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Dr. Marianne Mader - Co-Founder & Board Member, STEAMLabs Community Makerspace. Toronto, ON, CA

Dr. Marianne Mader

Managing Director, Earth & Space/Fossils & Evolution, Royal Ontario Museum | Co-Founder & Board Member, STEAMLabs Community Makerspace

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Cultivating curiosity. Inspiring passion for exploration. Empowering people to engage with science & tech.





ROM Scientist: Marianne Mader Trek Talks: Bridging Science and the Arts | TIFF Live




Marianne Mader has dedicated her career to sharing her love for space exploration through innovative public engagement, participatory education, planetary science research, and science communication. Currently the Managing Director of Earth & Space / Fossils & Evolution at the Royal Ontario Museum, she strives to foster curiosity through learning experiences for all ages. As part of her mission to make education accessible and engaging, Marianne co-founded STEAMLabs, a non-profit community makerspace. STEAMLabs is located in Toronto's Centre for Social Innovation, and acts as a creative hub where people of different ages and abilities come together to learn and create using digital fabrication, coding, and more.

A leader in the space industry with over 13 years of research and field experience, Marianne has worked with the Canadian Space Agency, NASA, and MDA (Canada's largest space company). She has been a Visiting Lecturer at the International Space University, and her education includes a PhD in Planetary Science, MSc in Space Studies, and an MSc in Earth Sciences. A talented connector of networks, Marianne has the rare experience of managing teams and collaborating at the intersection of space agency, academic, industrial, and community stakeholders.

Industry Expertise (4)

Museums and Institutions



Program Development

Areas of Expertise (17)

Space Exploration

Planetary Science

Science Communication

Maker Culture


STEAM Education

Science Outreach to the Public


21st Century Learning

Citizen Science


STEM Education

Participatory Engagement



Innovating Learning


Accomplishments (4)

Advisory Board Member, Space Apps Challenge (professional)

Every year over one weekend, developers, makers, engineers and entrepreneurs take on NASA-designed challenges, creating solutions that range from silly to serious, fantastical to feasible. See:

Visiting Lecturer International Space University (professional)

The International Space University is an educational organization located in France that develops future leaders of the global space community. Marianne was a Visiting Lecturer for the graduate level professional development Space Studies Program in 2014 and 2015.

US Antarctic Service Medal (professional)

Awarded in 2013 for research contributions to the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET). Marianne is one of only 3 Canadians selected for this intensive research program since in began in 1976.

NSERC Scholarships (professional)

2012: PhD Fellowship, NSERC CREATE Technologies and Techniques for Earth & Space Exploration 2009: Postgraduate Scholarship (PGS-D) 2002: Postgraduate Scholarship (PGS-M)

Education (3)

Western University: PhD, Planetary Science & Exploration 2015

International Space University: MSc, Space Studies 2007

Memorial University: MSc, Geology 2005

Affiliations (1)

  • Co-Founder & Board Member, STEAMLabs

Media Appearances (7)

Trek Talks: Bridging Science and the Arts | TIFF Live

TIFF  online


TIFF's 2016 Trek Talks included a roundtable discussion on Star Trek, and how science can inspire art and art can inspire science. Marianne was a featured Guest Speaker on the Bridging Science & the Arts roundtable, along with Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen and Sonny Kohli, co-founder of Cloud DX.

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Planetary Scientist Dr. Marianne Mader - What She Said Tech

The Jewel Radio Network.  radio

What's it like performing with Chris Hadfield? What's the difference between a Meteorite and a Meteor-wrong? Dr. Marianne Mader, Managing Director for the Centres for Earth & Space and Fossils & Evolution at the Royal Ontario Museum joins us to discuss all things space.

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ROMCast (Podcast): Dr. Marianne Mader

Royal Ontario Museum  online


Managing Director of ROM Earth & Space and ROM Fossils & Evolution, Marianne is a Planetary Scientist with a love of science communication and working with researchers to excite people about space, the earth and science.

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Profile: New on the Ground (and in Space)

ROM Magazine  print


New on the Ground (and in Space) The ROM’s Dr. Marianne Mader discusses her inspirations and what’s next for her.

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#SciComm100: Marianne Mader

Science Borealis  online


Featured as part of 100 Voices for Canadian Science Communication. Quote: “Discovery lies at the heart of science and maker culture – both are fueled by our natural curiosity. Combining science and maker concepts creates the perfect storm for science communication by empowering learning by doing, motivation through tackling interest-driven problems, and having creative fun!” – Marianne Mader, geologist and planetary scientist, cofounder of STEAMLabs.

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Marianne Mader, geologist-planetary scientist-tinkerer

Kickass Canadians  online


Marianne Mader, geologist-planetary scientist-tinkerer Written by Amanda Sage on November 25, 2015 “What I love about the field of space is the concept of pushing boundaries and technologies.”

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Article: Women around the world prove science isn't just for 'boys with toys'

Mashable  online


Female scientists have joined together to disprove one astronomer's thesis: science is just "boys with toys."

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Event Appearances (6)

Speaker: STEAMLabs' Motivation

Chris Hadfield's Generator Show  Massey Hall


Keynote Presentation: Punching above our weight: Increasing space outreach impact

2017 SEDS Ascension Conference  University of Toronto, ON

Invited Speaker: Hunting Meteorites at the End of the World

2017 & 2016, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Monthly Meeting  Mississauga & Toronto, ON

Presenter: Museums & Planetary Missions

2017 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference  The Woodlands, TX

Keynote Presentation: Millennial Engagement - 21st Century Science Outreach

2016 Students for the Exploration of Space & Development Conference  Western University, London, ON

Presenter: The Maker Movement (in Museums)

2016 Toronto Maker Festival  Toronto Reference Library, Toronto, ON