Where You Can Find Spineless & Me

Spineless’s birthday is a week from today! And I’m thrilled that I’ll be able to talk about jellyfish in a bunch of wonderful venues. Here’s a rundown:

November 4, 2017 at 1 pm. Texas Book Festival! I’ll be talking with polar scientist Peter Wadhams and geneticist Spencer Wells in the CSPAN/Book TV Tent about climate change, ice, jellyfish, and what the future holds. (Austin, TX)

November 9, 2017 at 7 pm. Book People Book Launch! Come for the Electric Jellyfish IPA and stay for the jellyfish trivia – there will be prizes! (Austin, TX)

November 14, 2017 at 7 pm. Interabang Books. Help Keith and me celebrate our wedding anniversary (really!) with some jellyfish stories in Cowtown. (Dallas, TX)

November 18th, 2017 at 2 pm. Science Mill. I’m so excited to talk jellyfish in the hill country where they used to swim 50-odd million years ago. (Johnson City, TX)

November 21, 2017 at 7 pm. Left Bank Books. Bringing the jellyfish back to my home town! (St. Louis, MO)

January 6, 2018 at 6 pm. San Francisco JCC. Science on the Screen features the gorgeous movie Ponyo and we’ll talk about the way jellyfish are depicted on film. You can buy tickets here! (San Francisco, CA)

January 8, 2018 at 7 pm. Bookshop Santa Cruz. Thrilled to travel to the other weirdest bookstore in the world to talk Spineless. (Santa Cruz, CA)

January 21, 2018 Powells Bookstore. The mother ship! So excited to be able to talk about Spineless at this most iconic bookstore. (Portland, OR)

January 22, 2018 Eliot Bay Book Company. Along with talking jellies at this terrific book store, I’m hoping to get a jellyfish in the foam of my latte while I’m in coffee country! (Seattle, WA)

January 24, 2018 at 12 pm. University of Southern California. Back where I defended my dissertation, I’ll have the chance to go to the podium once again. (Los Angeles, CA)

January 24, 2018 at 7 pm. Chevaliers Books. Here I come Hollywood? Delighted to have the chance to speak about jellyfish at this lovely bookstore in the heart of LA! (Los Angeles, CA)

Jellyfish Far and Wide

I’m pinching myself. SPINELESS is out in the world, and it’s been getting some incredible coverage. I’m going to give a rundown here, because each one of these shout-outs about jellyfish and our oceans’ health means so much to me. And what’s more, the variety of places where SPINELESS is showing up is beyond myContinue Reading

Our Ocean 2017

Something happened that I didn’t see reported in any news sources that I follow and I think more of us should know about it. On October 5th and 6th, leaders from around the world met for the fourth Our Ocean conference. Started by Secretary John Kerry in 2014, the meeting is like a G20 orContinue Reading


There’s the cover! And wow, could it be any more beautiful? The stunning colors and elegant layout came from my publisher Riverhead books and the jellyfish drawings are by Ernst Haeckel, an Austrian naturalist/jellyfish expert/philosopher/physician/artist who lived in the late 1800s. If you haven’t ever seen Haeckel’s book of drawings called Kunstformen der Natur, orContinue Reading


While I was in the Netherlands earlier this month, the Naturalis Newsroom was gracious enough to feature me in not just one, but two episodes. The first was the subject of last week’s blog and the second was about science communication. That science communication, #scicomm, has become a thing worthy of a video about makesContinue Reading

The Curious Case of the Jellyfish Curator

I’m just back from the Netherlands, where bikes rule the road but canals force all the roads to meander and curve so you are never quite sure where you’re headed. I was lucky enough to have the chance to give a talk about jellyfish at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, one of the oldest natural history museums in EuropeContinue Reading

Invertebrate Intermission

It’s been a while since I posted here, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy with the jellies. Starting around Christmas, I went through an intense fact-checking/end-noting process with Spineless. I found that I could get through about a five pages a day–and the book is around 300 pages long. It was butt-in-the-chair, back-aching kind of work,Continue Reading

Healing Crystals

In the days following the election of Donald Trump I fell into a haze. I couldn’t focus on my work. Given the campaign trail rhetoric, the environmental regulations that I trust to keep my family and me healthy would certainly erode. Advances we’d made toward a future where our planet maintained a stable climate, the growthContinue Reading

Groping for Hope?

  Last week I attended the SXSWeco conference in Austin and had the enormous pleasure of meeting, Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist whose mission is to connect people over solutions to climate change, one of the most polarizing issues in our country. There is no one more articulate at explaining why we all share the values needed to solveContinue Reading

Fried Eggs in Spain

Two weeks ago, I joined 220 scientists from every continent except Antarctica for five days of jam-packed gelatinous joy in Barcelona. The Jellyfish Blooms Symposium started fifteen years ago with just a few dozen or so scientists gathering in Alabama. But as many of the original conveners pointed out, both attendance and interest have bloomed over the years, not unlikeContinue Reading