Nerd Nite #62 – Immortality, Sundarbans, & 3D Printing

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The Search for the Fountain of youth
Eva Majerová
The age-long search of the eternal life might reach its end. Everything is hidden in telomeres, the ends of our chromosomes. They seem to control the biological age of our cells. Sooner or later we might be able to modulate the aging of our bodies. Or NOT? Let’s dive into the world of life and death together.
Eva is a postdoctoral fellow in the Gates Coral Lab at the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology, UH Manoa. Before her switch to coral biology she was the genuine lab rat studying the thin layer between longevity and cancer in different labs in Europe. Since she has a Czech blood in her veins, beside ice hockey she always appreciates couple of pints of a good beer with her friends. During her free time, she takes care of her telomeres by boxing in the gym, running, hiking and laughing a lot, being a huge optimist and a dreamer.
The Sundurbans: Mangroves, Tigers and Deltas, Oh My!
Madeline Piscetta
The Sundarbans are the world’s largest mangrove eco-region and home to the endangered Bengal tiger. Inundated by sea level rise to the south and increased glacial melt to the north, they are the canary in the global warming coal mine.
Madeline Piscetta is a Master’s student from the University of Miami studying marine conservation and coral biology. She is currently interning at the Gates Coral Lab at HIMB. When she’s not researching corals, she is enthusiastically geeking out about geology, classic rock, and everything Star Wars.
3D Printing: Like a regular printer, except it prints stuff.
Sean Robinson
3D printers are cheap, simple and open source, so why did it take us so long to really start implementing them? We can already print a variety of things, from plastic parts and engine turbines to simple houses and rodent organs; what does that mean for the future when we can have anything at any time?
Grew up in San Jose, California perfectly in time for the tech boom. As a kid Sean over charged his ride-on toys-r-us truck, built potato cannons, and generally did not pay attention in school. Now he is DIY engineering his own smart home, working with solar tech, and heavily into CNC and 3D printing.

Nerd Nite #61 – Pyrospectacular, Aiding First Responders, Coral McLovin’

4 September 201

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Boom! Science: a crash course on Pyrotechnics

Andrew Osberg

This presentation will take you behind the scenes of a firework display, including its organized set up to its chaotic launch.  It will briefly discuss the different types of fireworks used in typical shows and how to identify them. We will also go into the anatomy, construction, and artistic essence of the traditional aerial shell.  The overall objective of this presentation is to provide you a new perspective on fireworks shows, through the eyes of pyrotechnician.

Andrew is originally from Los Angeles, CA, and currently studying sponge ecology at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.  He is also a licensed pyrotechnician and novice producer that has been firing shows across the United States for 5 years.  He has fired shows in a variety of conditions and environments ranging from firing off the Brooklyn Bridge in New York to barges riding 6 ft. swells in front of Waikiki.


Peer Support for First Responders: Helping the Helpers

James Duggins

First responders spend their day answering the public’s call for help when they are having their worst day, day in and day out.  That takes a toll.  Let’s talk about it.

James is made of meat, has learned a few things here and there, and doles out bear hugs on the daily.  He is a firefighter, CrossFit coach, Hawaii Task Force Leader for Sons of the Flag (a non-profit for burn survivors), improvisor, and a member of his fire department’s Peer Support program.


Lessons about the Birds and the Bees from the Corals in the Seas

Beth Lenz

Corals are fascinating creatures that continue to bewilder scientists. These deceptively complex animals have been around for hundreds of millions of years, thriving against most odds. Like Madonna, they have withstood the test of time, withstood enormous trials and tribulations. “How?” you may ask yourself … through the power of sexuality!

It’s time to get funky.

Beth is a PhD Candidate in the Marine Biology Graduate Program at UH Mānoa, based at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology. Her research focuses on how well corals are able to sexually reproduce after major disturbances, primarily the recent global bleaching events. In addition to her research, she is Nerd Nite Honolulu’s Co-Boss, an improv performer and instructor with Improv in Paradise, currently playing in her first D&D campaign (her class is a Paladin, nbd), and hanging out with her dog Charlie, who is also a Nerd Nite regular.

Nerd Nite #60 – Leapin’ Languages, Botanical Mind Tricks, and Corals with Frickin’ Laser Beams

Nerd Nite Honolulu – 7 August 2018

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Lip-Larping: Fantasy Languages and Language Construction
Dr. Geoff Taylor
Why would anybody want to learn a “fake” language? Elvish, Klingon, Dothraki… Come explore the fascinating world of conlanging- the art of language construction- and see what all the fun is about!
Dr. Taylor is a linguist, conlanger, sailor and dedicated life-long nerd. He has served as LocSec of San Diego Mensa and Gifted Youth Coordinator of both San Diego and Mensa Hawaiʻi. He has passed qualifying exams for 10 languages and has a Doctorate in International Business.

