Shark Week For Geeks

MWDSN.jpg A lot of planning goes into our theme weeks at DSN. It usually starts several months prior with a simple idea born out of discussion that start with “Wouldn’t it be cool”. I love theme weeks! As I ready the posts for the week, I am giddy with anticipation. Behind the scenes, things are frantic as we assemble posts, plan the event, set our strategery, and initiate a blitzkriegs of emails. Theme weeks allow us to focus on interesting topics and potentially ‘school’ the public on new or overlooked research while potentially generating some excitement. We hope these events also generate some readership and link love for DSN and ultimately build our readership. Additionally, theme weeks allow Peter and I to heave the workload on others as we strive to bring experts here to post on their research.

I am very excited about Microbe Week an idea spawned from the comments on Megavertebrate week. Our guest editor, creative backbone, solicitor, and originator of the theme is Christina Kellogg a microbiologist with the United States Geological Survey. Christina’s publications are expansive ranging from microbial biodiversity to the transport of microbes across the Atlantic from Saharan dust storms. Her awards and honors are equally impressive, a Mendenhall Fellowship to name just one. Needless to say you are in great hands this week!

With a view toward the future we are beginning to kick around ideas for the next theme week. Deep Thinkers, Fossil Week, Wreck Week, Meiofauna Week?. The key to future happenings is your participation and suggestions so we invite you to contribute ideas!

Dr. M (1730 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

3 comments on “Shark Week For Geeks
  1. The microbe week bacterial plate is shear brilliance! I’m going to bet christina had something to do with it?

    When I teach the Antibiotic resistance lab in a month or two, i’m going to give bonus points for cool invertebrate designs.

  2. Thanks, Kevin! I got the idea from a friend of mine who made Halloween cards that way–it took a couple of tries but she got an orange bacterium and black fungus to spell out “Happy Halloween” on an agar plate. She wanted to do “Merry Christmas” too, but the red and green microbes were not as cooperative…

  3. I’d definitely put in a vote for Meiofauna Week. A whole world of hidden diversity, squidging between your toes!

    Or how about instead of just Fossil Week, Fossil Reef Week? The story of the different dynasties of reef-builders is a pretty fascinating one (and rudists are just plain wierd).

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