Lecture Series

Marine Biology & Conservation Lecture Series

lecture-seriesPresented by Thomas More College and WAVE Foundation at the Newport Aquarium’s Riverside Room

The Marine Biology and Conservation Lecture Series is a joint effort between Thomas More College, and the WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium to address and promote critical issues in the fields of marine biology and conservation. Speakers will include scientists, naturalists, educators and other professionals working in related areas. The lectures will focus on a variety of topics and are geared towards the general public and students of all ages.

For more information, contact Dan Dunlap, Director of Education WAVE Foundation (ddunlap@wavefoundation.org) or Chris Lorentz, Professor of Biology Thomas More College (lorentc@thomasmore.edu).

Each evening includes light appetizers and drinks, live exotic animal encounters, presentation, and question and answer session.

Click here to register online

Lecture Series Cost (per lecture):

$20 General Admission

$15 WAVE Foundation Employee/Volunteer
Newport Aquarium Employee/Annual Passholder
Student/Faculty/TMC Alumni

Location: Riverside Room at Newport Aquarium
Estimated Agenda for the Evening:

6:00-7:00 p.m.: Light appetizers, drinks, and animal encounters
7:00-8:00 p.m.: Presentation
8:00-9:00 p.m.: Questions & Answer Session


2017 Lecture Series Speakers

gitt mcdonald

Dr. Gitte McDonald

Emperors of the Ice: The Physiological Ecology of an Iconic Antarctic Predator, the Emperor Penguin
January 18, 2017
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As a physiological and behavioral ecologist, Dr. Gitte McDonald investigates adaptations that allow animals to survive in extreme environments. Marine mammals and birds provide an ideal study system to investigate how animals deal with extreme conditions because of their large size variation, geographic distribution and physiological challenges they face on a daily basis including hypoxia, extreme temperatures, and fasting. Understanding the mechanisms that allow an organism to interact and survive in its environment is crucial for predicting, and potentially mitigating, their response to climate change. Currently her research program focuses on two broad areas of research: 1) determining the diving capacity of breath-hold divers and understanding the underlying mechanisms, and 2) determining the energetic requirements of foraging and reproduction to better understand energy allocation, physiological trade-offs, and the organism’s role in the ecosystem. To address these questions, she uses state-of-the-art biologgers that measure fine scale diving behavior and physiological variables (heart rate and oxygen), in addition to providing information about the environment. Her research has provided opportunities to work with a broad range of species in a diversity of habitats from the Antarctic to the Galapagos.


wallace nichols

Dr. J. Wallace Nichols

Blue Mind
June 14, 2017
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Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols is a scientist, wild water advocate, movement—maker, New York Times bestselling author, and dad. His research and expeditions have taken him to coasts and waterways across North, Central and South America, to Asia, Africa, Australia, and Europe. This is what keeps his colleagues and collaborators working hard to understand and restore our blue planet. J. is a Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences and co—founder of Ocean Revolution, an international network of young ocean advocates, SEE the WILD, a conservation travel network, Grupo Tortuguero, an international sea turtle conservation network, and Blue Mind Fund, reconnecting people to water. He has authored and co—authored more than 200 scientific papers, articles and reports and his work has been broadcast on NPR, BBC, PBS, CBS This Morning, Discover Channel, National Geographic and Animal Planet as well as featured in Time, Newsweek, GQ, Outside Magazine, Fast Company, Scientific American and New Scientist, among others.