Rulon W. Clark “Danger noodles! A deeply nerdy conversation about venomous snakes.”

Snakes are undeniably weird. What kind of a lizard evolves a body plan without arms or legs? Turns out this limbless body plan is oddly successful, as snakes are one of the most diverse and widespread lineages of reptiles.  But aren’t you curious about how something without arms or legs kills and eats animals bigger than itself?  Even if you’re not, come find out what happens when someone with an unhealthily intense interest in snakes is given a few drinks and a captive audience. If that’s not enticement enough, he will also show some mind-blowing slow-motion videos of venomous snakes trying to kill stuff.

Dr. Rulon W. Clark earned a B.S. in Biology from Utah State University in 1997. His work as an undergraduate researcher there cemented both a love of science and wildlife. He obtained a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2004 and has been on the faculty in the Department of Biology at San Diego State University since 2007.  His research group focuses a variety of topics related to the ecology and conservation of animals, using tools from behavioral ecology, comparative evolution, biomechanics, physiology, functional morphology, and molecular genetics.

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Chris Callewaert “Stinky Science: Solving the Stink from Armpits”

Meet Dr. Armpit, the scientist who is wiping out bad body odor. He has stuck his nose under more than 1000 armpits and has quite some experience with smelly armpits. Fresh sweat however does not smell – it’s the bacteria that cause malodor. There are many influences, such as gender, body mass index, age and nutrition; but the main cause is still the bacteria. This had led Dr Armpit to come up with a not-so-conventional solution: exchange sweat and bacteria to solve body odor. About 100 people have applied other people’s bacteria in their underarm and saw improvements in the condition. Smells like success!

Dr Chris Callewaert was given his nickname in Belgium, when he started swabbing everyone’s armpits and studied the armpit microbiome during his PhD. Now he is a postdoc in the Knight lab of UCSD. His research has been popular in the media, with features in CNN, BBC, FOX, NPR, Huffington Post, Washington Post, The Times, etc. He presented a TED talk and results of his research can be found on

Check out Dr Armpit’s TED talk HERE

***And besides being a rad scientist and celebrity, Chris is also a microbrewer in Belgium – the mecca of all beers!! So, if BO is not something you want to talk about, ask him about his brews!



Mona Tumbler: “Hot Topics in Intellectual Property Law with Ms. Mona!”

From Kylie and Kendall Jenner getting sued for copyright infringement on lace thongs, T-Mobile trademarking the color pink, to the billion dollar doll wars between Barbie & Bratz, Ms. Mona will take us on a fun (and informative!) frolic through some of the crazy and obscure ways companies are coming up with to protect their brands!

Ms. Mona is an on again off again attorney, an English Language and Arts teacher, travelled to nearly 50 countries around the world, loves to attend SDCC, and has nearly 15 years of experience in complex civil litigation, both as an associate at several prominent law firms, working with in-house counsel at a large tech company, and as an Electronic Discovery Project Manager. She obtained her law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, her master’s degree from Stanford, and holds undergrad degrees in both economics and English literature from UCLA. (She is also a fan of the Oxford comma which, pro tip, cost a Maine dairy company $5 million dollars in a 2018 settlement for the lack thereof.)

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