This summer, William “Bud” Gillan, Boynton Beach High AP and Honors Science Teacher is leading a Smithsonian expedition to Bonaire as part of the 7th Annual Jellyfish Jamboree, June 17-31. Jellies of all types will be documented, sting and toxicology studies conducted, and new specimens collected for the genome database and exhibits at the Smithsonian. The Jellyfish Jamboree is open to educators as part of an outreach program with The Smithsonian scientists to study coral reef ecology and their organisms. Both snorkelers and scuba divers are welcome to participate in this research.
The Jellyfish Jamboree is an outgrowth of a research project commissioned by The Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC which centered around a new species of box jelly discovered off the island of Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean. The new species, Tamoya ohboya, has been documented by a research team from The Smithsonian Institute (Washington, DC) and William “Bud” Gillan, Boynton Beach High AP and Honors Science Teacher who has been studying this organism for 10 years. Mr. Gillan was asked to study a different species of swarming Cubozoan both in the wild and in the lab. In a surprise to the scientists, after the species were collected and genetically sequenced, they turned out to be Alatina alata. Zygotes where cultivated in the lab and grown into juvenile box jellies.
“We were able to share knowledge, not just about our natural world, but also how we go about studying it. This project also highlights the nature of science really nicely, particularly the collaborative and dynamic aspects of the process”, said Dr. Allen Collins, a Smithsonian Cnidarian expert. Last week ZooTaxa published the research about the new species Links to the academic research:
The School District of Palm Beach County encourages teachers as well as gives them opportunities to broaden their scientific knowledge base through staff development and other activities and initiatives in order to better teach their students the novelties of science and technology.
To learn more about the Jellyfish Jamboree, contact Bud Gillan at email@example.com.