Seaside Center Launches New Series with Deep-Sea Expert

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Deep-sea scientist Dr. Craig McClain will be the guest speaker at the Bruce Museum Seaside Center on Sunday, July 5.

Dr. McClain’s visit will kick-off a new series of family and adult programs. His talk, “An Empire Lacking Food: The Astonishing Existence of Life on the Deep Seafloor,” launches the Bruce Museum Seaside Center’s new Fred Elser First Sunday Science Series.

Named in memory of longtime Bruce Museum benefactor Fred Elser, who was a stalwart supporter of science education, especially for young people, this series will provide monthly programs for families and adults related to science and marine topics, particularly as they concern the Long Island Sound environment.

Dr. McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published more than 50 papers in the area.

Dr. McClain has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions that have taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. His research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems. Specifically, his research seeks to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans.

“Conundrums abound in the deep sea where so little food is available, yet profound biodiversity exists in these depths,” Dr. McClain said. “Unexpected evolutionary size adaptations and other anatomical novelties are common here — evidence of life’s ability to adapt to environmental extremes.”

The free event will be held along with family activities at the Bruce Museum Seaside Center in Greenwich Point Park, Old Greenwich, from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. The lecture begins at 2:00 p.m. For complimentary Greenwich Point Park entry for the event, contact Cynthia Ehlinger by July 2 at 203-413-6756 or [email protected]