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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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  • by oceanbites 2 weeks ago
    Happy Earth Day! Take some time today to do something for the planet and appreciate the ocean, which covers 71% of the Earth’s surface.  #EarthDay   #OceanAppreciation   #Oceanbites   #CoastalVibes   #CoastalRI 
  • by oceanbites 1 month ago
    Not all outdoor science is fieldwork. Some of the best days in the lab can be setting up experiments, especially when you get to do it outdoors. It’s an exciting mix of problem solving, precision, preparation, and teamwork. Here is
  • by oceanbites 2 months ago
    Being on a research cruise is a unique experience with the open water, 12-hour working shifts, and close quarters, but there are some familiar practices too. Here Diana is filtering seawater to gather chlorophyll for analysis, the same process on
  • by oceanbites 3 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #oceanbites  we are featuring Hannah Collins  @hannahh_irene  Hannah works with marine suspension feeding bivalves and microplastics, investigating whether ingesting microplastics causes changes to the gut microbial community or gut tissues. She hopes to keep working
  • by oceanbites 4 months ago
    Leveling up - did you know that crabs have a larval phase? These are both porcelain crabs, but the one on the right is the earlier stage. It’s massive spine makes it both difficult to eat and quite conspicuous in
  • by oceanbites 4 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Cierra Braga. Cierra works ultraviolet c (UVC) to discover how this light can be used to combat biofouling, or the growth of living things, on the hulls of ships. Here, you
  • by oceanbites 4 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Elena Gadoutsis  @haysailor  These photos feature her “favorite marine research so far: From surveying tropical coral reefs, photographing dolphins and whales, and growing my own algae to expose it to different
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on Oceanbites we are featuring Eliza Oldach. According to Ellie, “I study coastal communities, and try to understand the policies and decisions and interactions and adaptations that communities use to navigate an ever-changing world. Most of
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Jiwoon Park with a little photographic help from Ryan Tabata at the University of Hawaii. When asked about her research, Jiwoon wrote “Just like we need vitamins and minerals to stay
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #Oceanbites  we are featuring  @riley_henning  According to Riley, ”I am interested in studying small things that make a big impact in the ocean. Right now for my master's research at the University of San Diego,
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Gabby Stedman. Gabby is interested in interested in understanding how many species of small-bodied animals there are in the deep-sea and where they live so we can better protect them from
  • by oceanbites 6 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Shawn Wang! Shawn is “an oceanographer that studies ocean conditions of the past. I use everything from microfossils to complex computer models to understand how climate has changed in the past
  • by oceanbites 6 months ago
    Today we are highlighting some of our awesome new authors for  #WriterWednesday  Today we have Daniel Speer! He says, “I am driven to investigate the interface of biology, chemistry, and physics, asking questions about how organisms or biological systems respond
  • by oceanbites 7 months ago
    Here at Oceanbites we love long-term datasets. So much happens in the ocean that sometimes it can be hard to tell if a trend is a part of a natural cycle or actually an anomaly, but as we gather more
  • by oceanbites 7 months ago
    Have you ever seen a lobster molt? Because lobsters have exoskeletons, every time they grow they have to climb out of their old shell, leaving them soft and vulnerable for a few days until their new shell hardens. Young, small
  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
    A lot of zooplankton are translucent, making it much easier to hide from predators. This juvenile mantis shrimp was almost impossible to spot floating in the water, but under a dissecting scope it’s features really come into view. See the
  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
    This is a clump of Dead Man’s Fingers, scientific name Codium fragile. It’s native to the Pacific Ocean and is invasive where I found it on the east coast of the US. It’s a bit velvety, and the coolest thing
  • by oceanbites 9 months ago
    You’ve probably heard of jellyfish, but have you heard of salps? These gelatinous sea creatures band together to form long chains, but they can also fall apart and will wash up onshore like tiny gemstones that squish. Have you seen
  • by oceanbites 9 months ago
    Check out what’s happening on a cool summer research cruise! On the  #neslter  summer transect cruise, we deployed a tow sled called the In Situ Icthyoplankton Imaging System. This can take pictures of gelatinous zooplankton (like jellyfish) that would be
  • by oceanbites 10 months ago
    Did you know horseshoe crabs have more than just two eyes? In these juveniles you can see another set in the middle of the shell. Check out our website to learn about some awesome horseshoe crab research.  #oceanbites   #plankton   #horseshoecrabs 
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