MBL Friday Evening Lecture – Steven Haddock

Friday, August 9, 2019 - 8:00pm to 9:00pm
Lillie Auditorium 7 MBL Street Woods Hole, MA 02543

Many organisms—from fungi to jellyfish to fireflies—have the seeming magical ability to make light from chemical reactions in their bodies, and this capability is key to their survival. The chemicals used to make light vary from species to species, and the quest to reveal these chemical underpinnings has led to some of the most fascinating and fruitful scientific discoveries. Osamu Shimomura was a pioneer in the biochemistry of light emission, with work spanning the tree of life. The same properties that make bioluminescence and fluorescence essential for many marine organisms make them useful to researchers as laboratory tools. Since their discovery during basic research, GFP and photoproteins have been applied, adapted, and engineered for a variety of imaging applications. Despite now decades of research, there are still surprising properties that can be evoked from natural bio-optical proteins, and still many novel light-emitting chemistries to explore. This talk, titled "The Past and Future of Bioluminescence Research, in Light of the Contributions of Osamu Shimomura," will discuss the diversity of natural bioluminescence and fluorescence and what we still hope to discover, standing on the shoulders of giants like Dr. Shimomura.

Steven Haddock is a Senior Scientist/Marine Biologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. He also holds an adjunct professorship in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Haddock runs the Bioluminescence Web Page, the citizen-science project jellywatch.org, and has a textbook for teaching computing to scientists at practicalcomputing.org. He received a B.S. from Harvey Mudd College and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


For more information, visit mbl.edu/FEL