Coral reefs on ice: marine biology and lasers, together at last

Nik Zuchowicz

In the face of a new great extinction, biologists are racing to preserve the world’s genetic diversity.  Keeping animals alive in the freezer is a tricky business, but we have the technology to do it.

Nik is a technician with the Center for Species Survival, part of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.  His interests include tinkering, really nice coffee, and afternoon naps.


“What the F(ruit)?!

Amy Hruska

Let’s spend a few moments enjoying a good drink (or two!) and discussing plant movement, trickery, and how plant-animal relationships are important for understanding our forest!

Amy is a plant ecologist working toward her PhD at the UH Manoa in the Botany Department. You can learn about her work and hobbies on social media @ecologist_amy.

Nerd Nite #59 – Hōkūleʻa Crew!


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Photo credit: Hugh Gentry



As Chief Operations Officer at PVS, Heidi arranged the crazy complicated logistics of
Hōkūleʻa’s voyage around the world. Hear the seldom told stories of moving crew
around a volcanic eruption in Indonesia, evading thunderstorms in Mozambique and
South Africa, steering clear of zika in Brazil, and the politics of getting through the
Panama Canal… to name a few.

Heidi began as a volunteer at Hōkūleʻa’s dry dock in 2002 and began sailing soon after.
To her, Hōkūleʻa represents all that we have to learn from our ancestors and all that we
should want to teach our children.

Crewmember Heidi Guth at the stern as Hōkūleʻa sails into Salem.

Crewmember Heidi Guth at the stern as Hōkūleʻa sails into Salem.



After sailing from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti in 2014, Bali to Mauritius in 2015, Cape Town to
Brazil in 2016, and back home from Tahiti in 2017, Kealoha is amongst a handful of
Hōkūleʻa crew who have steered her across three oceans. Hear his stories of the surreal
and simplicities of life at sea.

Hakipuʻu native Kealoha Hoe has been a crewmember with Hōkūleʻa since 1999, serving
as Watch Captain, Safety Officer, and Cook. To him, Hōkūleʻa embodies the spirit of

Kealoha Hoe




Ever wonder how the navigators of Hōkūleʻa use the sun, moon, stars, swells, clouds
and other clues in nature to find their way? Take a journey from Tahiti to Hawaiʻi and
back, discover the layers of wayfinding and the masterminds behind recovering this
ancient art.

From Waimea, Hawaiʻi, Kaʻiulani connected with Hōkūleʻa in 1997 as a Hawaiian Studies
student and now teaches the Hoʻokele courses that led her to the waʻa at Honolulu
Community College and UH Mānoa.

Kaʻiulani Murphy


Nerd Nite #58 – Clouds – Animals – Life!



Shreya Yadav, PhD Student at UH Mānoa
Clouds: not just a fluff piece
Clouds, magicked into and out of existence every minute in the sky, are more than just a great metaphor for life. This talk borrows heavily from the philosophy of the Cloud Appreciation Society to “fight the banality of blue-sky thinking” and to delight, instead, in the jellyfish, cauliflowers, and samurai swords that frequently sweep over our heads. We will take a quick walk through some cloud taxonomy, hit a little history and science, and spend a good amount of time looking at photos of very tiny droplets of water.
Shreya Yadav is a graduate student in marine biology at the University of Hawaii. She studies corals and fish in the Indian Ocean.


Van Wishingrad, PhD Candidate in Landscape Genetics, Department of Biology, UH Mānoa

Life, uh, finds a way—and sometimes it gets weird.

Life is an interesting and strange phenomenon, and organisms have come up with a whole bunch of fascinating—and sometimes bizarre—ways to pass on their genes on to the next generation. From penis fencing to exploding testicles, sex can get dangerous—which might explain why some species have given up on sex altogether for the past 80 million years.


Molly Mamaril, Blue Zones Project Engagement Lead in the 4M region

Blue Zones Project – How to Live to Be 100

Inspired by National Geographic longevity research, the Blue Zones Project is being launched in the Mānoa-Makiki-Mōʻiliʻili-McCully region this spring. Blue Zones Project is a health and well-being initiative sponsored locally by the Hawai’i Medical Services Association. In the early 2000s, a National Geographic team traveled to Blue Zones regions around the world where people were living to age 100+ at extremely high rates. These clusters of healthy centenarians were discovered in Okinawa, Italy, Costa Rica, Greece and Loma Linda, California. By observing their habits, researchers created a simple framework of longevity: the Power 9 principles. The Power 9 are the foundation of the Blue Zones Project which has been implemented in over 40 communities across the U.S., eight of which are here in Hawai’i. Through 2020, our team, alongside residents and business owners will be focused on implementing small, but purposeful nudges to make the healthy choice, the easy choice here in our neighborhood.

