Science Sundays

Sunday, November 15, 2020

1:30 – 2:30 PM


Deep-Sea Corals:
Denizens of the Twilight Zone, and Silent Recorders of the Ocean’s Changing Ecology

Matthew McCarthy, Ph.D.
Professor, UC Santa Cruz


Thomas Guilderson, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor, UC Santa Cruz
Research Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Most of the world’s oceans have yet to be explored–in fact, only about 20 percent have been mapped in detail. One area in particular offers scientists some of Earth’s greatest mysteries and potential for discovery. The mesopelagic, often called the ocean’s twilight zone, extends from 200 to 1,000 meters below the sea’s surface. Linking all of the world’s oceans, the mesopelagic is the largest continuous biome on Earth, yet is still poorly understood. The zone is home to deep-sea corals, unique animals with skeletons of carbonate or protein, which form staggeringly beautiful and almost totally unknown forests around the world on the mesopelagic seafloor. Beyond their beauty, deep-sea corals provide a unique window into understanding our rapidly changing oceans. Their organic (hard, protein-based) skeletons contain a detailed record of past changes of carbon and nutrient cycling.

Join Tom and Matt to learn more about deep-sea corals, experience two virtual dives collecting coral specimens with footage and images from real expeditions, and see how recent research of deep-sea corals allows for the reconstruction of past and current climate changes.

Register in advance* for the online Science Sunday webinar (required) HERE.

*Please register at least 30-minutes prior to event start time. Registration closes at 1:00 PM PST on Sunday, November 15, 2020.


The November Science Sunday presentation will provide further discovery into the science behind the Seymour Center’s newly accessible Deep-Sea Coral virtual exhibit. Deep-Sea Coral is a digital mixed media project featuring curated archives from nearly 20 years of deep-sea exploration of ancient denizens of the deep. This virtual exhibit is artistically designed to merge art and marine science. Start exploring!

Science Sunday is for everyone interested in the world around them. Join us on the third Sunday of every month (except December) for a public lecture from a marine scientist, who presents current research and topics in an entertaining and easy-to-understand format, with up-to-date photos, video, and discussion.

  • Time: 1:30 PM; lectures are one hour long and include time for a few questions at the end.
  • Location: Online; webinar preregistration is required.
  • Recommended for ages 10 and older.

Virtual Science Sundays are offered at no charge with preregistration. Please consider supporting the Seymour Center by becoming a member or making a donation today. Thank you!


Sunday, January 17, 2021

1:30 – 2:30 PM
Online Webinar

Sign up for the Seymour Center’s e-newsletter to be notified of upcoming Science Sundays.

Here’s a sampling of past Science Sunday topics:


Saturdays, 11 AM–3 PM
Now–December 19, 2020
Join us for outdoor, in-person shopping this holiday season! Find gifts for all ages.

Support Hawaiian monk seal conservation—and enjoy a truly unique gift for the holidays—with our Adopt a Monk Seal package, available at the Seymour Center’s Seaside Shopping!

Dive into the Seymour Center challenge to engineer an invention to solve a type of plastic pollution problem affecting our watersheds and oceans.

December 10, 2020
3:30 PM PST (special time!)
Tune in to our last Labside Chat of 2020 to explore the intricacies of marine mammal physiology with Shawn Noren, Ph.D.

Drift peacefully among curious juvenile rockfish and a shiner surfperch currently housed in the Seymour Center’s "SMURF" tank in this short video.


Find events and activities for ocean-enthusiasts of all ages.



Stay informed about what's new and upcoming at the Seymour Center.