Science Pub Corvallis

Science Pub Corvallis offers cool presentations in an informal atmosphere where you can interact with experts and where there are no silly questions. No scientific background is required – just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks and knowledge!

sp_logo_2013_rgb-corvallis3-8-13Held on the second Monday of the month, 6 to 8 p.m. in the Old World Deli, 341 2nd St. in Corvallis, Science Pub is sponsored by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Downtown Corvallis Association and Terra magazine at  Oregon State University.

No RSVP is necessary. Tell your friends and join us on Facebook to stay informed about upcoming guests. We hope to see you there! Check out photos from the May 13, 2013 Science Pub. You can also see recorded Science Pub events online. And if you can’t join us in Corvallis, check out science pubs by OSU-Cascades in Bend and by OMSI in Portland, Hillsboro, McMinnville and Eugene.

Do you fancy yourself an expert on science? Take the Science Pub quiz!

Next Corvallis Science Pub: May 9, 2016

The Coral Microbiome Project

Speaker: Rebecca Vega-Thurber, College of Science, Oregon State University

Corals_GOPR3726Underwater, bleached corals are hard to miss. The ornate structures — once lemon yellow, dark purple, or mossy green — turn a ghostly white when coral animals expel the phytoplankton that normally provide food. While they can recover, nearly a fifth of the world’s reefs have died.

But a reef is more than coral and plankton. It is a community in which other microorganisms play a role. Viruses and bacteria, fungi and archaea also live in the neighborhood, what researchers call the coral microbiome. Scientists know little about what these organisms do and how they affect the health of the reef.

At the May 9 Corvallis Science Pub, Rebecca Vega-Thurber, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology, will discuss an initiative to analyze the coral microbiome. With samples from the western Pacific, the Caribbean, the Red Sea and other locations, she and her team of students and post-doctoral researchers endeavor to understand how microorganisms interact with corals. It’s possible they might contribute to reef decline or help protect corals from stress.

“Coral species differ in their susceptibility to bleaching and disease,” says Vega-Thurber, “but these differences are only partially explained by the evolutionary history of corals.” Better understanding of the coral microbiome could lead to new methods for conserving reefs.

In addition to Vega-Thurber’s presentation, the Science Pub will offer a preview of scenes from Saving Atlantis, a new movie about the worldwide Coral Microbiome Project.

Vega-Thurber received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2005 and worked at San Diego State University and Florida International University before coming to Oregon State in 2011. The Coral Microbiome Project is supported by the National Science Foundation.


Upcoming Science Pubs

June 6: Marijuana as Medicine. Speaker: Jane Ishmael, College of Pharmacy

On YouTube

From “Where’s water? How geology and climate conspire to dictate the future of water in the West,” February 8, 2016

If you missed the “Life of Dead Trees” on November 9, listen to brief comments from Mark Harmon and David Paul Bayles.