Scientist Looks To Fish For New Technologies and Materials

Apr 25, 2017

Credit Kathy Cowell

A childhood spent in downtown Manhattan did not dampen Adam Summers’ passion for the outdoors. His family took yearly trips to Canada’s woods and streams, which instilled in him a special passion for marine life. Now a comparative bio-mechanist, Summers is an expert in the evolution, anatomy and movement of fish. He has consulted with Pixar on its animated films “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory.” Summers is also leading a sweeping new initiative to scan and digitize all of the planet’s 33,000 species of ray-finned fish.

Summers is a professor at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories and a Nannerl-Keohane visiting distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. Host Frank Stasio talks with Adam Summers about his passion for marine life and how it could inspire solutions for human problems.