Florida softshell turtle, Apalone ferox, photo by J.D. Willson

Curator of Ichthyology

Royal Ontario Museum
Toronto, Canada
Closing Date
December 10, 2020

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) seeks a contract Curator for a period of four years. The Curator will work on collection-based research using the vast diversity presently housed in the ichthyology collections.

The ROM ichthyology collections has over one million specimens of approximately 7,000 species from around the world. The collection currently holds over 93,000 catalogued lots, including 124 holotypes and 1,045 paratypes, with additional types being added regularly through both in-house and collaborative research. The ROM houses the largest and most diverse collection of Canadian freshwater fishes in existence. Of the 232 known fish species in Canada, the ROM collection presently holds 212, or over 91%, and provides a critical tool for studies on disappearing wildlife. Highlights of the fish collection include the last Atlantic Salmon specimens from Lake Ontario before their extirpation in the 1850s; a Coelacanth from the Comore Islands; the world record Lake Trout from Lake Athabasca, Alberta; the Canadian record Muskellunge from the Moon River, Ontario; and one of the world’s smallest vertebrates, Trimmatom nanus from the Indian Ocean. One of the main strengths of the collection is the vast diversity of tropical freshwater fishes, including several families of catfishes and cichlids.

The contract curator will become a member of ROMCA and will be evaluated based on the same criteria as its current members, namely:

  • participating in the development of permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions, which participation carries with it responsibility for the accuracy of information and appropriate use of artifacts and specimens and their safety and security and participate in public programs and online public outreach;
  • service to the Museum including administrative duties and committee participation;
  • acquisition of material for addition to the Museum’s collections;
  • primary responsibility to make recommendations with respect to: (i) additions to the collections; (ii) disposals; (iii) standards relating to maintenance, use and safety of collection areas and other department spaces and facilities; (v) pursuit of research study programs, and the form of dissemination; (vi) staffing and budgeting and use of funds including trust funds and cross-appointment monies within the normal financial practices of the Museum; (vii) working environment;
  • research and activity and the acquisition of research funds;
  • dissemination of the results of scholarly endeavor through publication, permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions, public lecturing, and other suitable means of communication;
  • service to the public or private agencies, professional societies and associations, and the public, and other activities agreed upon by the Employee and the Employer;
  • carrying out all aspects of work in ways which will best reflect credit to the Museum, give due credit to individuals for the work they do, and provide ample evidence of responsible use of public or private funding.

Compensation includes $68,487 - $84,085 per annum governed by the ROMCA Collective Agreement (commensurate with rank and experience). Full benefit coverage includes medical & dental plan, life insurance, long-term disability, and pension

Canada’s largest and most comprehensive museum, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is globally recognized for its multidisciplinary collections, ground-breaking research and iconic architecture. Explored through the intersecting worlds of art, culture and nature, the ROM plays a vital role at the local, national and international levels in advancing knowledge, encouraging learning and inspiring a greater understanding of the world around us.


This position requires a PhD in an appropriate field. The position requires a specialty in freshwater fishes, with a particular interest in neotropical freshwater fishes and/or in Canadian freshwater fishes. The duties of the contract curator will follow the ROM Curatorial Association (ROMCA) collective agreement and will include inter alia, collections development through acquisitions (including field work conducted for such purposes) and donor cultivation, collections management and documentation, including disposals, field work appropriate to the discipline, fund-raising activities, public relations, departmental and museum programs, permanent galleries, temporary exhibitions and traveling exhibitions and displays, public lecturing, public programming and education, and public consultation.

To Apply

To apply in confidence, email:

  • letter expressing interest in this particular position;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • names of three (3) references with contact information.

Please submit your application by email ONLY, to: Human Resources Department, Royal Ontario Museum, at careers [at] rom.on.ca. Please quote Competition #2020-068 – Contract Curator in the subject line.

The ROM will begin reviewing applications on or after December 10, 2020. The posting will continue until the position is filled. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply for this international search.  However, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

The ROM is committed to fair and accessible employment practices. Upon request, suitable accommodations are available under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) to applicants invited to an interview.

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