As academics, much of the emphasis in disseminating the results of our work is through peer-reviewed journals. As such, our work is often not accessible to the public. Given the importance of connecting our research with the public, we search for ways to effectively make our science more accessible. Below are a few initiatives that allow us to communicate our science to a wider audience and inspire future scientists.

Documentary: Islands of Creation

Initially funded by the National Science Foundation's Communicating Research to Public Audiences program, we produced a documentary on our reserach and conservation work in the Solomon Islands. Islands of Creation is a 50-minute documentary that follows our work in a remote region of the Solomon Islands, where we are studying the origin of species by catching populations of the Monarcha flycatcher in the act of becoming new species. It also highlights our conservation initiatives in this highly-imperiled biodiversity hotspot. The documentary was created by Nate Dappen and Neil Losin of Day's Edge Productions, and co-produced by the Smithsonian Channel. It premiered on the Smithsonian Channel on June 24, 2015, and is being aired through the summer. An associated website is currently under construction (stay tuned!).

The premiere of Islands of Creation in the Solomon Islands. The documentary was screened on Frigatebird Island, where we have built a field station for research, teaching and tourism. Frigatebird Island served as the base for film-makers Neil Losin and Nate Dappen, with much of the footage for the documentary filmed on and around Star Harbor, Makira Island.

Floria and Al with Neil Losin and Nate Dappen, creators of the documentary, at the world premiere of Islands of Creation at the University of Miami.


The Smithsonian Channel's webpage for Islands of Creation

Trailer for Islands of Creation


Pictures from the premiere and special screening of Islands of Creation at the University of Miami's Cosford Cinema
School & Public Outreach

One of our goals is to inspire the next generation of scientists, and inform citizens who may be our future leaders. As such, we regularly give presentation to schools, both in the US and the Solomon Islands, as well as presentations to the public in various venues, including the Miami Science Museum, and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

Students at Pawa Secondary School, Ugi Islands, Solomon Islands, listen to Al as he presents his research and conservation projects (photo by Day's Edge Productions).
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