"From Finding Nemo to Finding Patents – Natural History as Inspiration for Science and Art" by Prof. Adam Summers (University of Washington)
Date and time: Wednesday February 8th, reception with snacks at 5.30 pm, lecture 6-7 pm
Location: Genome Sciences Building room 200, UNC Chapel Hill (250 Bell Tower Drive, Chapel Hill)
Parking: the Bell Tower parking deck at the end of Bell Tower Drive, or check http://move.unc.edu/parking/overview/ for other parking options
"- Hey dad! Maybe when I'm at school, I'll see a shark.
- I highly doubt that."
Finding Nemo (also possibly from A Day in the Life of Prof. Adam Summers)
And off he went to Swarthmore College. In 1986, Adam Summers graduated with degrees in mathematics and engineering, but still no shark in sight. He then spent several years diving and teaching SCUBA on the Great Barrier Reef, before deciding to return home and continue his academic education, in the field of biology this time. Starting with a Masters degree in Biology from New York University followed by a Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Adam used the tools from his mathematical and engineering background to elucidate evolutionary questions, and got to see – and study - sharks. And stingrays. And many more fish.
Adam was working as a postdoc at UC Berkeley when Nemo found him. Pixar asked Adam for advice on fish biology to help them create realistic marine creatures for their movie. This collaboration between art and science resulted in the now famous animated feature Finding Nemo, an Oscar-winning movie that enchanted many children and adults alike.
After this experience with the movie world, Adam started his own Comparative Biomechanics Lab to continue his work on fish biomechanics and mentor young scientists in this field. In 2009, he moved his lab to the San Juan Islands, the home of the Friday Harbor Labs (University of Washington) and a beloved place to many students and researchers in marine biology. His current research includes exploring marine biomaterials and processes such as bioinspired filtration or biological fouling of surfaces. Through his work, Adam also gets to indulge in his most recent scientific obsession: to CT scan every single fish species and make this data available to anyone. [link: https://osf.io/ecmz4/]
On Wednesday February 8th, we will have the honor of hosting a public lecture by Prof. Adam Summers at UNC's Genome Sciences Building. The 2017 Keohane Visiting Professor and self-named Fish Guy will take us from his adventures with Pixar studios to more pragmatic aspects of his research such as the development of patents or the connections he has discovered between fish science and the arts.
We look forward to seeing you at the public lecture!
More about Prof. Adam Summers and his lab: http://faculty.washington.edu/fishguy/index.html or find him on Twitter @Fishguy_FHL