Randy Olson is a "scientist-turned-filmmaker." His science career stretched from his graduate work (Ph.D. Harvard University, 1984) to post-doctoral work (Australian Institute of Marine Science, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute) to a tenured professorship (Department of Zoology, University of New Hamsphire). In the early 1990's his interests shifted from telling stories OF science (his original research on coral reef ecology -- specifically studying the reproductive patterns of corals, starfish and little blobs called sea squirts) to telling stories ABOUT science (through the medium of film). He began with a series of short experimental films while still a professor, including the still-popular music video, "Barnacles Tell No Lies," in which a jazz singer serenades mating barnacles (which have the longest penis relative to body size of any animal).
In 1994 he made his career transition, resigned from his professorship, moved to Hollywood, and entered film school at the University of Southern California as well as joining a two year acting program. In the years since he has written and directed a series of short and feature films which have premiered at film festivals ranging from Telluride to Tribeca, culminating in his two acclaimed documentary feature films, "Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus," and "Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy." In 2002 he co-founded the Shifting Baselines Ocean Media Project, a partnership between ocean conservation and Hollywood filmmaking, for which he is still the director.