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Victoria, BC - Water Connects

  • The Copper Owl 1900 Douglas Street Victoria, BC, V8T 4K8 Canada (map)

The Story Collider is partnering with the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) to host a special show in conjunction with its Aquatic Sciences summer meeting in Victoria, British Columbia! Join us on June 12th for an evening of true, personal stories about science. From a hunt for a meaningful career to a search for those lost at sea, five storytellers will share very different takes on the water that connects us all.

Hosted by Liz Neeley and Maryam Zaringhalam. Doors open at 7:30 pm.

Stories by:


CJ Beegle-Krause is an oceanographer interested in finding better answers for the Decision Support questions. With degrees in biology and physical oceanography (observational and tracer modeling), she has applied her interests primarily to oil spills. At SINTEF, she has been leading initiatives to improve oil spills modeling in the Arctic and she is a Co-PI in two Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Projects. Two years ago, she had a short fellowship with the University of Osaka, Japan, for research into NaTech events: Natural events that lead to Technological Disasters, such as oil spills caused by tsunamis. She is interested in many types of Lagrangian Drift Problems, such as oil spills, marine debris and larval fish. While at NOAA, she provided operational support for over 250 oil spills in the US and internationally, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the T/V Prestige oil spill, supported the U.S. military in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf, and the Middle East Peace Process. She has received 6 individual service of awards and 7 group awards while in government service.


Michelle McCrackin is a research scientist at Stockholm University’s Baltic Sea Center. Her research focuses on human-enhanced eutrophication, a process that reduces water clarity and causes dead zones and large algal blooms in lakes and coastal waters. She moved to Sweden from the US for the opportunity to join a new team that works to bridge the gap between scientists and decision makers in the Baltic Sea region. Michelle is actively involved with science communication though public seminars, web-articles, policy briefs, blogs, and face-to-face meetings with politicians and civil servants. Her Swedish skills are limited to reading menus and navigating public transportation; her attempts to speak Swedish usually leave people looking confused. 


Maliheh Mehrshad is a microbial ecologist. She studies the diversity and community composition of microbes in aquatic environments along salinity gradient. She hopes this exploratory research would help deciphering life strategies, metabolic capabilities, defense system and survival tricks of the understudied components of the microbial community. In her recent research she is isolating representatives of different trophic levels of the aquatic food chain in order to design and conduct multitrophic experiments and define the key players of the carbon flow in the ecosystem. She loves teaching and tries to connect people with each other through “Microbiology Without Borders” concept.


Elisa Schaum is an oceanographer turned evolutionary biologist investigating what makes some phytoplankton populations better at evolving under climate change than others. She does this because phytoplankton are breathtakingly beautiful, and because they pretty much rule the world: they produce half of the oxygen that we breathe, fuel food-webs and their activities determine whether the oceans can take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. She is a junior professor at the University of Hamburg. Her life pre-science involved a lot of music and dancing. She also likes to write fairly horrific poetry (or, preferably, read splendid poetry) in her free time. Originally from Belgium, she has lived and worked in the Netherlands, Germany, France, South Africa, Italy, New Zealand and the UK.

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Christa Torrens is (in no particular order) a PhD candidate, stream ecologist, contra dance caller and science writer. One of her passions is science communication: finding and sharing the stories in science, connecting with her audience, finding the best lens to show the various aspects of our amazing world.  Christa has spent countless hours sloshing through streams for work and play, which has taken her to some stunning places (as well as a few not-so-lovely ones). These days she’s mostly crouched at her Macbook, student-ing. When she breaks free, you can find her on a dance floor or in the mountains skiing, hiking, or biking.