In Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter, marine scientist Ellen Prager takes readers deep into the sea to introduce an astonishing cast of fascinating and bizarre creatures that make the salty depths their home. As part of the free “Ding” Darling Friday Lecture Series, the author will present two programs beginning at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center on Sanibel Island.
Hidden beneath the sea’s waves, a staggering abundance and variety of active creatures engage in the never-ending struggles of life—to reproduce, eat, and avoid being eaten. Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime takes an entertaining look at marine biodiversity, its relevance to the average person, and why ocean life and resources are now at risk.
Dr. Prager is a sought-after speaker widely recognized for her expertise and ability to bring science to the layman. She has appeared on the Today Show and NBC News, Good Morning America, Fox News, CBS Early Show, CNN American Morning, Larry King, The Weather Channel, and Discovery Channel.
Formerly the chief scientist for the Aquarius Reef Base program in Key Largo, Fla., which includes the world’s only undersea research station, Dr. Prager is currently a freelance writer, consultant, science advisor to CelebrityXpedition in the Galapagos Islands, and a Safina Center Fellow.
Following her presentations, Prager will sign copies of her book, which is available for purchase in the Refuge Nature Store, all proceeds benefitting refuge wildlife and conservation and education programs.
Admission is free to the lectures, which are sponsored by HighTower Advisors Fort Myers along with Mike and Terry Baldwin and support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS).
The season’s complete schedule is listed below. Book signings follow all of the starred (*) lectures.
Seating for the lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. Arrive one hour early to assure seating. Early arrivals can save one seat each and then may explore the Visitor & Education Center or Indigo Trail before the lecture starts. Saved seats must be filled 15 minutes before lecture time or risk reassigning.
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As usual, Wildlife Drive is closed on Friday, but visitors are welcome to enjoy the free “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center, Indigo Trail, and recreational opportunities at Tarpon Bay Explorers, the refuge’s official concessionaire located at its Tarpon Bay Recreation Area.
Note: Opinions expressed in guest lectures do not necessarily reflect the views of refuge and DDWS management, staff, and board of directors.
*Feb. 5 – Ellen Prager – “Sex, Drugs and Sea Slime: The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter”
*Feb. 12 – Don & Lillian Stokes – “Better Birding”
Feb. 19- No Lecture
Feb. 26 – Jerry Lorenz –“Roseate Spoonbills in Florida Bay: Pink Canaries in a Coal Mine”
*March 4 – Steve Noll – Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal and the Struggle for Florida’s Future
*March 11 – Leslie Kemp Poole – Saving Florida: Women’s Fight for the Environment in the Twentieth Century
March 18 – Emily Stokes, Reef.org – “Invasion of the Lionfish”
March 25 – Ian Bartoszek – “Pythons in Paradise: Collaborative Burmese Python Research in SW Florida”
April 1 – Joe Wiegand – “Teddy: The Conservation President” Reprisal
*April 8 – John H. Hartig, “Bringing Conservation to Cities: Lessons from Building the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge”
*April 15 – Sandra Friend and John Keatley, “The Florida Trail Guide”
*starred lectures indicate a book-signing to follow
As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop proceeds.