Virtual Science Cafe: Swimming Sea Snails, Microfossil Shells, and Identifying Human RemainsWebcasts & Online
Thursday, March 11, 2021, 5 – 6pm EST
Join us for our next Virtual Science Café! We’ll take a look at the life of snails adrift on the ocean, the microscopic shells revealing the history of climate change, and how forensic science and chemistry are being used to close the case for unidentified human remains and missing persons investigations.
Once again, we’re teaming up with local DC-area restaurant Busboys and Poets to help you set the stage at home for this virtual event. Upon registration you'll receive an order link, and whether you're local or non-local you can shake up a themed drink to enjoy using a recipe provided by Busboys and Poets.
“The Life of a Swimming Sea Snail” by Stephanie L. Bush
Did you know there are snails that spend their entire lives swimming or drifting in the ocean? From the sea surface to 2000 meters deep and beyond, a group of open ocean snails, named pteropods, are taking advantage of Earth’s largest habitat, the open ocean. Marine scientist Stephanie L. Bush will share what these animals are, why scientists study them, and the trials and tribulations of planktonic life for organisms that comprise critical links in the food web.
“Microfossil Shells Tell Big Stories About Climate Change" by Brian T. Huber
Paleobiologist Brian Huber has always been curious about the past. While conducting field work in Antarctica as a grad student, he was surprised to find bones of extinct swimming reptiles and fossil driftwood. Could Antarctica have once looked dramatically different and been much warmer? To answer these questions, he studies the shells of tiny fossils called foraminifera, which preserve a chemical record of the ocean temperature when they formed—a record of climate change as far back as the age of dinosaurs.
“A Quest for an Identity: From Human Remains to Missing Persons Investigations” by Sara C. Zapico
Sara C. Zapico is a forensic anthropologist and biochemist whose research focuses on improving age estimation to identify human remains. It’s a crucial component for identification, but it’s extremely challenging in adult individuals. In her talk, she’ll share how, supported by the knowledge of the cellular basis of aging, it is possible to improve this estimate and close the gaps in identification cases.
This program will be presented virtually via Zoom Webinar. A link will be emailed to all registrants.
Free. Registration is requested.
Online; Internet connection required