In recent years, there has been an increased awareness of the value of fossilized remains of freshwater sponges in Quaternary paleo-ecological reconstructions. Because the taxonomy and ecology of extant forms have been clarified, and because a well-defined fossil record exists that exhibits continuity with extant species, the stage is set for wide-spread utilization of freshwater sponge remains in Quaternary environmental reconstructions. This paper presents an introduction to the freshwater sponges, techniques for their utilization in Quaternary paleo-ecological studies, and summarizes some of the most recent work performed in North America.
The Steinhammer Club, formed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1857 was the direct precursor of the Natural History Society of New Brunswick which became a major influence in studies of natural science east of Montreal. Two club members, G.F. Matthew and CF. Hartt, became distinguished geologists in the North American geoscience community and contributed significantly to our understanding of the geology of eastern Canada. Matthew, a charter member of the Royal Society of Canada, published more than 200 scientific papers. Hartt, who later directed the Geological Survey of Brazil, gained early experience studying Carboniferous fossils near Saint John. Bothmen, along with fellow club members and their colleague L.W. Bailey, advanced pre-Confederation geology in New Brunswick and assisted work by the Geological Surveyof Canada through to the twentieth century.