Learn about the social behavior of northern fur seals. Watch the captivating film Chasing Coral and see how an eclectic group of conservationists doggedly battles technical malfunctions and the force of nature to record bleaching events as they happen on vulnerable coral reefs.

And was there ever life on Mars? Find out the latest at the annual John H. Carlson Lecture, presented by MIT’s Lorenz Center and the New England Aquarium.  

These are a few of the subjects to be addressed during this fall’s New England Aquarium Free Public Lecture Series, which begins Thursday.

Roger Gentry, lecture


Above, Roger L. Gentry, Ph.D., Director of ProScience Consulting, LLC, begins the lecture series Thursday, September 13, at 7 p.m. in the Simons IMAX® Theatre with his lecture Up Close with the Northern Fur Seal.

Participate in a Q & A session following the Thursday, September 20, screening of the film Chasing Coral (right) with panelists James W. Porter, Ph.D., Professor of Ecology, Emeritus, University of Georgia, and Scientific Advisor and Principal Cast Member, Chasing Coral; Zackery Rago, Youth Outreach Manager, Exposure Labs’ Chasing Coral Impact Campaign; and William S. Spitzer, Ph.D., Vice President, Programs, Exhibits, and Planning, New England Aquarium.

Chasing Coral movie image
John Grotzinger speaks during a lecture

And a highlight of the series is the annual John H. Carlson Lecture on Thursday, October 11, featuring John P. Grotzinger, Ph.D., Fletcher Jones Professor of Geology and Ted and Ginger Jenkins Leadership Chair, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, at the California Institute of Technology. 

In contrast to Mars’ current harsh environment, its ancient surface was wet and warmer and all the key ingredients to sustain life appear to have been present. Come find out about “Searching for Ancient Life on Mars.” 

For a complete list of lectures and to register, please visit our website.

The Aquarium Lecture Series is presented free to the public through the generosity of the Lowell Institute, which has been providing funding for free public lectures at universities and museums since 1836.

Since 1972, the Aquarium has been providing free lectures and film screenings by scientists, environmental writers, photographers, and others.