Lectures and Special Events

Ocean Luminaries

March 2, 2018

submarine in deep sea

Join the brightest minds in economics, art, conservation, and exploration for an evening of dynamic discussions and performances by Museum scientists, artists, oceanographers, and entrepreneurs to kick off the special exhibition Unseen Oceans. This lively event, held under the blue whale, illuminates the cutting-edge in marine research and inspires wonder about the world’s oceans. 

This program is made possible by OceanX, an initiative of the Dalio Foundation, as part of its generous support of the special exhibition Unseen Oceans and its related educational activities and public programs.

Meet the Luminaries

Kelly Benoit Bird-Ocean Luminaries_2.16.1

Kelly Benoit-Bird; MacArthur Fellow and marine scientist that uses acoustic engineering technology to explore the previously invisible behavior of ocean creatures and behavior of food chains. 

Prosanta Chakrabarty.Ocean Luminaries_2.16.1jpg

Prosanta Chakrabarty; Associate Professor and Curator of Fishes at the Museum of Natural Science at Louisiana State University studying the evolution of both freshwater and marine fishes.


Sylvia Earle_Ocean Luminaries_2.16.1

Sylvia Earle; Legendary oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, author and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for several corporate and non-profit organizations.


asher jay_Ocean Luminaries_2.16.1

Asher Jay; Designer, artist, and Creative Conservationist. In 2014, she was designated an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic.


Kakani Katija_Ocean Luminaries_2.16.1

Kakani Katija; Principal engineer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute researching bio-inspired engineering design, experimental fluid dynamics, and ocean instrument development.


Jodi Lomask

Jodi Lomask; Founder and Artistic Director of Capacitor. Lomask explores non-traditional combinations of arts and sciences through movement.


Wallace J Nichols_Ocean Luminaries_2.16.1

Wallace "J" Nichols; Scientist, activist, community organizer and author who works to inspire a deeper connection with nature.


Estefania Rodriguez_Ocean Luminaries_2.16.1

Estefania Rodriguez; Associate Curator in the division of invertebrate zoology at the American Museum of Natural History.

Jill Sobule_Ocean Luminaries_2.16.1

Jill Sobule; American singer-song writer. She has over 11 albums and more than two decades of recording and performing. For this program, she collaborated with Curator Mark Siddall of the Museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology on a musical composition inspired by the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.

John Sparks_Ocean Luminaries_2.16.1

John Sparks; Curator-in-Charge, Department of Ichthyology, Division of Vertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History and Curator of the upcoming Unseen Oceans exhibition. 

Rashid Sumaila_Ocean Luminaries_2.16.1

Rashid Sumaila; Professor and Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at UBC Fisheries Centre. He specializes in bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global fishing issues.


Tierney Thys_Ocean Luminaries_2.16.1

Tierney Thys; Marine biologist, science educator, and National Geographic Explorer. She studies the behavior of the Mola mola, or giant ocean sunfish.


Cindy Van Dover_Ocean Luminaries_2.16.1

Cindy Van Dover; Professor of Biological Oceanography at Duke University and former ALVIN pilot. She is a deep-sea biologist with an interest in ocean exploration and the ecology of chemosynthetic ecosystems.

Meet the Moderator: 

Flora Lichtman

Flora Lichtman; Host and managing editor of Every Little Thing, a weekly show from Gimlet Media. Flora has been nominated for Emmys for her television writing, and for co-directing a series of short animated films on the history of science, which originally aired on The New York Times.



Sign Language Accessibility Graphic

This program will provide American Sign Language Interpretation.