Saturday, July 28, 2:00 p.m.
In conjunction with Lily Simonson's solo exhibition Wet and Wild, CB1 Gallery will also be hosting a panel discussion on Saturday, July 28 at 2 p.m, Deep Thoughts. The panel, Lily Simonson and scientists Lisa Levin (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), Regina Wetzer and Dean Pentcheff (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County), will discuss the symbiosis of art and science.
Lily Simonson holds an MFA from UCLA and a BA from UC Berkeley. She collaborates with marine scientists to observe deep-sea specimens and has returned from a ten day Scripps Institution of Oceanography expedition exploring the San Diego margin. While aboard SIO research vessel Melville, Simonson observed and painted fauna collected from the sea floor's oxygen minimum zones. She has delivered lectures and shown her paintings at scientific symposia including the Census of Marine Life Summit at the Royal Society of London and the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity in Aberdeen. Her work has been exhibited across the US and Europe and her art and criticism have appeared in a range of media outlets, including the LA Times, LA Weekly, MTV, the Art21 Blog, and Ms. Magazine.
Lisa Levin is Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation and Distinguished Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. Dr. Levin is a marine ecologist who studies benthic ecosystems in the deep sea and shallow water. Together with her students Dr. Levin has worked with a broad range of taxa, from microbes and microalgae to invertebrates and fishes. Her deep-water research has been conducted over the past 3 decades at seamounts, oxygen minimum zones and methane seeps in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans using ships, submersibles and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to sample and conduct experiments. She has participated in over 30 oceanographic expeditions around the world and served as Chief Scientist on about half of these. Her recent research has emphasized 3 major themes: (1) the structure, function and vulnerability of deep continental margin ecosystems, particularly those subject to oxygen and sulfide stress; (2) wetland biotic interactions as they mediate marsh function, invasion and restoration; and (3) larval ecology of coastal marine populations with emphasis on connectivity and response to ocean acidification and deoxygenation. She is the author or co-author of more than 165 scientific publications. Dr. Levin has served as North American editor of the journal Marine Ecology, as founding editorial board member of the Annual Reviews of Marine Science, as past contributing editor for Limnology and Oceanography and Marine Ecology Progress Series, and has edited 5 special volumes on aspects of deep-sea biodiversity.
Regina Wetzer is Research Scientist and Director of the Marine Biodiversity Center at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (LACM). Since high school Regina has been fascinated with invertebrates — their bizarre forms and crazy life histories. She was introduced to marine field work in the Sea of Cortez as an undergraduate at Loyola Marymount University and fell in love with both invertebrates and exotic places. After completing a Master's Degree at California State University Long Beach working on gill morphology of gastropod snails, followed by a year working for a Southern California supplier of marine invertebrates for scientific research, she joined the LACM as Curatorial Assistant in Crustacea. She moved to the San Diego Natural History Museum as Senior Invertebrate Collections Manager, and completed her Ph.D. at the University of South Carolina on molecular and morphological systematics of crustaceans. Returning to the LACM in late 1999, she works with an extraordinary team of Invertebrate Collections Managers which collectively oversees, curates, and manages the great diversity of animals (35 phyla) in the LACM marine invertebrate collections. LACM holds tens of millions of such specimens, some dating from as long ago as the Edicarian (542 mya) to the present day. Her research interests include exploring evolutionary hypotheses involving previously unexplained life history traits, homoplastic morphological features, and biogeographic distributions.
Dean Pentcheff is currently a Research Associate at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. From the time he was a child, he knew he had to become a marine biologist. So he did. As an undergraduate at Duke University, he fell in with the biomechanics group, spending time working with algae and invertebrates. By graduate school at the University of California at Berkeley, he had moved on to the feeding mechanics of barnacles. In postdoctoral work at the University of South Carolina, he explored how fluid flow affects the ability of blue crabs (the most hostile animals he’s ever met) to find their food. Along the way he got a chance to have the tables turned on him: having animals living underwater stare at him while he was in the chamber during a couple of stints in the underwater Aquarius habitat in Florida, studying lobster orientation, coral feeding, and getting thoroughly waterlogged. Of late he’s been working at the intersection of biodiversity, bioinformatics, and taxonomy, helping to wrestle the world’s names for organisms into online formats so that we can discover and describe the world’s biodiversity before most of it goes extinct.