1 hr 19 min

Desert Arks Podcast - Dr. Forest Rhower, Dr. Breeann Kirby, and Dr. Ty Roach Biosphere 2 Podcast

    • Earth Sciences

Today we are joined by Dr. Forest Rhower, Dr. Breeann Kirby, and Dr. Ty Roach.
Forest, Breeann, and Ty were all on site at Biosphere 2 as facilitators of the Desert Arks Meeting– a meeting where scientists and artists from institutions worldwide gather around a common experiment in coral reef ecology, known as the Coral Reef Arks project. An ark is a large geodesic structure submerged in the ocean that serves as a mesocosm for studying coral reef ecosystems. Imagine massive midwater structures colonized with luminescent corals, anemones, crabs and urchins, and circled by giant schools of fish. These are Coral Reef Arks. The Arks were conceived to address a global need for developing new technologies that will help mitigate widespread coral reef degradation. Two years ago, arks were deployed in Curacao, Puerto Rico, and San Diego. The Desert Arks Meeting served as a meeting place to check in on the progress of the Arks, to learn from failed hypothesis, and to iterate on design and technology of the Ark systems. 
In this episode, we talk about the success of the Desert Arks conference and how artists play a valuable role in facilitating research. Further, we discuss the arks in-depth, debriefing some of the highlights of the Arks Meeting, and asking more questions about the best way to move the research forward. 
About our guests: 
Doctor Forest Rohwer is a microbial ecologist and Professor of Biology at San Diego State University. His particular interests include coral reef microbial ecology and viruses as both evolutionary agents and opportunistic pathogens in various environments. Being a marine microbial ecologist, Dr. Forest Rohwer sees a coral reef as a finely-tuned community in which the microbes and viruses are major players. Recognizing their importance, he pioneered the use of metagenomics as a means to characterize these previously inscrutable organisms and to investigate their role in coral reef health and disease.
 
Doctor Breeann Kyte Kirby is a research scientist turned creative writer. She works in both fields, facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations between artists, scientists, and thinkers. Dr. Kirby is a professor of creative writing and environmental studies at Point Loma Nazarene University. There she designed and heads the interdisciplinary humanities based environmental studies program. Her current books examine how to convey complex science accurately in engaging fiction.
Doctor Ty Roach is a molecular biologist, freelance scientist, and a decorated competitive surfer and wrestler. Ty is a former Postdoctoral Researcher at Biosphere 2, where he split time between the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology and living on site at Biosphere 2. He has done extensive research in the Biosphere 2 Ocean system, logging over 100 hours underwater. Today, Ty is making his way through academia as a freelance scientist with research focused on microbial and viral ecology, coral reef science, and theoretical biophysics. He is currently an Adjunct Research Professor at the Viral Information Institute at San Diego State University. 
Ty, Forest, and Breeann are co-authoring a book on the positive roles of viruses and bacteria in human and ecological health that will be coming out this year.
 

Today we are joined by Dr. Forest Rhower, Dr. Breeann Kirby, and Dr. Ty Roach.
Forest, Breeann, and Ty were all on site at Biosphere 2 as facilitators of the Desert Arks Meeting– a meeting where scientists and artists from institutions worldwide gather around a common experiment in coral reef ecology, known as the Coral Reef Arks project. An ark is a large geodesic structure submerged in the ocean that serves as a mesocosm for studying coral reef ecosystems. Imagine massive midwater structures colonized with luminescent corals, anemones, crabs and urchins, and circled by giant schools of fish. These are Coral Reef Arks. The Arks were conceived to address a global need for developing new technologies that will help mitigate widespread coral reef degradation. Two years ago, arks were deployed in Curacao, Puerto Rico, and San Diego. The Desert Arks Meeting served as a meeting place to check in on the progress of the Arks, to learn from failed hypothesis, and to iterate on design and technology of the Ark systems. 
In this episode, we talk about the success of the Desert Arks conference and how artists play a valuable role in facilitating research. Further, we discuss the arks in-depth, debriefing some of the highlights of the Arks Meeting, and asking more questions about the best way to move the research forward. 
About our guests: 
Doctor Forest Rohwer is a microbial ecologist and Professor of Biology at San Diego State University. His particular interests include coral reef microbial ecology and viruses as both evolutionary agents and opportunistic pathogens in various environments. Being a marine microbial ecologist, Dr. Forest Rohwer sees a coral reef as a finely-tuned community in which the microbes and viruses are major players. Recognizing their importance, he pioneered the use of metagenomics as a means to characterize these previously inscrutable organisms and to investigate their role in coral reef health and disease.
 
Doctor Breeann Kyte Kirby is a research scientist turned creative writer. She works in both fields, facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations between artists, scientists, and thinkers. Dr. Kirby is a professor of creative writing and environmental studies at Point Loma Nazarene University. There she designed and heads the interdisciplinary humanities based environmental studies program. Her current books examine how to convey complex science accurately in engaging fiction.
Doctor Ty Roach is a molecular biologist, freelance scientist, and a decorated competitive surfer and wrestler. Ty is a former Postdoctoral Researcher at Biosphere 2, where he split time between the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology and living on site at Biosphere 2. He has done extensive research in the Biosphere 2 Ocean system, logging over 100 hours underwater. Today, Ty is making his way through academia as a freelance scientist with research focused on microbial and viral ecology, coral reef science, and theoretical biophysics. He is currently an Adjunct Research Professor at the Viral Information Institute at San Diego State University. 
Ty, Forest, and Breeann are co-authoring a book on the positive roles of viruses and bacteria in human and ecological health that will be coming out this year.
 

1 hr 19 min