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TED-Ed

Tierney Thys + Plankton Chronicles Project: The secret life of plankton

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New videography techniques have opened up the oceans' microscopic ecosystem, revealing it to be both mesmerizingly beautiful and astoundingly complex. Explore this hidden world that underpins our own food chain -- in the first-ever TEDTalk given by a fish ...

- Marine biologist
Tierney Thys is a marine biologist and science educator. She studies the behavior of the Mola mola, or giant ocean sunfish -- and works with other scientists to make films that share the wonders they see. Full bio

- Scientific research team
The Plankton Chronicles Project uses state-of-the-art optics to reveal the beauty and diversity of planktonic organisms. It was initiated by Christian Sardet, Noé Sardet and Sharif Mirshak. Full bio


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About the speakers:

Tierney Thys - Marine biologist
Tierney Thys is a marine biologist and science educator. She studies the behavior of the Mola mola, or giant ocean sunfish -- and works with other scientists to make films that share the wonders they see.

Why you should listen

Marine biologist Tierney Thys has fallen head over heels for a big, goofy fish: the Mola mola, or giant ocean sunfish. In studying the mola -- where they go, what they eat, what eats them -- she's also hunting for clues to the behavior of all life in the open ocean. With their enormous, odd bodies, peaceful habits and lust for jellyfish, these giants can be key to understanding life in the open ocean. Thys and her team are tagging and tracking molas worldwide to learn about how they live, and how climate change may be affecting all ocean life.

Thys is a National Geographic Explorer with a passion for marine education. She was also past director of research at the Sea Studios Foundation, a team of scientists and filmmakers that makes media to raise awareness of environmental issues -- including the PBS series Strange Days on Planet Earth and targeted videos that influence policymakers and businesspeople. Sea Studios was also instrumental in helping eBay stop the trading of invasive species.

More profile about the speaker
Tierney Thys | Speaker | TED.com
Plankton Chronicles Project - Scientific research team
The Plankton Chronicles Project uses state-of-the-art optics to reveal the beauty and diversity of planktonic organisms. It was initiated by Christian Sardet, Noé Sardet and Sharif Mirshak.

Why you should listen

The Plankton Chronicles Project combines art and science, revealing the beauty and diversity of planktonic organisms. Plankton samples are collected and filmed at the Villefranche-sur-Mer Marine Station and on board the schooner Tara using dark field optics and macro lenses or microscopes equipped with HD SLR cameras. Christian Sardet from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Noé Sardet and Sharif Mirshak from Parafilms (Montreal) initiated the project in the context of the Tara Oceans expedition.

Plankton Chronicles are sponsored by the CNRS, the Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris (UPMC) and the Groupement d'Interet Scientifique IBISA.

More profile about the speaker
Plankton Chronicles Project | Speaker | TED.com