Hot diggity dog, it’s Nerd Nite Wilmington #1! Take good care of this one, it’s bound to be worth something someday. We’re kicking off the weirdness in Wilmington with three primo presentations from a stellar slate of brilliant nerds all centered around local things big and small. From whales to bugs to the very beers you’ll be enjoying during the talks, we’re talking all about things you will find here in the First State.

A Whale of a Tale: DelMNS Edition with Robbie Mueller

I am so thrilled to come to Nerd Nite to talk about my journey into Marine Biology and Cetacean research. I’ll be diving into the fascinating world of Whales and Dolphins, focusing on the incredible story behind our very own DelMNS Whale Skeleton! Join me as we discover how the study of cetaceans helps us better understand their behavior, anatomy, and the importance of conservation. Dive in for a Whale Sized Nerd Adventure!

Robbie Mueller is a Marine Biologist working as the Discovery Gallery Lead at the Delaware Museum of Nature & Science. Robbie is originally from New Orleans where he started exploring his scientific passion: the ocean! He recently obtained his marine biology master’s degree from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi with research specialization in behavioral and cellular components of long-term memory. Robbie has also been privileged to work with AIMM Portugal as a Whale and Dolphin Researcher focusing on behavioral dynamics, population structure, and photo identification. Robbie’s also been a guest on the Whale Nerds Podcast highlighting the incredible field of marine biology. His interest in nature and science stems from a natural curiosity to explore and understand our world. Robbie’s journey following my master’s degree brought him here to Delaware to continue his work with the Delaware Museum of Nature & Science. He’s beyond thrilled to be here to better Explore, Discover, and Protect our beautiful Delaware!

Fermentation with Craig Wensell

Learn everything you need to know (and more) about the fermentation process and the science that gets you the beer you enjoy during the evening’s talks!

Craig Wensell, Sanitizer in Chief, Brewing Operations Manager, CEO, and Janitor at Wilmington Brew Works. Craig has degrees from Oklahoma State University and The Florida State University. Early in his career, he taught orchestra K-12 before moving on to teaching at different universities to include The Florida State University. Craig is an amateur Double Bassist and has played across the country with many different groups such as The Columbus Symphony, Tulsa Philharmonic, and The Delaware Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame for Barney Kessel and has performed music in Weil Hall in New York City. Craig also served in Afghanistan as a Blackhawk (UH-60 A/L) Crew Chief. During his service he reach the rank of E-5 and earned numerous commendation for outstanding performance including 1000 accident free flight hours. His family has a long rich history of home-brewing that goes back to the 1980s. Craig enjoys endless hours at the brew kettle, reading technical papers, and watching yeast make beer!

Insect Biodiversity with Lauren Barczak

The world of insects is weird and wonderful – insects account for over 80% of all animal life on earth and are often considered one of the most successful and important groups of organisms on the planet. Take a dive into some of the coolest insects you’ll find in your own backyard, their diverse adaptations for survival, and how you can help them!

Lauren Barczak is the Curator of Conservation Education at the Brandywine Zoo and a lifelong lover of bugs! Lauren is an alumnus of the University of Delaware, where she studied Wildlife Conservation and Ecology. She has always been passionate about helping people fall in love with nature as a former Conservation Education Presenter at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and a former Delaware State Park Naturalist.