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 many 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.

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

Lizard Lovin

November 3, 2021 1:19 pm

‘Tis the season: northern alligator lizards are busy making little lizards. Have you seen alligator lizards mating? If so, please take note how […]

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November 3, 2021 1:19 pm

Every bit of help is welcome when controlling exotic species—at least we have a few exotics eating others. Domestic cats are obvious predatory […]

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The Early Bird

November 3, 2021 12:33 pm

Many photos have circulated in the last year showing an American kestrel feeding on common wall lizards. It is so nice to see […]

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The Yard Birds

November 3, 2021 12:24 pm

Why wouldn’t you want a garden full of birds and their songs? My city garden is alive with birds—not rock pigeons, European starlings […]

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Fishy Photo

October 26, 2021 3:16 pm

While cleaning out files for the move of our offices (and the entire Royal BC Museum collection), I found an old black and […]

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