Do krill have sex?

“We are Living Data, along with krill, whales and birds.

Designing a sustainable future requires understanding our impacts on earth systems and the changes to earth systems that impact on us. This means identifying our selves as integral to the nature of physical and biological systems. However, it is not often acknowledged that our personal and economic well being depend on us maintaining a healthy environment. Living Data is a research project that explores ways to appeal to body (sensory) knowledge to engage people in scientific thinking. The research evolves through symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationships that develop between artists and scientists. Animations and other art works are designed to combine stories, hypotheses, data and iconography. Like a scientific model, a Living Data presentation is developed to reflect consensual understandings.”


“That krill have sex at all may be news to many people. That they do it on the ocean floor is new scientific knowledge. I was invited to co-author a paper to help scientist So Kawaguchi explain his observation, captured on an underwater video system. I traced what I could see of the mating krill and combined the dancing lines with what I understood about shrimp sex and krill anatomy. I read scientific papers about what is known about how krill and related creatures reproduce. This new observation will help scientists manage fishing within the delicately balanced Antarctic ecosystem.”

Lisa Roberts multimedia artist, antarctic visitor, dancer