Victoria Arbour

’09 MSc, ’14 PhD

From her hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Victoria received a BSc in Earth Science and Biology from Dalhousie University in 2006, writing her honours thesis on a fragmentary dinosaur specimen from the Sustut Basin of British Columbia. Summers at Dalhousie were spent identifying calcareous nannofossils in cores from the Scotian Slope for study of the biostratigraphy of offshore Nova Scotia. Victoria conducted her graduate studies at the University of Alberta, becoming an expert on ankylosaurid evolution and palaeobiology to earn her MSc and PhD with Specialization in Systematics and Evolution in 2008 and 2014, respectively. Ankylosaurids were large, armoured, herbivorous dinosaurs with club-like tails. Derived ankylosaurids roamed North America and Asia during the Late Cretaceous, although many more species have been described from Asia than North America. Is this difference in diversity real, or just apparent? Are North American ankylosaurids more diverse than currently recognized? How can we differentiate between taphonomic, intraspecific, and interspecific variation in these unusual dinosaurs? Victoria’s research tackled these questions and more, including the application of digital modeling to problems in vertebrate palaeontology. One such example was her study on the biomechanics of hypothesized tail-clubbing behaviour in ankylosaurids, using functional dynamics to calculate impact forces and finite element analyses to measure stress distribution.

Additionally, Victoria was involved in writing, presentation, artwork, and computed tomography (CT) scanning for Dino 101. After completing her PhD, she worked at the Paleontology Research Lab in collaboration with North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and North Carolina State University, and then was a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Evans Lab at the Royal Ontario Museum and University of Toronto. As of 2018, she became Curator of Palaeontology at Royal BC Museum with an adjunct appointment in Earth and Ocean Sciences at University of Victoria.



Torices, A., Wilkinson, R., Arbour, V.M., Ruiz-Omenaca, J.I., and Currie, P.J. 2018. Puncture-and-pull biomechanics in the teeth of predatory coelurosaurian dinosaurs. Current Biology 28(9): 1467–1474. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.03.042

Arbour, V.M. and Currie, P.J. 2016. Systematics, phylogeny and palaeobiogeography of the ankylosaurid dinosaurs. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 14(5): 385–444. DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2015.1059985

Martin-Silverstone, E., Witton, M.P., Arbour, V.M., and Currie, P.J. 2016. A small azhdarchoid pterosaur from the latest Cretaceous, the age of flying giants. Royal Society Open Science 3: 160333. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160333

Arbour, V.M. and Currie, P.J. 2015. Ankylosaurid dinosaur tail clubs evolved through stepwise acquisition of key features. Journal of Anatomy 227(4): 514–523. DOI: 10.1111/joa.12363

Arbour, V.M., Currie, P.J., and Badamgarav, D. 2014. The ankylosaurid dinosaurs of the Upper Cretaceous Baruungoyot and Nemegt formations of Mongolia. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 172: 631–652. DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12185

Burns, M.E., Coy, C., Arbour, V.M., Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. 2014. The Danek Edmontosaurus Bonebed: new insights on the systematics, biogeography, and palaeoecology of Late Cretaceous dinosaur communities. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 51: v–vii. DOI: 10.1139/cjes-2014-0217

Arbour, V.M., Burns, M.E., Bell, P. R., and Currie, P.J. 2014. Epidermal and dermal integumentary structures of ankylosaurian dinosaurs. Journal of Morphology 275: 39–50. DOI: 10.1002/jmor.20194

Bell, P.R., Fanti, F., Currie, P.J., and Arbour, V.M. 2014. A mummified duck-billed dinosaur with a soft-tissue cock’s comb. Current Biology 24: 70–75. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.11.008

Arbour, V.M. and Currie, P.J. 2013. The taxonomic identity of a nearly complete ankylosaurid skeleton from the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Cretaceous Research 46: 24–30. DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2013.08.008

Arbour, V.M. and Currie, P.J. 2013. Euoplocephalus tutus and the diversity of ankylosaurid dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada, and Montana, USA. PLOS ONE 8(5): e62421. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062421

Arbour, V.M., Lech-Hernes, N.L., Guldberg, T.E., Hurum, J.H., and Currie, P.J. 2013. An ankylosaurid dinosaur from Mongolia with in situ armour and keratinous scale impressions. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 58(1): 55–64. DOI: 10.4202/app.2011.0081

Arbour, V.M. and Currie, P.J. 2012. Analyzing taphonomic deformation of ankylosaur skulls using retrodeformation and finite element analysis. PLOS ONE 7(6): e39323. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039323

Miyashita, T., Arbour, V.M., Witmer, L.M., and Currie, P.J. 2011. The internal cranial morphology of an armoured dinosaur Euoplocephalus corroborated by X-ray computed tomographic reconstruction. Journal of Anatomy 219(6): 661–675. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2011.01427.x

Arbour, V.M. and Currie, P.J. 2011. Tail and pelvis pathologies of ankylosaurian dinosaurs. Historical Biology 23(4): 375–390. DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2011.563849

Arbour, V.M., Burns, M.E., and Currie, P.J. 2011. A review of pelvic shield morphology in ankylosaurs (Dinosauria: Ornithischia). Journal of Paleontology 85: 298–302. DOI: 10.1666/10-071.1

Arbour, V.M. and Currie, P.J. 2011. An istiodacylid pterosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Nanaimo Group, Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 48: 63–69. DOI: 10.1139/E10-083

Burns, M.E., Currie, P.J., Sissons, R.L., and Arbour, V.M. 2011. Juvenile specimens of Pinacosaurus grangeri Gilmore, 1933 (Ornithischia: Ankylosauria) from the Late Cretaceous of China, with comments on the specific taxonomy of PinacosaurusCretaceous Research 32: 174–186. DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2010.11.007

Arbour, V.M., Burns, M.E., and Sissons, R.L. 2009. A redescription of the ankylosaurid dinosaur Dyoplosaurus acutosquameus Parks, 1924 (Ornithischia: Ankylosauria) and a revision of the genus. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(4): 1117–1135. DOI: 10.1671/039.029.0405

Arbour, V.M. 2014. Systematics, evolution, and biogeography of the ankylosaurid dinosaurs [doctoral dissertation]. University of Alberta Education and Research Archive. DOI: 10.7939/R31N7XW06