Milstein Science Series: The Layers of the Ocean main content.

Milstein Science Series: The Layers of the Ocean

Part of Milstein Science Series

Sunday, February 17, 2019


The world's oceans are divided into five "zones," where a diverse array of marine species and ecosystems can be found at different depths. The amount of sun light, temperature, and salinity of the water changes from zone to zone. Some species can only survive in the oceans' sunlit uppermost layer, while others must dive deep to find food. Explore the layers of the oceans at this family-friendly festival, interact with scientists, discover amazing critters, and celebrate science under the iconic blue whale.

Meet the Host


Mark Siddall's career has been devoted to uncovering biodiversity and evolutionary histories for the most successful animal life-history strategy of all time: parasitism. His research has encompassed protistan parasites from giardiasis and malaria to commercially significant shellfish pathogens, helminths, and even blood-feeding ectoparasites from bed bugs to leeches. He presently serves as president-elect of the American Society of Parasitologists and as treasurer of the Willi Hennig Society.

Anchored in a deep a tradition of fieldwork that spans the globe, Siddall has been central to the Sackler Institute of Comparative Genomics adopting and leveraging emergent DNA sequencing technologies to advance biodiversity sciences. The core of this mission is a broadly comparative understanding of genomic evolution comprising a fuller architecture of life than model organism studies allow.

Guest Speakers

Picture of Rosie Oakes in the field

A geologist by training, Rosie Oakes stumbled into the wonderful world of pteropods after finding some shells in a sediment core she was working on during her Ph.D. Since then, Rosie has spent over 200 hours CT scanning pteropods and has used a variety of other imaging techniques to learn more about how these tiny swimming snails may be affected by ocean acidification.

Rosie believes that it’s important to communicate science on all levels, and so in addition to traveling to international science conferences and publishing papers, she makes time to attend school science fairs and participate in outreach events (like this one!) in a hope to inspire new groups of people to become involved in science. Originally from the UK, Rosie is currently living in Philadelphia and working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Picture of Gaelin Rosenwaks
Gaelin Rosenwaks is a marine scientist, explorer, photographer and filmmaker. Always fascinated by the marine world, Gaelin began diving at 14 and has since continued exploring ocean ecosystems. She began her career at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she researched over-wintering patterns of Southern Ocean zooplankton. Gaelin earned her Master’s Degree in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University working with the Tag-A-Giant program and conducting research on the migratory movements of Giant Bluefin Tunas. Alarmed by the changes happening in the oceans, Gaelin founded Global Ocean Exploration Inc (GOE) to share her passion for ocean exploration, marine conservation and photography. She now participates and conducts expeditions in every ocean to alert the public not only to the challenges facing the oceans, but also to what science is doing to understand these changes.
Alexander More headshot
Alexander More is a historian, climate scientist, explorer and photographer. He is an Assistant Research Professor at the Climate Change Institute and holds an appointment in the Department of History at Harvard University where he also teaches and earned his PhD, with a book on public health and environmental change in the pre-modern world. With more than 1,000 hours spent exploring the ocean in underwater archaeological and climate surveys in four continents, Alex uses cutting-edge tools to engage the public in the realities of climate change and the quest for solutions to it. In the Initiative for the Science of the Human Past at Harvard and CCI, Alex leads a project on the impact of environmental change on human and ecosystem health and the economy in the last millennium. His landmark articles and interviews have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Natural History MagazineThe GuardianPopular Science and more than 150 other print and online publications. Alex has served as a staffer in the US Senate and he is currently Managing Director of the World Ocean Forum and Director of Communications and Education at Blue Ocean Watch.


The Milstein Science Series is proudly sponsored by the Irma and Paul Milstein Family.