Profs & Pints DC: Life on an Ocean's Surface-Door tickets remain available

By Profs and Pints (other events)

Thursday, March 30 2023 6:00 PM 8:30 PM EDT

Advance ticket sales have ended but plenty of additional tickets remain availablle at the door.

Profs and Pints DC presents: “Life on an Ocean's Surface,” an in-depth look at a superficial yet mysterious ecosystem, with Rebecca Helm, an assistant professor of environmental science at Georgetown University and researcher of jellyfish.

You don’t need to look deep into an ocean to see abundant evidence of life. In fact, right at the surface, at the border between sea and sky, exists an entire ecosystem called the neustonic zone. This thin layer of life is home to strange blue jellyfish, purple bubble snails, golden algae, open-ocean insects, buoyant barnacles, baby flying fish, and other organisms that ride the waves and winds.

Come learn about this fascinating floating world from Professor Rebecca Helm, a marine biologist whose specialty is Medusology, the study of jellyfish. She’ll introduce us to the various creatures that exist on oceans' surfaces, telling us about their habits, life cycles, and ranges. She’ll also share how we can engage in our own exploration of oceans' top layer of life.

She’ll also talk about the broader ecological importance of life in the neustonic zone and how this ecosystem may be being changed in ways we don’t fully understand by plastic pollution, oil spills, climate change, fishing, shipping, and other human activities.

It’s a talk that will serve as an environmental wake-up call while also enhancing your awareness and appreciation of the creatures you’ll find watched up on beaches, floating near docks, or all around you on snorkeling trips. There’s a remarkable menagerie in front of your eyes if you just know where and how to look for it. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)  

Image: A Velella, or “by-the-wind sailor.” (Photo by Denis Riek / Wikimedia Commons.)