Nerd Nite DC with NMNH and GoMRI - Located Offsite at Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring, MD
Nerd Nite DC with NMNH and GoMRI - Located Offsite at Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring, MD
WhenFriday, March 6, 2020, 7 – 9 PM
CategoriesAfter Five, Lectures & Discussions
SponsorNatural History Museum
Co-sponsorNerd Nite DC
VenueNatural History Museum
AccessibilityWheelchair accessible

Nerd Nite DC is partnering with the National Museum of Natural History and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) to shed some light on the Gulf of Mexico. From barcoding shellfish, to the bedroom antics of mahi mahi, to the failure-lined road to innovation and technology, three speakers from the GoMRI community will share their stories of successes and challenges diving in to better understand the impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and why it still matters today. Don't worry, if you get too sad there's plenty of booze to drown your sorrows, thanks to our venue Denizens!

"Failure! A Story of Invention" by Laura Chaibongsai
If at first your drifter sinks and your parachute fails, try try again. This is the story of inventing new oceanographic instruments, repeated failures, and the dedication of passionate scientists who are desperately trying to study the motion of the ocean.
Bio: By day, Laura Chaibongsai is the Program & Outreach Manager for the Consortium for Advanced Research on the Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment, a physical oceanography research group based at the University of Miami. By night, she is the co-boss of Nerd Nite Miami. Laura is a marine science nerd with a passion for engaging the community in current research through hands-on citizen science projects and interactive experiences.

"Diving into the DEEPEND: What Does the Midwater Have to Do With Anything?" by Laura Timm
When we think about the impact of disasters-at-sea, we tend to think of coasts, marshes, the ocean surface, and the ocean floor. But what about the midwater (the bit of the water column that sits in between the sea surface and the seafloor)? After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we realized how little we knew about this midwater ecosystem and our research team set out to find out what lives there. We discovered a highly connected ecosystem filled with a stunning array of biodiversity. Join us in diving into the DEEPEND!
Bio: Laura Timm has studied a wide variety of marine animals, including worms, sea urchins, squid, and shrimp (although her attention is currently turned toward parasites that cause disease in humans). She researches the relationship between genetics and environment to better understand how animals respond to ecosystem-level disturbances. Using next-generation sequencing methods, Laura researches the state and flux of genetic diversity to estimate the health and resilience of populations, species, and ecosystems.

"Let's Talk About Sex, Baby, Let's Talk About Mahi-Mahi!" by Lela Schlenker
Do you ever wonder where, when, and how often fish have sex? Understanding the reproductive ecology of fishes is extremely important for sustainably managing their populations and understanding their ecology. However, for highly migratory species such as mahi-mahi, reproduction is a particularly challenging part of their biology to understand. Electronic tags have previously been used to understand migrations and habitat use of fishes, but for the first time we are using them to understand the sex lives of mahi-mahi. Additionally, we are using electronic tags to look at the behavior of mahi-mahi in the wild following an oil exposure to understand how oil affects the habitat use, migrations, and spawning behavior of fish. This information is critical to understanding the long lasting impacts of the Deepwater Horizon event.
Bio: Lela Schlenker, a Nerd Nite alum, is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Miami working with RECOVER to explore the questions of oil spill impacts on mahi-mahi and red drum, two of the many fish species that live in waters of the Gulf of Mexico and play important roles in both the ecosystem and the economy. Lela's research focuses on the effects of oil and other environmental stressors on the physiology, behavior, and migrations of fish.…
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