FestEVOLVE 2014

Celebrating the Evolution of Life

February 12-23, 2014

Included with museum admission or membership

Did you know mushrooms are more related to animals than plants? The tree of life is filled with intriguing connections and links, thanks to natural selection. Diversity on the planet is guided by the principles of natural selection and evolution, made famous by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace.

Join us in celebrating the theories, the people who introduced the world to these concepts, and the evidence of evolution through the fossil record. Museum tours, activities, and crafts will have an evolutionary focus, including creating your own fossils, DNA extraction demos, and touring our neighbour, the Pacific Museum of Earth.

All FestEVOLVE activities are appropriate for a variety of ages.

Museum Programming

Museum Tours:

  • Weekdays, Feb 12-21, at 3pm
    Join us for a special 1 hour tour, with 30 minutes at the Beaty Museum, and 30 at the Pacific Museum of Earth. Walk through the history of evolution, natural selection, fossils, and geology.
  • Weekends, Feb 12-23, at 11:30am and 3pm
    On this thought-provoking evolution tour, stories focus on biodiversity of the past, how species change and survive over time, evolution in the modern world, and what we know about relationships among living things – including how humans fit in.

DNA Extraction Demonstration: Daily at 12:30 p.m.
Join us for a demonstration of DNA Extraction. You’ll see how you can pull DNA out of a kiwi!

Puppet Show: Weekends at 10:30 a.m.
In ancient seas, lots of unusual animals evolved to live in oceans. Journey through time with Harriet, a curious tortoise, and discover prehistoric organisms through the fossil record.

Craft: “Pressing Paleontology”: Throughout the day
Learn how to make a trace fossil and take one home.

Scavenger Hunt: Throughout the day

Talks and Events

Bake a cake for Charles Darwin or Alfred Russel Wallace
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.

It’s Darwin’s birthday, but it’s a great time to celebrate A.R. Wallace too! Bake and decorate a cake in an evolution or ecology theme to impress these scientists from the past. FREE and open to all competitors and spectators. Prizes and bragging rights will be awarded. Bring a plate and fork. See our Flickr page for inspirations from past contests.

Please note: Set up can start as early as 4:00 p.m. All of the cakes are prepared by volunteers; therefore, the Beaty Biodiversity Museum has no control over and takes no responsibility for taste, contents, or food-safe handling procedures.

Biogeography and A.R. Wallace
Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • 1:00 p.m.: Alfred Russel Wallace: a journey into adventure, discovery, and evolution with Greg Bole
    Talk: Meet in the Allan Yap TheatreAlfred Russel Wallace was the second person to conceive of the idea of evolution by natural selection. Charles Darwin had the idea first, and supported it with two decades of research and examples, but Wallace should be rightfully recognized as an equal “Father of Evolution”. Come hear UBC’s own Dr. Greg Bole, an instructor in Zoology who teaches evolution, share the life and adventures of this pioneering naturalist who discovered thousands of new species in some of the most biodiverse and dangerous places on earth.

    You will learn about Wallace’s journeys of discovery to the heart of the Amazon and then to the Malay Archipelago, between the Indian and Pacific oceans, where he identified the faunal divide now termed the Wallace Line. We will also explore his role in the development of evolutionary theory, his interest in spiritualism and why he is also known as the Father of Biogeography.

  • 3:00 p.m.: A “Wallace Line” of the north? British Columbia as a centre for the study of bird diversification with Darren Irwin
    Talk: Meet in the Allan Yap TheatreAlfred Russel Wallace would have been fascinated by western Canada, where there are many narrow contact zones between related western and eastern forms of birds, many of which hybridize extensively where they meet. UBC’s own Dr. Darren Irwin, an Associate Professor in Zoology, will discuss how we can use these contact zones to learn about the processes that have shaped the biodiversity around us today. These include biogeographic processes such as Ice Age glaciations, as well as evolutionary processes such as natural selection and behavioral evolution.

    You will learn how seasonal migratory routes reflect ancient population expansions, how song evolution is central to the evolution of new species such as the Pacific Wren, and how our understanding of these patterns is important for the future conservation of birds.

The fossil record and BC Geoparks
Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • 1:00 p.m.: 65 million years of pre-history: The record of dinosaurs from the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary to the Upper Cretaceous of the Peace Region of British Columbia with Rich McCrea and Lisa Buckley
    Talk: Meet in the Allan Yap TheatreResults of recent and ongoing research on tracks and skeletal finds from the Mesozoic of northeastern British Columbia with an account of the recovery by helicopter of British Columbia’s first complete dinosaur in the summer of 2013 and the realization that the dinosaur excavation site is actually a bonebed instead of the remains of a single animal. Other topics will include recent findings with dinosaur tracksites in British Columbia including the newly discovered “Dinosaur Gorge” from the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary that contains the northernmost records of sauropods as well as one of the oldest records of avians in the world. Rich McCrea and Lisa Buckley are from the Peace Region Palaeontological Research Centre.
  • 2:00 p.m.: Fossil Road Show
    Meet under the whale skeletonBring a few of your favourite, unidentified, spectacular, or interesting fossils and rocks for show-and-tell with the experts and other fossil enthusiasts.
  • 3:00 p.m.: Tumbler Ridge Aspiring Geopark and the Potential for Other Global Geopark Proposals in British Columbia with Charles Helm
    Talk: Meet in the Allan Yap TheatreThere are just over 100 Geoparks currently in the Global Geopark Network. The majority of these Geoparks are in Asia with several others in Europe. To date only one Global Geopark has been established in North America (Stonehammer in New Brunswick). Several other aspiring Geopark concepts are being proposed in Canada, the vast majority of which are in eastern Canada. British Columbia has several unique and breathtaking geological landscapes, some of which have existing tourism infrastructure and which are functioning as de facto Geoparks, others may need some development. The Tumbler Ridge Aspiring Geopark may be an example that can be followed towards establishing a number of Global Geoparks in British Columbia. Charles Helm is from the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation.



Current Vancouver Paleontological Society (VanPS) Members receive free admission to the Beaty Biodiversity Museum for the month of February 2014, including all FestEVOLVE activities. Members will be required to provide ID that matches their VanPS registration name at the museum’s admission desk. This special offer is extended to VanPS members only.