Abrahim El Gamal

Abrahim El Gamal has written 27 posts for oceanbites
Conservationists are scrambling to save the species of the world, but where should they start

‘The conservationist is ready to see you’: triaging marine ecosystems in times of climate change

Climate change affects ecosystems worldwide, but how do conservationists decide which of planet earth’s ecosystems are most in need?

All the places you can mate! After an epic migration from Souther America to the Arctic Rim, male pectoral sandpiper's a rearing to visit all the breeding grounds. (Bird and Map adapted from Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Like a champion Casanova in the sky

After migrating thousands of miles from their southern wintering grounds, males of a certain species of shorebird log thousands more miles scouring the summer territories for fertile females. It’s pretty nuts.

Ladies and gentleman, the death defying killifish!

Ain’t no killing the killifish (for now): on the virtues of genetic diversity

Atlantic killifish are spared extinction in the face of pollution thanks to their remarkable genetic diversity.

Where is all the methyl mercury coming from?! 
(Creative Commons photo by Patrick Kelley)

A mercurial tug o’ war in Antarctic sea ice

DNA from bacteria living in Antarctic sea ice provides a clue to the mysterious origins of methyl mercury in seawater in the Southern Ocean.

Eine kleine Aalchaos.

The long and winding Eel migration

A glimpse of the thousands’ mile migration of the European eel shows it’s anything but straightforward.

#globalwarming #itsbettertogether

Speed dating: how finding that special symbiosis saved some coral from climate change

Choosing the right symbiont might be a coral’s ticket to cheating global warming.

(Panels courtesy Wernberg et al., Science)

A bad kelp review: trouble in times of warming

Kelp forests are all but disappearing due to record ocean temperatures leading to a fogging of boundaries between traditional ecosystems.


Unhappy as a clam: contagious cancer is widespread in bivalves

Cancer is not normally thought of as an infectious disease, but researchers have discovered transmissible cancers in mussels and clams adding to a cadre of examples of contagious cancers.

The Illuminated Ruminant.

Of whales and cows: the baleen whale microbiome revealed

Scientists sequenced the microbiomes of several baleen whales that are strict carnivores and found some startling similarities to the microbiomes of terrestrial herbivores.

Complete nitrification by a single bacterium - kind of a big deal, guys!

One to tango: a bacterium that does the work of two in the nitrogen cycle

Scientists report bacterial species capable of performing the two-step process of nitrification, traditionally thought to exist only as a division of labor between two functionally distinct bacteria.

It was all going so well!

Death by evolution: how a hapless adaptation aided in the untimely demise of a Lake Victorian fish

Scientists have demonstrated that a human-induced extinction of a tropical lake fish was unwittingly assisted by a millions year old evolutionary adaptation.

Fuzzy concepts. Figure 3 of Nagelkerken and Connell, 2015 in pointillism.

More bad news for marine ecosystems (courtesy carbon dioxide)

Carbon dioxide emissions are bad for marine ecosystems, and maybe even worse than we think.

Elizabeth "Effie" Fine is a second year graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Photo credit: Thomas Moore

Oceanbites Mingles With ArcticMix (Part 2)

This is part two of three in a series on the recent ArcticMix expedition lead by Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) scientists aimed at better understanding the mysterious sources of heat leading the faster-than-predicted rate of Arctic ice-melt due to global warming. Oceanbites sat down with Elizabeth “Effie” Fine, a second-year physical oceanography graduate student at SIO to discuss her experiences in the field, and how she became an Arctic explorer.

Diatoms to clouds!

Ice ice diatom: how microscopic algae govern ice formation in the clouds

Scientists think that particles exuded by single-cell plankton ejected into the atmosphere by sea-spray affect ice formation in clouds, and thereby the lifetime of the clouds and their ability to deflect sunlight.

I know, right?

Philosopher cephalopod: the octopus genome reveals the origin of its intellect

The octopus genome sheds light on the strange intelligence of a mysterious creature.

Junior takes after his mother.

The benefits of warmer parents, and who’s your mama … when you’re a coral

Why some coral can take the heat better than others is in their DNA.


Prokaryotes are prokaryotes: a sneak peak at the microbial oceans courtesy DNA  

Scientists have sequenced the microbial diversity of the world’s oceans unlocking the secrets of the microbes that run our planet.

How evolutionary biologists get around.

From 591 leagues under the sea to eukaryote and me: introducing the closest known relative to our cells

Scientists think they’ve found an ancient link to the eukaryotic cell from the deep down in the ocean, and it’s an archaeon.

cruise ship compositepng

Sea urchins work harder, faster to cope with ocean acidification

The ability of sea urchins to withstand ocean acidification comes at a hidden cost.


A head of their time: how invertebrates had it in them all along to form the vertebrate head

We owe our hard heads to our invertebrate ancestors.

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