What does it mean to live a good life today? How can we live our best lives amidst the climate crisis? In her search for answers to these questions, author and cellular biologist Lynne Quarmby journeyed to the top of the world.

In her virtual book talk, Watermelon Snow: An Arctic Adventure to Witness Climate Change, Quarmby explores the question of how to engage with climate change without succumbing to burnout and emotional exhaustion.  She summarizes the science that convinced her of the urgent need to take action on climate change and recounts how this knowledge—and the fear and panic it elicited—plunged her into unsustainable action that ended in arrests, lawsuits and a failed electoral campaign with the Green Party of Canada.

This presentation will fuse fascinating scientific observations with deeply personal reflection about the state of our environment. It will include images of Arctic landscapes, animations of climate change data and short clips of cells in action.

The presentation will also include images of and information on watermelon snow. Watermelon snow occurs in Canadian alpine snowfields. It’s a bloom of microscopic algae, a symptom of climate change that may also be contributing to global warming. Quarmby leads a research team that studies watermelon snow at Simon Fraser University.

Lynne Quarmby grew up near the Cowichan River on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. After a BSc in Marine Biology and an MSc in Oceanography from the University of B.C., Quarmby completed her PhD in genetics and biochemistry at the University of Connecticut. She is now a professor of cell biology in the Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University. Together with trainees in her laboratory, Quarmby has published over fifty research papers—featuring cilia and snow algae—in scientific journals. In 2015, she shared the Sterling Prize for Controversy with the poet, Stephen Collis. She lives and works on the occupied lands of the Coast Salish people.

Lynn Quarmby is known for her ability to describe complex scientific processes and concepts in ways that illuminate and entertain. Her book, Watermelon Snow, has been described by Bob Macdonald, host of CBC’s Quirks and Quarks as a “must-read for anyone concerned about the rapid changes taking place in the Arctic.”

We are delighted to be hosting Quarmby in what promises to be an inspiring talk on Wednesday, November 25, at 4:00 pm. Tickets are $5 – free for members.