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Archive for February, 2015

Crustaceans are smarter than you think

Ever wondered how your lobster behaves before it reaches your dinner plate? Caribbean spiny lobsters take advantage of a unique sensory system to survive in the wild. Recently, the spiny lobster has been hit by a deadly virus that is threatening population size. How do healthy spiny lobsters avoid other individuals with the disease? Sean […]

There are plenty of fish in the sea! ….or are there?

Tigers, pandas, and orangutans are the poster children of endangered species, but marine animals have started to join their ranks. Scientists compared the terrestrial extinction events to more recent marine animal depletions to try and predict potential threats to marine ecosystems. What they found may help us to prevent large scale extinctions from occurring in […]

The Northward Expansion: Tropical Fish Settling the Temperate Seagrass Prairie

How will northward shifting tropical species interact with the temperate habitats they encounter? An example from seagrass habitat in the northern GOM Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of Rhode Island (M.S.). I now work in southwest Florida, contributing to the management of an estuary. I […]

Stirring the Pot: Energy and Heat Flow of the Arctic Ocean

Although we perceive the Arctic Ocean as being cold, it is a complicated system of temperatures, salinities, currents, and tides. The mixing of different ocean layers is key in warming the sea surface and providing a heat flux to the sea ice and atmosphere. A successful model of this system can help us better understand […]

One billion and one anaerobic nights: on the journey to atmospheric oxidation

Take a breather, and learn how cyanobacteria struggled to bring the world oxygen. Abrahim El GamalAbrahim is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego where he studies marine chemical biology.

Macrobioerosion rates and what they mean for reefs

Today macrobioerosion is a good thing that provides cement for the foundation of reef systems. So more macrobioerosion could mean more reefs, right? No! Perhaps too much of a good thing could have dire consequences for the future of the calcium carbonate budget. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I’m a […]

Yee-haw! This jellyfish-riding lobster has special appendages to keep clean and be carried on

By riding jellyfish, this lobster larvae can travel the high seas, and have easy access to a convenient snack. But how do they deal with living in marine environments with constant exposure to bacteria, fungi, parasites and debris including smothering jellyfish mucus? Read more to find out! Megan ChenI graduated with a Masters of Coastal […]

Extreme La Niña driven by big El Niño under future warming

The succession of ENSO events is projected to become more frequent and intense in a warming climate. 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.

Is a coral’s color all for show?

Two of the exact same corals, sitting right next to each other, often appear to be different based on their colors. Why is this? Scientists have shown that the answer involves intriguing genetics. The more genes a coral activates, the greater their strength of color. Valeska UphamFor my fisheries and aquatic science PhD I am […]

Baleen whales have a bone to pick with noise pollution

CT scans of the skull of a beached whale has helped a pair of researchers figure out how baleen whales hear. Through computer modeling, they found that baleen whales, in addition to using soft tissue in their head like antennas, also use the bones in their skull to pick up sounds from their environment. Irvin […]

Complex Relationships in a Changing World: Sponges and Seagrass

Different species within an ecosystem interact with each other. However, their interactions are often more complex than we may realize. Here, we learn how the interaction between sub-tropical seagrass and sponges can be different in different environments, with implications to climate change. Derrick AlcottDerrick is pursuing a Ph.D. in the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Program […]

Wash your hands after a beach day!

This study demonstrates a direct relationship between the potentially dangerous bacteria Vibrio in beach water with what is on your skin after a day swimming. The good news, washing your hands helps! Kari St.LaurentI received a Ph.D. in oceanography in 2014 from the Graduate School of Oceanography (URI) and am finishing up a post-doc at […]

A Coral Never Forgets

A good memory may help corals cope with bleaching events. Gordon OberPostdoctoral Researcher, Claremont McKenna College I am currently a postdoc at Keck Sciences, Claremont McKenna College. I work with Dr. Sarah Gilman, measuring and modeling energy budgets in intertidal species. I am a climate scientist and marine community ecologist and my PhD (University of […]

Are bigger moms better moms?

We know that larger female fish produce more eggs, but does this really mean they produce more young that grow into the next generation? 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 the Gulf of […]

Sunday brunch: Lox with… lice?

Lox and lice. Not a combination of critters you envision when planning your Sunday brunch. Unfortunately, an increase in drug resistant sea lice is threatening both wild and farmed salmonid populations. Sarah FullerWith academic backgrounds in oceanography, geology, and environmental education, Sarah has traveled to far reaches of the planet to learn everything she can […]

Global change and the future ocean

The Growing number of environmental changes, such as contamination of seafood, shortage of water and increased frequency of extreme weather (floods, drought, hurricanes, etc), has raised people’s concerns about the Earth’s ability to sustain human populations. Caoxin SunCaoxin is a graduate student in the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. Her […]

What do diabetics and cone snails have in common? The need for insulin

Cone snails are a family of organisms that use venom injected into the water to help them capture their prey. A new study suggests that one of the components of their venom cocktail is insulin, the same hormone that diabetics use to lower their blood pressure. How does that work? Read on to find out!  […]

The Not So Stable Holocene

Here at Oceanbites, we hope you have been enjoying your stay in the Holocene Epoch, a span of time ranging from present day to 11.7 thousand years ago. The Holocene has been praised for its warm and stable climate compared to the past glacial period. But more and more evidence suggests that the early Holocene […]

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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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