Small corals growing in a lab

Photo: Elora López-Nandam


Join us Thursday, June 2, at 7 pm PT for a free NightSchool livestream!

NightSchool is in session on first and third Thursdays.

Join three Academy postdoctoral researchers for a night covering the latest in coral reef research, from the lab to the reefs, and from corals themselves to the vast range of marine life they support.

  • Ecologist and evolutionary biologist Dr. Jennifer Hoey has just returned from doing fieldwork in Curaçao, where she and her colleagues at the Reefscape Genomics Lab have been studying coral reef biodiversity using cutting-edge technology, from advanced genome sequencing to 3D photogrammetry. She’ll share how combining 3D imaging with molecular tools can help us understand coral evolution, past and future, in a genus of Caribbean corals.
  • Learn about the Academy’s Coral Spawning Lab, one of the world’s only indoor coral-culturing labs, with coral biologist Dr. Elora López-Nandam. Some of the coral babies in the lab are celebrating their third birthdays (!), and Elora shares the process of lab-based coral spawning, what we’re learning about coral genomics, and how the Academy is collaborating with scientists globally to understand coral reproduction for the long-term health of reefs.
  • Dr. Chancey MacDonald studies the lives of fishes in mesophotic reefs—aka the coral reefs located 100-to-500 feet beneath the ocean’s surface—and how living at such depths affects fish behavior and health, availability of food and habitats, and more. He highlights some of his diving adventures, scientific techniques used, and what he’s learned about life in the deep.


All NightSchool virtual programming is intended for audiences 21+.



Missed the party? Just want to relive the magic? Watch the recorded livestreams on YouTube!


Planetarium Shows

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Discover how a deeper understanding of Earth might help us spot other living worlds light-years away.

6:30 pm, 7:30 pm

Explore the immense scale of the known Universe in this live presentation that leaves Earth far behind.

Get NightLife emails

Delightful NightLife news, delivered weekly.

Upcoming ticketed museum events

July 7th at 6:00 pm

Calling all kaibigan: tropic like it’s hot for a night dedicated to Filipino arts, culture, and science.

July 14th at 6:00 pm

See what’s revealed once the sun goes down and explore the nocturnal side of the Academy. For adults 21+.

July 21st at 6:00 pm

Explore the multicultural—and multispecies—uses of ink. And hey, maybe even get a tattoo.

July 28th at 6:00 pm

SF Bazaar is back for a summertime event! Explore indie goods and wares from more than 30 local makers.

Upcoming free virtual events

July 7th at 7:00 pm

Hear from photographers whose incredible images reveal stories about the natural world.