Molly Mamaril serves as the Blue Zones Project Engagement Lead in the 4M region, which comprises of Mānoa, Makiki, Mōʻiliʻili and McCully. She was born in Hawaiʻi, grew up in Minnesota, and came back to Honolulu to pursue her Master’s degree in Natural Resources Management at UH Mānoa. She enjoys mālama ‘āina conservation work, hiking and teaching yoga.

Nerd Nite – Sea Monster – Research Cruises – Rockets! #57

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Shilpa Lal – Oceanography Graduate Student at UH Mānoa

How to Survive an Oceanographic Cruise … especially if you don’t speak the same language

I am from Fiji. I did my undergrad studies at The University of the South Pacific (Fiji) in Marine Science and Climate Change. I am a bit of a divergent – I have a broad range of interests: Anthropology, archaeology, history, architecture, mathematics,travelling, art,culinary and collecting artifacts(shopping while I am traveling) and the ocean. In my free time I enjoy doing doing henna, gardening, cooking or taking a long walk.

As part of my studies I get to go out on research vessels a lot. Many times the crew does not speak English or the vessel is from a country where English is not their national language. Growing up on a tiny island country in the middle of the Pacific, there were a limited number of languages we were taught at school. I guess school didn’t prepare me so well for the journey I would be embarking on or perhaps gave me an opportunity to have new language learning adventures on my own. English was my national language. Life on research vessel can be hard if you can’t communicate with the crew. Same can be said when visiting any foreign country I guess. Except unlike a foreign country where you sort of have freedom of movement and choice of food you would like to eat, on a ship your choice of food is limited to what the cook prepares and if you have special diets and can’t communicate with the cook and kitchen crew, it’s going to be horrible. I have had so many interesting , fun and new experiences dealing with crew and life on board research vessels. I think Nerd night is a great opportunity to share these fun experiences and perhaps inspire other people to travel or help other travelers with the tips I have learnt during my time at sea.


Mark Hixon, PhD – Professor of Marine Biology, Department of Biology, UH Mānoa

Sea Monsters

I have been lucky to have spent my career studying sea life underwater using SCUBA and small research submarines.  I will share images and stories of some of the more bizarre giant creatures my colleagues and I have encountered in the ocean depths.  As a bonus, the presentation will be in the format of a multiple-choice drinking game.


Krissie Kellogg – Aerospace Exploration Lab & Imaginarium Specialist at WCC
The Amazing Space Shuttle
As a kid, I was always interested in space, stars, planets, robots, machines, etc.  I couldn’t have been more different than the family I grew up in!  I somehow managed to get a nice little job at WCC where I am surrounded by everything I loved as a kid!  I’m living my 9 year old kid dream every day!
Although shuttle launches are a thing of the past, they are part of our history.  (I still find them beautiful and fascinating.)  I will talk about how they launch, how they land, and where they are now.

Bishop Museum Takes Over Nerd Nite Honolulu! #56

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Physics and snails and Octopi, OH MY!

See the full schedule of Hi-Sci Festival events at:

Tuesday, 6 March 2018
Anna O’Brien’s
Doors open at 7:30pm
Talks start at 8:00pm
Come early, get a drink, and grab a drink!
2440 South Beretania Street (see map below)
FREE – bring your own food!
Music accompanied by DJ Globes!


Mighty Cephalopods! 

Regina “Regie” Kawamoto – Malacology Collection Technician

Cephalopods have escape skills like Houdini! Master of Disguises that they can disappear before your very eyes! And the might of a thousand horses?

Regie was born and raised on the Island of Kauaʻi, where her wonderful family took her on outings to beaches and hikes around Kauaʻi. She received her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa in the Zoology Department where she worked with people who encouraged and peaked her interest in marine biology, water quality, conservation, and outreach programs.


Prime-Time, Slime-Time

Norine W. Yeung, Ph.D – Malacology Researcher and Collection Manager

In Hawaii, we have a spectacular land snail fauna – more than 750 species! However, we also have more established non-native land snails than any other island or archipelago in the Pacific. Many of these alien species threaten native forests (i.e., damage native plants and seedlings), are agricultural and horticultural pests, and serve as vectors of parasites that cause livestock and human diseases. Learn
more about which invasive land snails carry the Rat Lungworm disease in Hawaii and where they can be found.

Dr. Norine Yeung’s current research interests are focused on understanding the evolutionary mechanisms and processes that generate, maintain, and in some cases, reduce biodiversity. Teaching is central to her research, as an educator of science, policy and management.


Physics and Fizzyology: The Battle of the Bends in Deep Sea Diving 

Richard L. Pyle, PhD – Associate Zoologist, Database Coordinator

Diving to depths of 500 feet or more requires chutzpah and a keen sense of adventure but, behind all of the thrills lies a hard truth: safely descending to depths beyond the range of conventional SCUBA involves understanding some basic laws of physics and human physiology, mixed in with some pedantic engineering and fastidious planning that is much more in the realm of academic nerdery, than undersea heroics.

