January 2018

Spineless book cover Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone

By Juli Berwald '89

A former ocean scientist goes in pursuit of the slippery story of jellyfish, rediscovering her passion for marine science and the sea’s imperiled ecosystems.

Berwald’s desire to understand jellyfish takes her on a scientific odyssey. She travels the globe to meet the scientists who devote their careers to jellies; hitches rides on Japanese fishing boats to see giant jellyfish in the wild; raises jellyfish in her dining room; and throughout it all marvels at the complexity of these fascinating and ominous biological wonders. Gracefully blending personal memoir with crystal-clear distillations of science, Spineless reveals that jellyfish are a bellwether for the damage we’re inflicting on the climate and the oceans and a call to realize our collective responsibility for the planet we share.