Ocean Currents: Jellyfish and the Moon

Ocean Currents: Jellyfish and the Moon

Kakani Katija is a 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer. She studies the impact of the movement of marine animals on the world's oceans and ocean currents.


9 - 12+


Biology, Earth Science, Oceanography, Physics

NG Live

This video was filmed on Thursday, June 23rd at the 2011 National Geographic Explorers Symposium at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Kakani Katija is a 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer. She studies the impact of the movement of marine animals on the world's oceans and ocean currents. Kakani explains the focus of a bioengineer: "We learn from what nature is doing and think of how we can apply that to technology in the future."


  • Introduction: From aerospace engineer to marine scientist (start-1:37 min.)
  • Understanding how jellyfish swim using fluid mechanics (1:38-2:59 min.)
  • In the lab: Studying how animals swim with lasers (3:00-4:33 min.)
  • Model: Capturing fluid movement in photos (4:34-5:20 min.)
  • Self-Contained Underwater Velocimetry Apparatus (SCUVA) (5:21-6:39 min.)
  • Video: Experiencing SCUVA in Action (6:40-7:46 min.)
  • A research question: Do swimming animals impact ocean currents? (7:47-10:14 min)
  • About Copepods: characteristics, behavior, and migrations (10:15-11:36 min.)
  • How do aquatic animals mix water? (11:37-12:38 min.)
  • Implications: The frontiers of science (12:39-13:56 min.)
  • The Big Picture Idea: Can swimming animals affect our world? (13:57-15:40 min.)

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Page Producers
Nina Page, National Geographic Society
Samantha Zuhlke, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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