Lisa Rivera “The science behind disappearing bees”
Society has become more disconnected to the basic practices that have sustained us since the beginning of civilization. Many are oblivious to the dangers and causes of their disappearance, without realizing that they too play a huge part. In this presentation, Lisa discussed how lucky we are in San Diego to keep bees with our Mediterranean climate, and how San Diego can be the leader of change in the way the U.S deals with bees and the balance of our ecosystem.

Lisa’s Bio:

I graduated from Crawford complex school of Law and business. Worked selling all kinds of Insurance for 4 years. I have been a beekeeper for 4 years. I own a wildlife management company in which we perform live bee removal and relocation since 2018. I am currently studying for a Bachelors in biological sciences because I am obsessed with ecology and environmental science and how it relates to public health the food and pharmaceutical industries and the laws surrounding it all.

holding tree colony

Troy Sandberg “Designer Organisms & Engineering via Evolution”
All life on Earth is coded in DNA. Like the 1s and 0s of computer machine code, a particular sequence of the DNA basepairs A, G, T, and C composes the ‘software’ of every organism. Recent advances in genetic engineering and synthetic biology allow us to make arbitrary edits to an organism’s DNA or even create entire genomes from scratch, enabling almost limitless possibilities. Although our ability to write functional DNA code is currently quite poor, evolution provides a way to sample billions of different DNA ‘programs’ and reveal the best one. Troy discussed ways in which we can use this capability to engineer creatures for our own purposes, from the production of valuable chemicals to the creation of microbes that can help fight climate change or even cancer.

Troy’s Bio:
Dr. Troy Sandberg got his BS at Caltech and his PhD at UCSD, both in Bioengineering. His research involves using “evolution machines” he helped develop to study microbial adaptation and facilitate genetic engineering. A lifelong science enthusiast, outside of bioengineering his interests span from quantum mechanics to cosmology and everywhere in between. Troy is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, a Siebel Scholar, a recurring guest on the Science Faction podcast, and a proud champion of several eating challenges.



Edward Nichols “What’s the password?”
Ever wonder why a password? Where do these things come from, and why haven’t we moved on to something better? We heard the sordid tale of the password, and what we can do to make things better, and the consequences of using poor chosen passwords.