Lessons from the deep: using electrophysiology & visualization to learn how the brain survives at sea

Dr Kendall-Bar’s interdisciplinary approach combines engineering, visualization, and computation to learn how the brain survives at sea. This seminar will review her work to create innovative tools to detect, visualize, and analyze the physiology and behavior of animals in extreme environments that showcase their biological resilience to oxygen and sleep deprivation. From individuals to ecosystems, Kendall-Bar conducts multidisciplinary physiological studies that combine basic and applied science with potential to advance conservation and translational medicine. This seminar reviews Kendall-Bar’s dissertation research on sleep in seals and presents some current and ongoing projects to combine high-performance computing and visualization to assess brain activity in human freedivers, epilepsy in sea lions, and cardiac performance in some of the largest (blue whales) and smallest (emperor penguins) divers.

Jessica Kendall-Bar will also share her experience creating the communications material surrounding her latest paper, published in April 2023 in Science (Brain activity of diving seals reveals short sleep cycles at depth) that was featured by the CNN, NPR, BBC, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and National Geographic.


Dr Jessica Kendall-Bar is a Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Marine Biotechnology & Biomedicine at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. Kendall-Bar’s postdoctoral work builds on her doctoral research at UC Santa Cruz, where she developed new tools to non-invasively measure and visualize the sleep patterns of wild seals. At Scripps, Kendall-Bar seeks to compare the extreme physiology of elite divers- including humans, penguins, seals, and whales. Kendall-Bar also believes that scientific progress is futile unless communicated effectively. Her animations, illustrated children’s books, and data visualizations aim to accurately portray science and its role in preserving underwater ecosystems. Her work as a science communication specialist distills scientific complexity into data-driven stories, graphics, and animations that accelerate research, outreach, and conservation.


The lecture is viewable via: teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_YTNmMjg5ZDUtMTQyNS00ZTVmLWE3NjItMjA0ZjkyMTg0ZDY0%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%22cc95de1b-97f5-4f93-b4ba-fe68b852cf91%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%221f280292-0175-4318-bef1-cbb104ca0801%22%7d