Talks and Lectures

Nat Talks, made possible with support from presenting sponsor The Downing Family Foundation and media partner KPBS, feature museum staff and outside experts speaking on an array of topics, including the latest in scientific research, history, conservation, and the natural world. Natural History 101 is a series of informal classes that offer a deep dive into the incredible biodiversity of our region. Purchase tickets by clicking on the link associated with each event. To view recoded talks and lectures, visit our YouTube playlist.



Upcoming Events


Nat Talk: Tales from a Remote Island Expedition

Tuesday, August 18, 7 PM

In 1952, a volcano erupted on San Benedicto, one of the islands that make up the Revillagigedos archipelago off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. For the next 65 years, the plants and animals on the island went largely undocumented. Finally, in 2017, Dr. Sula Vanderplank and an international, multi-disciplinary group of scientists returned to the Revillagigedos (now an UNESCO World Heritage Site) to study how the islands had changed.  

This 21-day expedition uncovered new threats to the biodiversity of the islands but also showcased their resilience. The researchers added 76 taxa to the record, including two species that may be entirely new to science. They documented more than 50 species that can be found nowhere else in the world. And Sula even collected one very special wasp from inside her own nose (now informally known to science as Nose Wasp).  

Join Sula for a peek inside this trip to a beautiful and fragile ecosystem that holds lessons, and warnings, about the future of biodiversity everywhere.  

To attend this free online talk, please register in advance by clicking the button below and following the directions on the next page. Note: you do not need to purchase tickets and do not need a Zoom account to attend the talk. Please consider supporting The Nat by selecting the $12 suggested ticket price at checkout. 

RSVP Today



Nat Talk: Return of the Red-legged Frogs

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 7 PM

A story that merited its dramatic headline in the LA Times, Museum herpetologists share how a monumental binational effort brought the federally threatened California red-legged frog back to Southern California just a few months ago.  

With the outbreak of coronavirus threatening to shut down the border and heavy winds blowing, Museum scientists and a binational team from several agencies and organizations recently reintroduced the federally threatened California red-legged frog to two Southern California habitats, where they have been absent for about 20 years. This milestone was the subject of a feature article in the LA Times and in an eyewitness account by Museum President and CEO Judy Gradwohl. 

Hear about it directly from the experts during a free online talk held via Zoom. Curator of Herpetology Dr. Brad Hollingsworth, and Herpetology Collections Manager Frank Santana will share the full story. Please register in advance by clicking the button below and following the directions on the next page.  

Note: you do not need to purchase tickets and do not need a Zoom account to attend the talk. Please consider supporting The Nat by selecting the $12 suggested ticket price at checkout. 

RSVP Today