2016). Amelia’s doctoral research focused on Inuit-European contact along the Labrador coast, and her research interests have expanded to explore the effects of colonialism and Indigenous-European contact throughout Canada. As an anthropological archaeologist, she studies material culture to better understand the human experience, and finds ways to share knowledge and the Manitoba Museum’s collections with a wide range of audiences. Amelia joined the Museum in 2013, and researches and cares for more than 40,000 artifacts, primarily of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis origin.

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Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson

Curator of Botany

Dr. Bizecki Robson obtained a Master’s Degree in Plant Ecology at the University of Saskatchewan studying rare plants of the mixed grass prairies. After working as an environmental consultant and sessional lecturer, she earned her Ph.D. in Soil Science from the same University, focusing on phytoremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil using plants. Diana joined the Manitoba Museum team in 2003. She has continued to study rare prairie plants, documenting their distribution, habitat, and ecological relationships with other species. She also conducts research on prairie pollination and the conservation of wild crop pollinators, like bees and flower flies, in agroecosystems using wildflower plantings. Currently, she is working on a new Manitoba Flora publication to share her research and knowledge on the diversity of vascular plants in the province. When she has time, Diana also collects fungi, lichens, and mosses to document their distribution and habitat needs in Manitoba, and assess their rarity.

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Nancy Anderson

Collections Management Specialist – Human History

Nancy Anderson holds a B.A. (Hons) in History from the University of Winnipeg, and received her M.A. in Canadian Social History jointly from the University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba. She has over 30 years experience in museums in Manitoba and has worked at the Manitoba Museum since 2005. Nancy’s role includes all aspects of collections management within Human History. She also has responsibility for the library and archives collections and handles intellectual property requests. She has served as President of the Association of Manitoba Museums (AMM), and is currently an instructor for the AMM courses on Collections Management, Deaccessioning, and Education and Public Programming.

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Seema Hollenberg

Director of Research, Collections, & Exhibitions

Seema Hollenberg is the Director of Research, Collections, and Exhibitions for human and natural history research and collections. Seema’s Masters of Arts in Anthropology focused on Indigenous museum-based reconciliation, reclamation, and repatriation. With over 30 years institutional experience at leading Canadian museums and art galleries, Seema has led diverse and dynamic museum teams as a senior executive, project manager, and curator for community collaborations, collections care, and exhibitions. Seema recently led the gallery renewal and development for the Manitoba Museum’s Bringing Our Stories Forward, renewing four permanent galleries and introducing the new Winnipeg Gallery. As past Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Circle (IAC) to the Museum, Seema continues to support the IAC as a standing committee of the Museum Board of Governors, and also serves on the Museum Newcomers Advisory Committee, and the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee. She is Vice-President of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, and member of the Digital Museum of Canada Advisory Committee.

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