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Archive for March, 2015

Sewage pollution running amuck in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon

Harmful algal blooms are common events that occur in coastal waters. In Florida’s Indian River Lagoon, nutrient groundwater runoff initiates massive and highly toxic bloom events. Harmful blooms spell trouble for the environmental health and economic value of the lagoon. How bad has this issue become and what can be done to minimize the severity […]

Coral Reef Restoration Through Human-Assisted Evolution

Coral reefs populations are declining. Is it possible that we could help restore coral reefs by speeding up their evolutionary processes? Researchers propose new management strategies for aiding reef restoration by accelerating the natural processes of evolution. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island where I studied the sensory biology […]

Corals consume microplastics! Talk about an unhealthy diet!

The dangerous diet fad among marine organisms is spreading! New study shows corals consume microplastics. 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 am fascinated by the wonders of nature, […]

Survival at different stages of the fishing process informs management strategies for the silky shark

Knowing that a species has low survival rates after encountering a fishing vessel is useful. But knowing exactly what about the fishing process kills that species can result in more effective conservation efforts. Virginia SchutteI just finished my graduate education in the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. I received my Ph.D. […]

Rotten Totten: Why is East Antarctica melting so quickly?

Like the West Antarctica Ice Sheet, East Antarctica is home to glaciers thinning at an alarming rate. The east’s Totten Glacier stores enough water to raise global sea level by 11 feet, similar to projected amounts in West Antarctica. Researchers conducted a study to find out what is causing Totten to melt so quickly. The […]

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. Abrahim El GamalAbrahim is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego where he studies marine chemical biology.

Harnessing geothermal energy from the seafloor could power the future

Geothermal heat harvesting could power the future, so why are we still burning fossil fuels? Maybe because no one has ever laid out a plan like this. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I’m a marine research scientist who has been lucky to have had many roles in my neophyte career, […]

Protecting Well-Traveled Fishes: A New Approach

Fisheries managers have begun a shift from attempting to protect individual fish species to protecting entire ecosystems. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been highly successful at conserving important species and habitats like coral reefs. Is it possible to utilize relatively small MPAs to protect the 200-300 fish species that regularly travel long distances? New research […]

Sensors probe oceans for answers

Deep-diving ocean drones confirm continued warming of the ocean’s abyss due to Earth’s energy imbalance. 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.

We Don’t Know the Half of It: Hundreds of Contaminants in Dolphin Blubber from Southern California

Dolphins and humans are continuously exposed to low levels of various halogenated, persistent manmade pollutants through their diets. In this study, blubber samples from 8 dolphins were analyzed by cutting-edge techniques to find out what’s accumulating in these marine predators. Findings suggest many routine monitoring programs underestimate the exposure of marine mammals to toxins. Carrie […]

A new thermally tolerant species of algae is found!

Rising ocean temperatures threaten coral reefs, but a new thermal tolerant algae could help. 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 order to help reverse the phase shift from algae dominated back to coral dominated.

Geared up jellyfish show scientists that they have more control over their movements than we thought

Jellyfish are commonly thought of as passive drifters in the ocean, but a team of researchers are working to change that. By strapping accelerometers to jellyfish in the field, they have found evidence to show that jellyfish can orient themselves relative to the current around them to help keep their position in the ocean. Irvin […]

Written in bone: what ancient Pacific Cod can tell us about sea level rise and mercury

Through biogeochemical analysis, researchers found that mercury levels in ancient Pacific Cod bones peaked at a time of deglaciation and sea level rise. Read more about the study, and what it may tell us about future climate change. Megan ChenI graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine Management from the University of Akureyri in […]

Do increasing air temperatures mean increasing stream temperatures? Spoiler, yes!

Stream water temperatures have increased over the last 51 years in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and are connected to increases in air temperature, latitude, and changes in land-use, causing potential shifts in ecosystem dynamics and stratification. Kari St.LaurentI received a Ph.D. in oceanography in 2014 from the Graduate School of Oceanography (URI) and am finishing […]

Best of Benthics

The Top 5: Highlights and notes from an eventful Benthic Ecology Meeting! 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 […]

Busy penguins strive to find an energy balance.

Penguins find a way to balance the extra work of the breeding season while still finding time to go diving to find food. 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 Mexico. […]

“Magic Sand” Cleans up floating oil

Currently, spreading dispersants is the most common way to stabilize surface oil after oil spill. These dispersants divide oil into small droplets which are more available to bacteria. However, this application of dispersants is not applicable near the coast and the toxicity of dispersants remains to be studied. Natural granular material could be a more […]

Best laid plans of lobsters and men: More disease prevalent in marine protected areas

Everyone usually agrees that establishing more protected areas in our oceans will help overfished populations recover. But what if that’s not the whole story? Read on to find out how an increase of lobsters in a British marine protected area has resulted in a higher prevalence of shell disease. Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! […]

A Leap in Sea-level Along the East Coast of North America

From 2009-2010, the Northeast coast of North America experienced approximately four inches of sea-level rise, quite the departure from the 2.5 mm per year annual average rate of rise. Researchers link this leap in sea-level to changes in Atlantic Ocean circulation and atmospheric pressure gradients. Will extreme sea-level rise events continue to be the exception, […]

Like father, like son? Is survival under ocean acidification heritable?

Can marine life adapt to ocean acidification? Well, first we need to understand if these favourable characteristics (survival under elevated CO2 conditions) are genetically determined and can be passed on to the offspring! Catarina SilvaHi! I am a PhD candidate at Victoria University of Wellington. I study the genetic structure of organisms and how the […]

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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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