Microbial Murder Mystery Lands CALS Student in Top 10 of Ocean Science Video Challenge

A three-minute cartoon video made by two UA graduate students.
A three-minute cartoon video made by two UA graduate students.

A science video disguised as a cartoon murder mystery has landed two University of Arizona marine ecology students among the top 10 finalists in the Ocean 180 Video Challenge, an outreach campaign designed to inspire scientists to communicate the meaning and significance of scientific research to a broader audience.

The campaign is sponsored by the Florida Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence and funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Recognizing the need for scientists to communicate more effectively with the general public, the inaugural Ocean 180 Video Challenge asked ocean scientists to explain their research to middle school students.

Sound easy? How about in 180 seconds or less?

Scientists from across the country took on the challenge, sharing their recently published research in three-minute video clips. The top 10 submissions were selected by a panel of science and communication experts. Now the finalists will be evaluated by middle school students, arguably one of the most critical audiences.

Ann Gregory, a doctoral student in soil, water and environmental Science at the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and J. Cesar Ignacio Espinoza, a doctoral student in the molecular and cellular biology program at the UA College of Science received an email from their adviser,Matt Sullivan, about the competition. Sullivan is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and heads the Tucson Marine Phage Lab, a bustling research group specializing in discovering the hidden world of viruses that drift through the world's oceans and the microbes on which they prey.

Read the rest of this January 17, 2014 and watch the submitted video at the link below.

Date released: 
Jan 28 2014
Contact: 
J. Cesar Ignacio Espinoza