Necessity is the mother of invention! When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the MBL to shut down the campus right before a typically packed summer of research and educational programs, many creative minds in the community came up with digital programming to stay connected with multiple MBL audiences. Here are just a few programs to catch up on, from a variety of webinar series created at and for the MBL.
The Friday Evening Lectures have been offered continuously at MBL since 1890, and 2020 was no exception. In this lecture, “The Taste of Blood,” Leslie Vosshall of Rockefeller University/HHMI reveals how mosquitos that can transmit disease distinguish between two delectable meals: blood and nectar.
In collaboration with course directors, MBL Education presented one-hour webinars that gave a birds-eye-view of many of the MBL courses. These “MVP” webinars connected the scientific community of each course, and especially served as a welcome to students accepted in 2020 whose arrival in Woods Hole had to be delayed.
The series kicked off with the Embryology course webinar, hosted by course directors David Sherwood (Duke University) and Carol LaBonne (Northwestern University) and featuring Mansi Srivastava (Harvard University) giving a research talk titled, “Into the Unknown: Probing Regeneration and Development in a New Research Organism.”
Also popular was the Brains, Minds and Machines course webinar, presented by course directors Boris Katz (MIT), Gabriel Kreiman (Harvard Medical School), and Tomaso Poggio (MIT), with Nancy Kanwisher of MIT giving the featured talk. This course decided to proceed with an expanded virtual summer course, presenting a full schedule of lectures, panel discussions, poster sessions and interactive dialogues for two weeks in August.
The MBL SciShoots is a new initiative aimed to bring digital learning to high-school students. In this episode, Andy Gillis, incoming associate scientist at MBL, shows what the development of skate gills and human limbs have in common.
Another longstanding feature of an MBL summer is the Tuesday night Cytoskeleton Club, which presented three virtual lectures this year. In this episode, Sabine Petry of Princeton University speaks on “Molecular Function and Architecture of the Cytoskeleton.” This lecture series was organized by Amy Maddox (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), Amy Gladfelter (UNC-Chapel Hill), and Clare Waterman (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH).