Dr. Joy S. Reidenberg, Part of Documentary Series Honored by British Academy of Film
Monday, June 14, 2010
Posted by: Kerri McCabe
Mount Sinai’s Joy S. Reidenberg, PhD, Part of Documentary Series Honored by British Academy of Film and Television Arts
Dr. Reidenberg is a featured anatomist on the award-winning wildlife documentary series
"Inside Nature’s Giants.”
Inside Nature’s Giants, a wildlife documentary series airing in the United Kingdom that explores the anatomy of the world’s largest animals, won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award in the category of "Specialist Factual.” Joy S. Reidenberg, PhD, Professor in the Center for Anatomy and Functional Morphology, Department of Medical Education at Mount Sinai School of Medicine is the series’ featured anatomist. The awards were presented June 6 at The Palladium in London, England.
The BAFTAs are the British equivalent of the Emmys. The "Specialist Factual" category includes programs in the Arts, Religion, History, Natural History, and Science. A US version of the show titled Raw Anatomy airs on the National Geographic Channel.
For Inside Nature's Giants, Dr. Reidenberg investigated the anatomy of a fin whale, a giraffe, an elephant and a crocodile, demonstrating the unique and the common features of these animals and how those features evolved to adapt them to their unique environments. Particularly striking were the intestinal adaptations across the different animals and finding the remnant of the hip in the whale, the giraffe’s extraordinarily long nerve to the larynx, the elephant’s trunk musculature and ear blood vessel network, and the crocodile’s armored skin and fascinating double circulatory system. Season two of the series, currently airing on Channel 4 in the UK,examines a great white shark, Burmese python, lion, tiger, and giant squid.
Research lab at Mount Sinai examines the comparative anatomy, development, and evolution of the mammalian upper respiratory tract, focusing on breathing, swallowing, and vocalizing abilities relevant to clinical disorders. She was asked to participate in an episode involving the dissection of a whale, and soon after was invited to join the program as a series regular.
"The producers at Windfall Films had already started production on the series when they found out about a dying whale stranded on the shore of Ireland. They quickly decided to add it on to the episode list and needed to find someone who knew how to dissect a whale," said Dr. Reidenberg. "They got my name, and within hours I was on a plane to Ireland. Then, when they realized I had a broader-based knowledge in anatomy, they asked me to join them for the other episodes. I jumped at the chance, because it’s really an exciting project to be a part of. And winning a BAFTA is the icing on the cake."