Curator of Plants and Sustainability

Museum Search & Reference

The Position: Associate Curator, Curator, or Senior Curator of Plants


ROM seeks an innovative and collaborative Curator to build, interpret, and share the Museum’s plants collection and to be an engaging spokesperson for the importance of green plants, including vascular plants, pteridophytes, bryophytes, and algae. The Curator of Plants will initiate and develop transdisciplinary exhibitions and public programs, collaborate with community groups and stakeholders, and demonstrate exceptional leadership, listening, and communication skills. Recognizing multiple voices and types of authority, the position will encourage and educate the public at all levels of interest, as well as train the next generation of plant biologists. The Curator will conduct conceptually driven, collection-based research in botanical systematics, ecology, and evolution in the context of plant conservation and plants’ role in sustainability and human society. Candidates’ collection-based research program will integrate into the highly collaborative and interdisciplinary research of ROM’s Department of Natural History and complement the Museum’s art and cultural disciplines.

The successful candidate will be a high-level, practicing scientist with a graduate degree, who has achievements in the field, has published, embarked on a successful career, and is now interested in having a more public-facing role. There may be opportunities for university cross-appointment as well as eligibility for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) funding in support of research.


Education & Experience

·        A graduate degree in plant systematics, plant ecology, or plant conservation biology, and well versed in plant taxonomy and phylogenetic methods for analyzing DNA, knowledge of morphological datasets, phylogenomics, comparative genomics, evolutionary biology, or historical biogeography

·        Two years postdoctoral or equivalent experience within a large museum, university, NGO or government department, or a related environment, including working with internal and external stakeholders and partners

·        Experience proposing and developing museum exhibitions and public programs

·        Interest in science communication and outreach, and eager to engage with the public; a strong public speaker

·        International, cross-cultural and/or Indigenous experience

·        A record of original research and peer-reviewed publications or catalogues and eligibility for university cross-appointment

The ROM Curator will:


·        Lead collaboratively within multi-disciplinary exhibition teams and with educators, programmers, and designers to integrate plant sciences into current and future development, interpretation, and installation of special exhibitions and permanent galleries involving botany as well as the intersection of art, culture, and nature.

·        Passionately engage the public, fostering understanding and dialog about the importance of plants as fundamental to the well-being and long-term sustainability of the Earth and humankind. Create impactful programs, panels, and publications that engage both experts and broad audiences, and enhance recognition of the central role plants play in ecosystems and human society.

·        Conduct conceptually driven, collection-aligned, original research on the systematics and evolution of green plants with a breadth of interests that may include plant ecology, ethnobotany, conservation biology, global environmental and climate change, pollinator interactions, and sustainability; Develop a program of externally funded scholarly research and publications that is accessible and relevant on multiple levels, including to a broad public audience.

·        Partner with communities to develop exhibitions and programs, recognizing multiple voices and sources of authority; foster collaborative relationships and projects in close collaboration with stakeholders across disciplines and departments, as well as external partners.

·        Establish a vision and five-year plan for continuing to develop ROM’s extraordinary Green Plant Collection.

·        Be a dynamic and effective communicator, and strong spokesperson for the importance of plants.

·        Participate in fundraising activities to support the growth and development of ROM’s strategic initiatives, programming, and research.

·        May engage in university teaching and/or supervision of graduate students and interns.

·        Supervise, train, and monitor contract or part-time staff, volunteers, interns, and students working in the collections and in the laboratory (onsite), and in the field (offsite).

·        Maintain professional affiliations in scholarly, scientific, and museum curatorial organizations, and professional societies.


Additional Assets and Experience may include:


Knowledge of museum ethics standards
Experience in plant conservation and sustainability
Herbarium curation
Digitization of botanical collections
Image collections and image banks
Contemporary floristics and phytogeography
Botanical history
Cultural uses of plants
A proven record of successful grant applications and/or donor and sponsor development


·        Salary range is $68,487 CAD to $146,234 CAD per annum (commensurate with rank and experience)

·        Benefits include:

o   Medical and dental plan, life insurance, long-term disability insurance

o   Health Spending Account and fitness facility discounts

o   Pension plan

o   22-days of vacation entitlement and personal days

o   Employee Assistance Program

·        NOTE: This is a unionized position, and the Curator of Plants & Sustainability will be a member of the ROM Curatorial Association (ROMCA).


Apply in confidence


To apply, send the following materials to Ida Tomlin, Senior Search Consultant, Museum Search & Reference at:


1) A cover letter expressing interest in this particular position, giving brief examples of past experiences and salary requirement

2) A résumé or curriculum vitae

3) The names and contact information of at least three references and your professional relationship


Application deadline is September 11, 2023.


References will not be contacted without prior permission of the applicant. For additional information, visit: Short-listed candidates will be asked to provide publication samples. Nominations are welcome.


Diversity Statement

At ROM, equity, diversity, and inclusivity are foundational to institutional success. ROM seeks to foster a workplace that reflects the full breadth of the communities served and welcomes applications from women, racialized persons/BIPOC, Indigenous/Aboriginal People of North America, 2SLGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.

Accessibility Statement

ROM is committed to fair and accessible employment practices. Upon request, suitable accommodations are available under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) to applicants invited to an interview.

COVID Statement

The Museum recognizes its heightened duty to protect employees from health and safety risks during the current pandemic. As such, an offer of employment shall be conditional on proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination with a vaccine series approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization.

ROM is an agency of the Government of Ontario |

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