Episode 16: Marine Biology and Climate Change with Dr. Jordan Grigor

The SSMV aquarium

Last week, I got the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Jordan Grigor, a postdoc working at the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (SSMV).  He is both an educator and marine biology scientist.  We cover the uncertain future of keystone species like plankton in the arctic, and discuss the unique science education program at the SSMV that helps kids learn about science and marine ecosystems.

This was my first remote recording, as the podcast was conducted on-site in the SSMV. You may notice echoes in the beginning of the podcast, but stick with it as it does not persist throughout!

Many thanks to Dr. Grigor for hosting me!  The picture above doesn’t do the aquarium justice.  It’s really a sight to behold and is changing all the time- a terrific experience for the lucky students at the SSMV!

The SSMV Aquarium is totally funded by donations, which pay for food, animals, and maintenance. If you are interested in supporting these efforts to teach Nashville high school kids marine biology, please visit the gofundme page here

The SSMV is at the bottom of this building on the beautiful Vanderbilt campus!

Some of Dr. Grigor’s work:

His ResearchGate profile, including all the papers published on zooplankton

Underdogs of the Arctic – A Video Summary of his PhD research

School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (SSMV) website

SSMV Facebook

More about the SSMV Aquarium Project:

SSMV Blog 


Special Instagram for Lucy, the decorator crab

Other Resources:

Svalbard Zooplankton Identification App (an Android app made by the students and I to help people learn about Arctic zooplankton species)

We also mentioned:

Drug discovery efforts to find medicines in coral reefs- Read more at  Science News for Students

Chasing Coral – A marine biology documentary

Before the Flood– A climate change documentary

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change– A great resource for those looking to learn more about the science behind climate change

Check out this episode!

Check out other SFS episodes!


  1. The headline reads “Marine Biology and Climate Change”. Yet, nowhere in the video does Grigor talk about that. What he does say is that he’s studying creatures that have not been studied before, meaning that he has no references to go by, and no data set for comparison. in other words, any conclusions he makes about arctic warming and zooplankton is mere speculation.

  2. Hey, sounds like you are confusing the video with the podcast. The podcast is the first playable media file- and is the source of title derivation. Check it out above the video!

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