//archives

Archive for August, 2014

Damselfish in distress: on ocean acidification and suicidal reef fish

Fish are rebelling. What’s the cause? Abrahim El GamalAbrahim is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego where he studies marine chemical biology.

The Ghastly Impacts of Ghost Fishing Gear

Derelict fishing traps, or DFTs, are abandoned traps that may still be actively capturing marine organisms, in a phenomenon known as “ghost fishing.” In this study, a group of scientists put together a qualitative assessment on the ecological and economic impacts these traps may be having on coastal ecosystems throughout the United States. Erin MarkhamErin […]

Cyclones move poleward as tropics expand

Tropical cyclones are escaping the hot tropics and intensifying closer towards the poles. The apparent expansion of the tropics helps us to understand why. Hillary ScannellHillary received her MS in oceanography from the University of Maine in 2014 and works in the Ecosystem Modeling Lab at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, ME.

Are MPA’s the best way to conserve the seahorse population?

While Marine Protected Areas do a great job of preserving essential marine habitats, and decreasing fishing pressure, they may not be the best solution for the seahorse population. Valeska UphamFor my fisheries and aquatic science PhD I am working on how to tank raise urchins and transplant them onto reefs across the Florida Keys in […]

Keep it Down!: Eels Having Problems Avoiding Predators in Noisy Waters

We don’t traditionally think of our ships making noise that will disrupt animal behavior, but this study, looking at eels antipredation behavior under noisy and quiet conditions – shows that animals can be negatively affected by noise pollution. Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree at URI, focusing on lobsters […]

An accidental find: Large quantities of microplastics are in Arctic sea ice!

Multiyear sea ice formation in the Arctic Sea uptakes microplastics from seawater, effectively acting as a sink for these man-made particles. Melting sea ice, as a result of climate change, threatens to release these microplastics back into the ocean with unknown implications for the environment. Kari St.LaurentI received a Ph.D. in oceanography in 2014 from […]

Understanding nitrogen loss from the ocean: Is it anammox or denitrification? It’s both!

Recent findings from the north east Pacific may have solved a major controversy in scientists’ understanding of nitrogen loss from the ocean. Researchers developed a model to predict the contributions of denitrification and anammox to total nitrogen loss and confirmed the model predictions using laboratory studies. Irvin HuangA recent convert to oceanography, I’m studying under […]

Sunlight and Sex Determination: how environmental cues help shape sex ratios in larval fish

If you are a fish like the California grunion, environmental cues are going to play a role in determining whether you are a male or female fish. If the environment is colder, you are more likely to be female; if the environment is warmer, odds are you’ll be male. But it seems that temperature isn’t […]

Making the best of a bad situation: the upside of squid injury.

Injured squid are more vulnerable to attack from predators but stepping up their defensive behaviors gives them a fighting chance. Long term pain sensitivity makes this possible. Sarah GiltzI am a doctoral candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University. My research focuses on the larval dispersal and development of the blue crab in […]

Fish don’t need to lineup at Starbucks to get their morning coffee – they’re swimming in it!

Pharmaceuticals, corrosion inhibitors, biocides and stimulants are some of the most frequently detected micropollutants in the aquatic environment. They are toxic, bioaccumulative and hard to degrade. They can pose risks to the local ecosystem or even human health. Caoxin SunCaoxin is a graduate student in the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode […]

How sea turtles with backpacks can help establish highways for ocean health

It is a big scary world out there if you are a migrating ocean animal. However, data-generating backpacks worn by sea turtles can help delineate corridors linking MPAs for added protection! Megan ChenI graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine Management from the University of Akureyri in Iceland, and am currently working at the […]

Global Warming Hiatus? Blame the Atlantic!

From the early 1990s on, the Earth has been experiencing a global warming hiatus, where the post-industrial warming trend has effectively come to a stop. Recent research has implicated strengthening Pacific trade winds as the cause of the warming hiatus. New evidence suggests the mechanism triggering the unprecedented acceleration of Pacific trade winds has its […]

Impostor! How mislabeled seafood affects the amount of mercury you ingest

Seafood mislabeling is a big problem for both consumers and fisheries management. Using genetic data and mercury concentrations, scientists figured out how frequently store-bought Chilean sea bass was swapped. Results indicate seafood substitutions can mean very different concentrations of mercury in your meal. Lis HendersonI am studying for my doctoral degree at the Stony Brook […]

The Hairy Truth: Using Grizzly Bear hair to study mercury levels

A large portion of the North American Grizzly Bear population call Western Canada home. The diet of these bears ranges from berries to mammals, and every year in the fall, coastal bears consume copious amount of Pacific salmon. This study investigates hair samples from Grizzly Bears and how they can be used to reflect dietary […]

Deep Blue Reads: The Sixth Extinction, by Elizabeth Kolbert

As a novelist writing about oceanography, I spend a decent amount of time parsing scientific studies. Over the past several years my vocabulary has expanded to include terms like band saturation, turbidity currents, and foraminifera—phrases and words that had not existed in my wildest dreams when I first started writing. I’ve relied on studies and […]

Supermom of the depths: octopus guards its eggs for the longest period ever observed

Scientists found an octopus that guards its eggs for the longest period ever recorded. The super mother was filmed for 53 months and has produced the largest and most developed hatchlings known to date. Catarina SilvaHi! I am a PhD candidate at Victoria University of Wellington. I study the genetic structure of organisms and how […]

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