Dr. Gavin Hanke

Curator of Vertebrate Zoology

Gavin Hanke joined the Royal BC Museum in 2004 after working at the Manitoba Museum and teaching in universities. Much of Gavin’s published work is based on his PhD which focused on fossil fishes (acanthodians and early shark-like fishes) of northwestern Canada from the Lower Devonian. He has described and named 10 new fossil fish species, and has another six new species descriptions still to publish.

Gavin has 28 publications, including two chapters in the Naturalist’s Guide to the Victoria Region, and 28 species entries in Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World’s Wildlife (2001), both aimed at a general audience. Currently, he’s working on a Royal BC Museum Handbook on freshwater fishes of BC and additional papers on fossil fishes in Canada.

Gavin also works with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to document marine fish distributions, and is working on a series of papers detailing many new species records and species range extensions along our coast. Gavin also works with the BC Ministry of Environment to collect and monitor exotic vertebrates, with a special interest in the role of the pet trade, angling industry and importation of live food fishes as a source of exotic/invasive animals.


PhD, University of Alberta, 2001

MSc, University of Manitoba, 1996

BSc, MSc, University of Manitoba, 1991

Areas of Interest

Specialty: Biogeography and biology of fishes; palaeoichthyology

Areas of Expertise: Fishes, extant and extinct

Exotic/invasive animals and the role of the pet trade in species introductions

Amphibian and reptile biology and biogeography

Contact Dr. Gavin Hanke

Email: ghanke@royalbcmuseum.bc.ca

Latest Articles

Information Transfer

February 29, 2016 12:36 pm

Whenever we receive new specimens at the RBCM, we hope to have enough collection data to make the specimen valuable to science. The […]

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Hybridized Humour

February 18, 2016 8:58 pm

It is always fun (as a sci-fi fan) to find things in the RBCM’s collection which take me away from tasks like fish […]

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Beyond These Four Walls

November 10, 2015 3:43 pm

Whether we notice or not, we rely on natural cycles for our very existence. While many pay scant attention to nature, it provides […]

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