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Graham Young and coral

The magnificent rocks of New Brunswick have inspired many people to study rocks professionally and for personal interest. Graham Young is one of New Brunswick’s geological exports. Growing up in Fredericton, Young studied at the University of New Brunswick and the University of Toronto. He has gone on to become the Curator of Geology and Paleontology at the Manitoba Museum.

Young’s earlier studies specialized in the study of New Brunswick’s fossil corals and have broadened to include research on ancient environments, ecosystems, and unusual fossils such as jellyfish and horseshoe crabs. While a graduate student at the University of New Brunswick Dr. Young and his research supervisor Dr. Jim Noble studied the structure and diversity of the Silurian coral reef environment. Fieldwork to locate and measure the rocks preserving the reefs was followed by meticulous description of the coral species. Coral fossils are often examined by thinly slicing the specimens to observe their structure under the microscope. Corals are often colonial organisms. A coral ‘head’ is comprised of hundreds of small cups, each containing a coral polyp. Only by examining the detailed fossil structure can the organisms be identified and described.