Nerd Nite Vancouver is a lot like the sugar molecule sucrose. Sucrose is a disaccharide meaning that it is made up of two molecules – glucose and fructose. Your Nerd Nite hosts are much the same – while they’re both nerd molecules, they’re passionate about very different things but are stuck together by the glycosidic bond that is Nerd Nite. And that sweet little bond has now existed for 6 years! So, we’ll be celebrating our 6 year Nerdiversary and 50th event with a little sugar! Joining us for our anniversary show are three amazing nerds, who will be talking about water, space poop, and film making. Celebrate your 50th with us and bring your sweet tooth (teeth?).

Hosted by: Kaylee Byers and Michael Unger

Where: The Fox Cabaret

When: Wednesday February 26th; Doors @ 7, show starts @ 7:30

Tickets: Eventbrite

Poster by: Armin Mortazavi

Music by: DJ Burger


1.  “Astroplastic: From Colon to Colony” aka Plastic from Space Poop

Alina Kunitskaya

Waste management and the development of on-site manufacturing capabilities are two major challenges for future manned missions to Mars. To address both challenges, “Astroplastic” process was developed to turn astronauts’ fecal waste into bioplastic using genetically engineered bacteria. The produced bioplastic could be used to 3D print tools for astronauts. This talk will explore why recycling of waste and providing on-site manufacturing capabilities will be crucial for long-duration human spaceflight and how the “Astroplastic” project aims to address these challenges. The speaker will share personal experiences of conducting space-related research including experiencing microgravity on a parabolic flight (aka “Vomit Comet”) and making a poop simulant based on a recipe from NASA.

Bio: Since high school, Alina’s dream has been to become an astronaut. With no clear career path to becoming an astronaut, Alina has focused on finding a field she is passionate about and striving to excel in that field. She graduated with a BSc in Chemical Engineering with Biomedical Engineering specialization from the University of Calgary. Her passion for solving space exploration challenges led to her involvement in developing a process to recycle astronauts’ fecal waste into 3D-printable bioplastics, developing and flying a scientific payload in microgravity, developing an oxygen production process on Mars, and completing a simulated sub-orbital spaceflight in a centrifuge-based flight simulator to help scientists examine the physiological and psychological impacts of g-forces associated with spaceflight. Alina is currently pursuing a MASc degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of British Columbia focusing on bioprocess development for cell-based therapies with a goal of completing a PhD in this discipline. Learn more about her projects at and by following her on Twitter at @akunitsk.

2. “The Why, What and How of Movie-Making”

Ed Douglas

Bio: Ed Douglas is a videogame developer and filmmaker from Vancouver, BC, with passion for sci-fi and an obsession with astrophysics. He’s worked on some great game series like Mass Effect and Need for Speed, and some terrible movies like “Lightning: Bolts of Destruction” (where killer lightning chases our heroes while scientists come to the rescue), and “Belly of the Beast” (where Steven Seagal chases his career straight into the direct-to-DVD bin). After ambling around the world telling stories with companies like EA and Ubisoft, he’s back in BC refocusing back on film & TV.”

3. A User’s Guide to Water in Vancouver

Alan Shapiro 

What exactly is (and isn’t) in your tap water? How does bottled water compare? Why do we keep hearing about boil water advisories, lead contamination, and chemicals with multiple syllable names, and what does it all mean for you? In this talk, Alan will explore all these topics, as well as the age-old question: “How long does it take to boil a cup of water by shouting at it?”

Bio: Alan Shapiro is a water, sustainability, and science communication professional who spends much of his time thinking and drinking water. Alan is the co-founder of Science Slam Canada and Scientific Communications Manager at STEMCELL Technologies. He is an instructor at SFU and BCIT and an advisor for Toronto’s Climate Ventures Earth Tech incubator.