Enjoy an eclectic array of science content for all ages, from distance learning resources to in-depth livestreams.
Let's celebrate March 17 properly by welcoming—not banishing—Earth's incredible snakes! In this virtual Snake Patrick's Day celebration, encounter live "ambassador" snakes with Academy biologists, go behind the scenes in our herpetology collections, and be awed by a trio of panels featuring flash-science presentations from some of the most amazing scientists working in snake-science today! (Live questions welcome.)
Please note: All times listed are Pacific Daylight Time.
10 am: Top-10 Snakes Tour!
Join Academy herpetology collections manager Lauren Scheinberg—streaming live from the herp lab—as she takes viewers on a serpentine tour of favorites from our 315,000-specimen scientific holdings, one of the largest reptile and amphibian collections in the world.
12 pm: "Snakes & Primates, Mysterious Rattlers, & Malagasy Gemsnakes" (Panel 1)
The first of our three live panels, each featuring flash-science talks from snake experts and ending with live audience Q&A. In alphabetical order, Panel 1 stars:
- Dr. Harry Greene, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University
- “Snakes and Primates: 75 Million Years of Deadly Dialogue?”
- Dr. Jacobo Reyes-Velasco, Postdoctoral Researcher at NYU Abu Dhabi
- “Drugs, Guns, and Rattlesnakes: Unraveling the Mysterious Long-Tailed Rattlesnakes in the Mountains of Mexico”
- Dr. Phillip Skipwith, Assistant Professor at University of Kentucky
- "Using Phylogenomics and Comparative Phylogenetics to Understand Adaptive Radiations in Sssnakesss"
2 pm: It's a Snakestream!
Make fabulous new friendsss via Academy biologists Sparks Perkins and Jenoh Gonzales, who will introduce viewers to Dwarf and Smalls, our ambassador ball python and mountain king snake! Live questions welcome, but please note: The actual ambassador snakes involved may change. "It depends on the snakes' moods," says Steinhart Aquarium curator Vikki McCloskey.
3 pm: "Snake Reproduction, Garter Snake Guts, & How to Make a Sexy Snake" (Panel 2)
The second of three live panels, each featuring flash-science talks from snake experts and ending with live audience Q&A. In alphabetical order, Panel 2 stars:
- Erica Ely, Curatorial Assistant at the Academy’s Herpetology Department
- "Garter Snake Guts: How Museum Specimens Help Us Understand What Snakes Eat"
- Aryeh Miller, PhD student at Washington University in St. Louis and Research Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History
- “Museums, Mountains, and Mystery: The Road to Documenting Global Snake Diversity”
- Dr. Rocky Parker, Assistant Professor at James Madison University
- "How to Make a Sexy Snake: Hormonal Regulation of Sex Pheromones"
5:30 pm: "Sidewinder Secrets, Madagascar’s Snake-a-Palooza, and Flying-Snake Brains" (Panel 3)
The last of our three live panels, each featuring flash-science talks from snake experts and ending with live audience Q&A. In alphabetical order, Panel 3 stars:
- Jess Tingle, PhD student at University of California Riverside
- “Unraveling the Sidewinder’s Secrets Through Biomechanics and Evolution”
- Dr. Arianna L. Kuhn, American Museum of Natural History
- “The Snake-a-Palooza of Madagascar: How One species Becomes 100 in the World’s Largest Natural Laboratory”
- Dr. Shaz Zamore, STEM Outreach Coordinator, ATLAS Institute, University of Colorado, Boulder
- “The World Through the Eyes of a Snake That Can Fly”
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The mission of the Academy's Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability (IBSS) is to gather new knowledge about life's diversity and the process of evolution—and to rapidly apply that understanding to our efforts to sustain life on Earth.