After receiving a PhD in Forest Biology and Management in 2007, Tyler joined the Royal Alberta Museum as Curator of Invertebrate Zoology in January. He holds advanced degrees in Entomology, Ecology and Forest Management and has over 10 years of research experience in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Along with a keen interest in biodiversity conservation, Dr Cobb's current research focuses on the ecological values of beetles and the consequences of forest disturbances like wildfire and natural resource extraction.
As the "bug" Curator, Dr Cobb is responsible for the museum's collection of insects, spiders and other invertebrates and for managing the live Bug Room Gallery. In addition, Dr Cobb coordinates the museum's activities associated with the ABMI (Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute) project. Dr Cobb has authored numerous research articles and regularly lectures on topics such as biodiversity, forest ecology and conservation biology at the University of Alberta and at various institutions throughout the province.
Tyler also studied the burned-out area of Chisholm, the northern Alberta hamlet which was partially lost to wildfire during the blazing summer of 2001. By studying a certain species of fire-loving beetles hard at work in the burned and decaying trees, he was able to determine that the insects' droppings play a vital role in replenishing soil nutrients that help plants regenerate after a fire.
Added: 28 January 2009