Archive for May, 2020

What happened in April 2020

Dr Steven Snyder “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe”

How my quest for a telescope, a trip to the Guggenheim and a pile of bricks brought me to a surprising realization. Science does more than just provide explanations; it fundamentally warps the way you experience the world around you.

Steve’s Bio: Steve received his first pair of coke-bottle thick bifocals at the tender age of three. Within six months they were held together by generous wads of masking tape and it’s been downhill ever since. He has been custodial crew for a day school, a fruit fly farmer for a biological lab and has amassed way more math credits than is psychologically healthy. Today he serves as President and CEO of the Fleet Science Center where he spends his days harassing his staff with crazy ideas for new ways to lure the unsuspecting into the wonderful world of science.

More information about Steve here:

Matthew Gates “Plague Breaker: Half a Billion Years of Plant Warfare”

Plants have had a very longstanding and fundamental interaction with many organisms since before they colonized land. Today’s descendants have evolved complex defenses and collaborative symbioses, and understanding this deadly dance between enemy and ally can be the key to food security, medical innovation, and new technology. This presentation will cover some of the unique and interesting ways that plant life has fundamentally changed and what the implications are for humans looking to work with nature to provide resources sustainably.

Example Bio Photo

Matthew’s Bio: Matthew Gates is an Integrated Pest Management Specialist and science communicator on YouTube channel Zenthanol, operating an agricultural consulting organization by the same name. For the last decade, he has worked with agricultural organizations to improve the management of pests in an environmentally sustainable way through educating staff about the use of biocontrol agents and other new techniques that rely on a multifaceted holistic approach.

Check out Matthew’s work on YouTube: click here

What happened in May 2020

Nerd Nite SD #40!

Dr. Jeremy Long “How to homebrew a marine lab during a lockdown”

My research group started an 8-week experiment at our marine lab on March 6th. Two weeks later, San Diego closed its beaches and banned non-essential travel. Despite what my mom would have you believe; marine biologists are not typically considered “essential employees”. Also, finding basic supplies during this pandemic has been impossible (knows anyone who tried to buy t.p. in March or flour in April). Because I was determined to complete our study, I persuaded SDSU to label me essential, convinced lifeguards and cops to let me collect organisms, and Macgyvered a marine lab in my garage with duct tape, cinder blocks, and baking soda. This is a story about the quest for truth amidst a pandemic.

Bio: I am a marine biologist that has never extracted a golf ball from a whale’s blowhole. I will fight you if you try to convince me that charismatic megafauna are cooler than invertebrates. My unscientific quarantine time includes taking online dancehall and afro-dance classes. Because hip hop influenced my research, the acknowledgement sections of my papers include shout outs to Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Del tha Funky Homosapien.

Rad CBS8 video about garage science

Check out the Long Lab:

Long Lab

More cool videos about how researchers study the endangered black abalone:


Dr. Jessica Barlow “A Sage Model for Helping to Make the World a Better Place”

I’ll be talking about how science — and all fields — can be applied in an interdisciplinary way to tackle pressing local issues through massively-scaled city-university partnerships. It’s a win-win-win-win for students, instructors, local governments, and communities.

Bio: Jessica is a professor in the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at San Diego State University (SDSU). She is a linguist by training and her research program addresses why people sound funny by focusing on phonology, language acquisition, and speech sound disorders. Completely unrelated to this, and because she seems to think that she is just not doing enough, Jessica also serves as the executive director of the Center for Regional Sustainability at SDSU, where she oversees programming that addresses social, economic, and environmental challenges of the San Diego-Tijuana region. She also really likes birds.

Watch more about Jessica’s awesome work on local sustainability here:

KPBS story:

Work with National City:

Work with Lemon Grove:

Mural installation in Lemon Grove:


Kameroun Mares “The Development of Honey Bees, Hives and Genetics”

In my talk, I will be covering the development of honey bees (Apis Mellifera) and their colony structure, touching upon the critical ecological impact of the species, referencing the genetic concerns of the San Diego Beekeeping Society work with western queen breeding.  

Kameroun currently majors in Molecular and Cellular Biological Sciences. She is a well-known member of the San Diego Beekeeping Society, being considered a professional Beekeeper in regard to hive removal, re-queening and care. Additionally, she assists with the modernizing of society members, developing a larger online and social presence geared towards the expansion of the society and support for the proper handling and care of bees.

Learn more about the SD Beekeeping Society here:

Watch SD Beekeeping Society education videos:

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