Richard Pyle has worked in the Ichthyology collection at Bishop Museum since 1986. He is an Associate Researcher, Database Coordinator, and Dive Safety Officer for the Museum. His main field of expertise involves the taxonomy and biogeography of coral-reef fishes. His other areas of interest include the use of advanced diving technology to document biodiversity inhabiting deeper regions of tropical coral reefs, and also the development of computer database systems (and associated data standards) for managing biodiversity information.

Nerd Nite Honolulu #56 – March 6

Nerd Nite Honolulu is teaming up with the Bishop Museum on March 6!

Join us for the Hawaii Science Festival (HI-Sci Fest) at Nerd Nite Honolulu!

First Tuesday of the Month

Anna O’Briens * Doors open at 7:30pm * Talks begin at 8:00pm

Stay tuned for more information…



Nerd Nite Honolulu #55 – February 6

Aloha Past, Present, and Future Nerd Niters,

Nerd Nite Honolulu is a monthly event that happens every first Tuesday 

Where Nerds Come to Talk Story

Nerdet al. gather to mingle, drink, think and learn something like they’ve never learned before! BONUS: BYO FOOD

Come for the Unadulterated Nerdism!

Fun-yet-intelligent presentations are interspersed with live or DJ’ed music, while the audience drinks (and thinks) along.

Be there and be square!

VENUE: Anna O’Brien’s at Isenberg and Beretania

Doors at 7:30 * Talks at 8ish


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Boats, Boats, Boats: Using Computers to Design Cool Stuff in the Ocean


The advancement of computers has led to a transformation in boat design beyond traditional naval architecture. Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), engineers can now rapidly prototype early-stage designs and more accurately predict performance. CFD is valuable for designing boats, ships, floating structures, and amphibious vehicles. Plus, it can make some pretty cool pictures and animations.

Charlie was born in raised in Hawaii, went to MIT for my Bachelor’s degree, then came back home to get my Master’s at UH. Since graduating, he worked for five years as a Mechanical/Ocean Engineer for Navatek Ltd, a local engineering company that specializes in science and technology projects, primarily for the Office of Naval Research and other government programs.


The Only Thing You Can Really Choose to Wear for Your Funeral

KAI SMART, Tattooer

A very brief discussion of the past, present, and future of tattooing as well as a longer discussion of my personal experiences with it. I examine the growing popularity of the craft, the role a tattooer plays in the experience, and the repercussions of permanence in this day and age.

Kai Smart has been a tattooer for 13 years, coming to it from an unlikely career as an antique book-dealer. She’s actually someone who uses her college art degree! She is also a nerd, and through talking to her clients to sooth them during an intense experience spreads a lot knowledge, some of which is possibly false or embellished information. Oh well.


Exploring “Artsci” Practices for 21st Century Scientists

KIRSTEN CARLSON, Science Communicator
DR. JUDY LEMUS, Marine Scientist

Kirsten and Judy will share their pathways into integrating science and art through their respective careers. They will present a new interactive teaching tool based on their collaboration and invite you to participate in the fun!

Kirsten Carlson is one-part nerd, one-part artist and 100% Viking. She is a trained science communicator and spearheads the Kailua Beach Plankton Rescue Unit on Oahu (always looking for more volunteers). She is a National Science Foundation Groupie, having just returned from diving in the Ross Sea as part of the NSF Antarctic Artists and Writers Program and is currently working part-time at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology as a scientific illustrator and graphic designer with Judy Lemus on an NSF Early-Concept Grant for Exploratory Research. She loves to draw underwater, paddle outrigger canoes and craft children’s books.

Dr. Judy Lemus is a marine scientist and “right-brainer” wannabe. She is fascinated by symbiosis in all its forms, which has been an overarching theme in her professional career, from marine biologist to educational specialist. She designs science education programs for learners of all ages and currently co-directs the Marine Biology Graduate Program at UH Manoa. Judy is also the creator and director of MakerLab at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, a discovery-based science lab and makerspace where she works with Kirsten on cool stuff. She spends her spare time practicing Okinawan karate and trying to channel her inner artist.

Nerd Nite Honolulu #54 – December 5



Lindsay Veazey

Cats, Caterpillars, and Menopause: mind control in nature & what scientists are learning from it

Fungus, protozoans, hypnosis, and gut bacteria…the CIA could learn a thing or two (and they have)…

Lindsay is a PhD student in quantitative biology that is happy to talk about something, anything, other than her effing dissertation


Steve Nelson


Destroying the earth with nuclear weapons.


Mariana Rocha de Souza

Cool facts of the jelly world!

They sting, they are eternal, they are extremely diverse… grab a pint and come hear about other fun facts about jellyfish!
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