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Online Lecture Series

offered virtually via Zoom and free of charge

Upcoming Lectures

2022 lectures made possible by a gift from Mark and Kathy Helge

WED
2.15.23
5:30PM

Renovating the George W. Strake Hall of Malacology, From Bottom to Top

By Tina Petway, Associate Curator of Malacology, Houston Museum of Natural Science

Introduction by Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Executive Director Sam Ankerson, including an update on the Shell Museum

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Tina Petway led the 2019 redesign and installation at the Houston Museum of Natural Science of one of the largest permanent public exhibitions of shells in the world. Learn about the superb collection housed at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the challenges met by Tina and her team for this major endeavor. Tina will explore newly implemented ideas of the uses of space and visual presentation of the shell collection. Houston and the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum are the two largest public museum exhibitions of shells in the United States, and among a relatively small number of natural history museums with permanent displays of shells. 
 

About the Speaker: Tina Petway has been collecting and studying mollusks for over 60 years, spending thousands of hours walking the beaches of Texas looking for mollusks.  Tina has done research and collecting in many of the South Pacific Island nations including the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippine Islands and Singapore.  The coastal areas of the Baja-West Mexico have long been a favorite for Tina and her husband.  Tina began volunteering at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in 1999.  She became the Associate Curator of Malacology in 2005.

THURS
3.23.23
5:30PM

Exploring the Oceans for Public Television

By Alexa Elliot, Creator and Producer of PBS Program Changing Seas

Introduction by Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Executive Director Sam Ankerson, including an update on the Shell Museum

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For the last fourteen years, the award-winning, national public television series Changing Seas has taken viewers on exciting adventures to the heart of our blue planet. This South Florida PBS original production goes to sea with scientists, giving audiences a first-hand look at how oceanographers and other experts study earth’s last frontier. 

 

Join Series Producer Alexa Elliott for a behind-the-scenes look at adventures ranging from filming obscure creatures in the deep sea, to nesting penguins along desert shorelines, to diving around the world’s largest corals and more. Plus, take an exclusive sneak peek at an upcoming episode on mollusks – which features the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum and Science Director and Curator Dr. Jose Leal.

About the Speaker: Alexa Elliott is the creator of Changing Seas, a marine science series produced at South Florida PBS in Miami, Florida. Now in production of its 15th season, Changing Seas episode topics have ranged from the plight of Peru’s penguins to American Samoa’s resilient coral reefs. The series has aired on 95 percent of PBS stations and in more than 39 countries. 

Alexa has worked in public broadcasting since 1996, both in public radio as well as television production. She has produced TV programs of various genres, but nature, science and environmental programming have always been her favorite. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the prestigious Communication Award presented by the National Academy of Sciences, 11 Emmy awards, and others.

THURS
4.20.23
5:30PM

The Journey to One Billion Oysters with One Million New Yorkers

By Pete Malinowski, Executive Director of Billion Oyster Project


Introduction by Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Executive Director Sam Ankerson, including an update on the Shell Museum

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Pete Malinowski still remembers how — in less than a month — the Billion Oyster Project’s first oyster reef initiative transformed a flat and featureless harbor bottom into to a thriving ecosystem swarming with thousands of snails, crabs, blackfish — even striped bass. 

Join Pete for an insider’s view of a visionary, ambitious goal to introduce one billion water-filtering, habitat-creating bivalves to New York Harbor, and the involvement of a legion of volunteers, youth, and partners in this groundbreaking urban marine mollusk conservation initiative.

 

About the Speaker: Pete Malinowski grew up farming oysters with his parents and siblings on the Fishers Island Oyster Farm on Fisher’s Island in the Long Island Sound. His passion for the environment and education led him to the New York Harbor School, where he founded the school’s Aquaculture and Oyster Restoration Programs and spent five years as a teacher. Pete serves as a Co-chair of the Governor's Shellfish Restoration Council and sits on the Mayor's Waterfront Management Advisory Board. Pete spends as much of his free time as possible on the water or in the woods with his three children Adrian, Maxwell and Daisy.

