Camille Wheeler, a veteran newspaper and magazine journalist, is conducting book research about living
species’ relationships with light. Since 2012, she has been interviewing world-leading scientists at the
intersection of health and lighting research. At the heart of her work is the science of the human eye and its
non-visual light-sensing system. Wheeler first wrote about the preservation of dark night skies in a 2010
cover story for Texas Co-op Power magazine, a statewide publication. In 2013, Wheeler wrote about her
travels with the National Park Service Night Sky Team for the summer issue of the International Dark-Sky
Association’s Nightscape publication. Wheeler, a native Texan, lives in Austin.
Presentation: A New Measure of Light
The most exciting new frontier in light research has to do with the discovery of a non-visual light-sensing
system in the mammalian eye, including that of humans. This second photoreceptor system provides a
separate measurement of environmental brightness and is so sensitive to light that it can regulate circadian
clock function and sleep in visually blind humans and animals. The discovery of this system is driving
health and light research around the world, from long-duration space travel to comfort in our homes.