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"Gnashing, Gnawing, and Grinding: The Science of Teeth" - An Interview with Tesla Monson of UC Berkeley

by Shoshana Harlem, Terra Linda High School

Dr. Tesla Monson studies mammals, especially their skulls and teeth. She is a researcher at UC Berkeley and has a BA in cultural anthropology, an MA in biological anthropology, and PhD in Integrative Biology. 

1. What made you want to study mammals?
Growing up in Washington State, I was always really interested in biological life, and particularly animals and plants. When I first learned about Paleolithic cave art in my undergraduate anthropology class, which is some of the oldest and most beautiful art, dated to more than 30,000 years ago, I became fascinated with the seemingly timeless question, "What makes us human?", "What makes me, me?, "What makes humans unique from other animals?" And "What makes non-human animals different from each other?" Because these questions are focused on trying to place humans within the context of evolution and life on this planet, and because humans are mammals, I have been …

"Wild Worms and Mineral Mosaics" - An Interview with Jennifer Runyan of the Lawrence Hall of Science

by Shoshana Harlem, Terra Linda High School

Jennifer Runyan is a Science Communication Fellow and works for the Ocean Exploration Trust. She received BS in Marine Biology and an Environmental Studies degree. She explores the organisms and nutrients in the ocean and has went to many places such as the Gulf of California.

1. What made you want to study hypothermal vent communities?

I applied for a Science Communication Fellowship to be able to learn new ways to communicate science and thought exploring the deep sea and hypothermal vents would be a great way to go.

2.  What are the best parts of your job?

Working with people from diverse backgrounds and responsibilities on the ship, from video engineers, Remotely Operated Vehicle pilots, to the scientists.

3. What are the worst parts of your job?

The late night watch shifts can be a bit challenging for me to stay up for!

4. What organisms and nutrients do you find deep down in the ocean?

We have found many organisms from various types of …

"The Fountain of Youth" - An Interview with Chong He of the Buck Institute, Novato

by Shoshana Harlem, Terra Linda High School

Dr. Chong He works at the Buck Institute in Novato. She received a PhD in Chemistry at Peking University. She studies the lifespan of worms and yeasts and solutions in how to improve their lifespan. One of her most recent discoveries was that ibuprofen can help yeasts and worms live a longer life.

1.       What made you want to study diseases and medicine? My parents are medical doctors. My mom specializes in internal medicine and my dad is a surgeon. Growing up in a medical doctor environment, I became very interested in how the human body works. And that's why I decided to study medicine and aging.

2.       What are the best parts of your job?
The best part of my job is that I can get to find answers to questions that no one else in the world knows how to solve. I get to be the first one in the world who can make discoveries to prove my hypothesis. This makes me feel very special.
3.       What are the worst parts of your job?
There are mor…

January - March 2018 at Marin Science Seminar

Marin Science Seminar starts up again January 17th. Join us this semester for Wild Worms, Exoplanets, The Fountain of Youth and more. Join us and learn! :) http://www.marinscienceseminar.com/calendar.html#spring 

JANUARY

17: "Wild Worms and Mineral Mosaics: A glimpse into hydrothermal vent communities" with Jennifer Runyan of the Lawrence Hall of Science

24: "Exoplanets" with Warren Wiscombe of NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center

31: "The Fountain of Youth: Is it a Myth?" with Chong He of the Buck Institute

FEBRUARY

28: "Gnashing, Gnawing, and Grinding: The Science of Teeth" with Tesla Monson of UC Berkeley

MARCH

7: "The Marin Wildlife Picture Index Project" with Lisette Arellano of One Tam and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

28: "Name that Bloodsucker!" with Eric Engh of Marin-Sonoma Mosquito Vector