WED
5.17.23
5:30PM

Micromollusks:
The Allure of Small Size

By José H. Leal, Ph.D., Science Director and Curator, Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

Introduction by Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Executive Director Sam Ankerson, including an update on the Shell Museum

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Welcome to the world of micromollusks. Did you know that as you walk on a sandy beach you may be stepping on hundreds of shells the size of a pinhead? Micromollusks, by definition, never grow larger than 5 mm (0.2 inches). Despite their small size, the shells of micromollusks can be as attractive as those of their larger-size cousins. Scientific surveys done in different regions of the planet indicate that the largest share of the marine biodiversity of mollusks consists of micromollusks. This talk will present local and global examples, discuss methods for their sampling, study, and photography, and discuss some of the biological constraints prompted by extreme reduction in body sizes.

About the Speaker: Dr. José H. Leal is the Science Director and Curator at the National Shell Museum, and was the Museum's Director between 1996 and 2013. Dr. Leal received his PhD in Marine Biology and Fisheries from the University of Miami. His love for shells and sea life goes back to his childhood years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was an Assistant Editor for Sea Frontiers Magazine (Miami), a Visiting Professor at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris), and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History (Washington, DC). Dr. Leal holds honorary faculty positions at the University of Miami and Florida Gulf Coast University (Fort Myers), where he is an affiliate member of the Coastal Watershed Institute. He is also a past president of the American Malacological Society and of Conchologists of America, a past board member of the Florida Association of Museums, an Accreditation Peer Reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums, and editor of The Nautilus.

Recordings of Previous Lectures

2023-01-19

Land Snails in Los Angeles: An Experiment in Urban Citizen Science

By Dr. Jann Elizabeth Vendetti, Associate Curator and Twila Bratcher Chair in Malacology Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

2022-11-10

Hurricanes and Mollusks

By Dr. José H. Leal, Science Director and Curator
Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

2022-09-14

Saving the Queen of the Sea: Queen Conch Conservation Aquaculture

By Megan Davis, Ph.D., Research Professor, Aquaculture and Stock Enhancement Program
Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

2022-08-11

Mobilizing Millions of Mollusks of the Eastern Seaboard

By Rüdiger Bieler, PhD, Curator of Invertebrates
Field Museum of Natural History;
and José H. Leal, PhD, Science Director and Curator
Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

2022-07-13

Let's Get Kraken: Cephalopods Coast to Coast

By Bret Grasse, Manager of Cephalopod Operations
Marine Biological Laboratories (Woods Hole, MA)

2022-06-16

Spot the Mollusk!

By Rebecca Mensch, Senior Marine Biologist
Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

2021-10-20

Spooky Mollusks and Other Evils of the Deep: A Halloween Special

By José H. Leal, Ph.D., Science Director and Curator, Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

2021-09-28

Shell Dressed: Seashells in Fashion and Jewelry

By Jean M. Burks, Curator Emerita, Shelburne Museum, and Kory Rogers, Francie and John Downing Senior Curator of American Art, Shelburne Museum

2021-09-16

Why Am I Growing Giant Clams in the Middle of the Arizona Desert?

By Dan Killam, Ph.D., Biosphere 2, University of Arizona

2021-08-24

8,000 Years of Shells in the American Southeast: Archaeological Insights on the Ecology, Diet, Architecture, and Ritual of Ancient Native Americans

By Kenneth E. Sassaman, Hyatt and Cici Brown Professor of Florida Archaeology, University of Florida

2021-07-27

Supersized Squid

By Rebecca Mensch, Senior Marine Biologist, Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

2021-07-13

Oysters: A Crystal Ball for Water Quality in Southwest Florida

By Melissa A. May, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marine Biology, Florida Gulf Coast University

2021-06-29

Curator’s Choice: New Photographs of Extraordinary Shells, and the Digital Imaging Project at the National Shell Museum

By José H. Leal, Ph.D., Science Director and Curator, Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

2021-06-15

Artistic Adaptations: 2,000 Years of Seashells in Art

By Jean M. Burks, Curator Emerita, Shelburne Museum, and Kory Rogers, Francie and John Downing Senior Curator of American Art, Shelburne Museum

2021-04-22

Blue Revolution:
A Water Ethic for America and Florida

By Cynthia Barnett, Award-Winning Environmental Journalist

2021-03-25

Shells and Bad Water:
Ocean Acidification and its Effects on Mollusks​

By José H. Leal, Ph.D., Science Director and Curator, Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

2021-02-25

Southwest Florida's Water Quality Challenges and the Urgent Need to Complete Everglades Restoration

By James Evans, Environmental Policy Director, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation

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