Jazzin' Science Pub

Jazzin’ at the Shedd hits a high note with a new opportunity, the Jazzin’ science pub. On select dates, meet a Shedd researcher and learn about his or her work in an informal setting where you can relax, enjoy a beverage and ask questions. Check back for updates to our science pub speaker schedule.

June 17: Water Quality and Water Management
Speaker: Allen LaPointe
Shedd's animals live in nearly 5 million gallons of fresh and salt water. How did it get here, and how is it maintained? Join Shedd’s expert in environmental quality and water resources for an insider's look into the fascinating science of tailor-making water to meet the specific environmental needs of animals from all parts of the globe and maintaining and monitoring it for optimal quality.Then learn about Shedd’s water conservation initiatives to protect this precious resource.

July 15: Sharks in Lake Michigan? Fact or Fiction?
Speaker: Dr. Philip Willink
Reports of sharks in Lake Michigan have surfaced again and again, going back decades. We’ll trace several of these stories and you can be the judge of their scientific feasibility. Then we’ll discuss what creatures we know for sure inhabit the depths of Lake Michigan. At first scientists were concerned that the record ice cover during the winters of 2014 and 2015 would be detrimental to Great Lakes fishes, but instead the extreme conditions seem to have brought to the surface some rarely seen deep-water species. We still have much to learn about our aquatic neighbors and many mysteries to solve.


Aug. 12: Cool Critters at Shedd
Speaker: George Parsons
Shedd’s senior director of fishes has traveled the world in search of what he calls “cool critters.” In his research to develop animal collections and design new exhibits for Shedd, George has been to China, Japan, the Philippines and Belize, and for the last three years, he’s gone deep into the Rio Negro region of the Amazon rainforest seeking species with a special story. He’ll focus on some awesome but overlooked animals, including Amazon Rising’s piranhas, ants and myriad catfish species, their adaptations and their wild environments replicated at Shedd. Join him on this zoological travelogue!


Sept. 2: Athletic Medicine for Amphibians
Speaker: Bill Van Bonn, D.V.M.
The A. Watson Armour III Center for Animal Health and Welfare is a full-service medical facility located within Shedd Aquarium. When one of nature’s long jumpers, an American bullfrog, injured his knee, we performed orthopedic surgery modeled after a procedure for similar injuries in humans. Learn more about this pioneering operation on an amphibian—just one example of the level of healthcare all the animals at Shedd receive.

Sept. 9: Fish Farming – The Facts, The Fiction and the Fantastic of Aquaculture
Speaker: Aislinn Gauchay and local aquaculture producers
Fish farming, or aquaculture, is one of the hottest topics to cross your dinner plate. Shedd’s sustainable seafood expert Aislinn Gauchay will update you on how aquaculture has evolved and improved over the years and address the myths and misconceptions surrounding this important practice. She’ll also introduce you to the growing sustainable aquaculture community in the Great Lakes region, including local aquaculture producers who’ll be on hand to discuss their sustainable operations. After the talk, taste some of our region’s freshest, most delicious local fish straight from the farm.