CSUF News

Expert 'Fish Guy' and 'Nemo' Consultant Keynotes Science Event

Adam Summers

Keynote speaker Adam P. Summers, professor of biology at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories, is pictured with a very large mako shark jaw.

International expert on fish biomechanics and consultant to Disney Pixar's hit animated movies, "Finding Nemo" and "Finding Dory," Adam P. Summers headlines the Thursday, March 9, Cal State Fullerton Natural Sciences and Mathematics Inter-Club Council Symposium.

Summers, professor of biology at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories and also known as "fish guy," will present "From Finding Nemo to Finding Patents — Adventures in Biomimetics" at 7 p.m. in the Titan Student Union's Portola Pavilion. His talk will focus on how he believes art and science have always been related.

"The art and passion in 'Finding Nemo' is the same thread that motivates my investigations into natural history," said Summers, also an artist. "The natural history of the marine environment inspires new materials and technologies if you look with the right kind of eye."

Summers was the graduate adviser of CSUF's Misty Paig-Tran, assistant professor of biological sciences, who also studies fish biomechanics and is conducting research on the manta ray and oarfish. Summers and Paig-Tran have a patent together on bio-inspired, non-clogging filters based on manta rays, and have co-taught a course at Friday Harbor Laboratories, which has hosted multiple CSUF students over the past several years.

In addition to Summers’ talk, the Natural Science and Mathematics Inter-Club Council will hold a series of science events, held March 8-10. These include CSUF student research presentations, a panel discussion with alumni and a Stem Cell Research Symposium. All events are free and open to the campus community and public. A reception featuring a Latin jazz band, made up of student musicians from the College of the Arts, will be held following Summers' talk.

Highlights are:

Wednesday, March 8
5:30–7 p.m., Titan Student Union Legislative Chambers — Science and Math Career Connections Alumni Panel, with College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics graduates. Alumni panelists are:

  • Brian Becker, '14, '16 (B.A., M.A. mathematics-applied mathematics) software engineer and data analytics, MIND Research Institute
  • Mauricio Gomez, '14 (B.S. biological science-marine biology) assistant biologist, Chambers Group Inc.
  • Gabriel Islas, '14 (M.S. physics) laboratory engineer, Luminit
  • Monique Mercado, '13 (B.S. chemistry, B.A. criminal justice) chemist, Edwards Lifesciences
  • Megan Nacar, '14 (B.S. biochemistry) regional business manager, QDx Pathology Services

Thursday, March 9
3:30-5 p.m., Titan Student Union's Portola Pavilion — A total of 85 science and mathematics students will present their research projects.

Friday, March 10
9 a.m. to noon, Titan Student Union's Portola Pavilion — Stem Cell Research Symposium, focusing on the work of scholars at other campuses and those in the University's Bridges to Stem Cell program. At 11:30 a.m. CSUF students will present their research.

scholars in the Bridges to Stem Cell programscholars in the Bridges to Stem Cell program

More information:

Contact Colleen A. McDonough, assistant dean for student affairs, 657-278-4158.

Media Contact:

Debra Cano Ramos, 657-278-4027

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