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Archive for April, 2015

Time to rethink the role of ocean’s microbes?

Have you ever wondered what may live inside the tiniest drops of seawater? Global oceans are dominated by organisms we cannot even see. Marine microbes are resilient, incredibly diverse, and ecologically important. These microbes deserve a closer look. Sean AndersonI am a first year MS candidate at the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of […]

Clams Catch Contagious Cancer

Clams along the northeastern coast of North America are suffering from a form of cancer that researchers have recently discovered is a new type of contagious cancer. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island where I studied the sensory biology of deep-sea fishes. I am fascinated by the amazing animals […]

Leaving the nursery: fish migration between juvenile and adult habitats

Many fish utilize different habitats as adults than they do as juveniles, but little research has shown how they make the shift between the two habitats. This recent study did just that using acoustic tags! Read to learn more! Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of […]

Epic: sperm whales hunt squid

Bad environmental news can seem overwhelming at times. No matter how environmentally aware you are, you will still need to eat something and you will take up space that probably used to belong more to nature than it does now. So let’s take a moment to appreciate why it’s worth trying to conserve nature. Let’s […]

The Advantages of Being a Deceptive Fish: Tales of a Predatory Mimic

Dusky dottybacks are small (8cm/3in) fish found on the Great Barrier reef, but despite their small size, they are fish eating predators feasting on up to 30 juvenile damselfish per day. Dottybacks are able to be so successful at capturing their prey by being masters of deception thanks to their “phenotypic plasticity.” Derrick AlcottDerrick is […]

Hail and Tornadoes? Blame ENSO

El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) can change winter weather on the western coasts of South and North America. Its arm of influence extends to the interior of the US as well, and can affect the frequency of severe weather events such as hailstorms and tornadoes throughout winter and spring. Zoe GentesZoe has an M.S. in Oceanography […]

Sea urchins work harder, faster to cope with ocean acidification

The ability of sea urchins to withstand ocean acidification comes at a hidden cost. Abrahim El GamalAbrahim is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego where he studies marine chemical biology.

Cooling in North Atlantic Defies Global Warming

Sluggish ocean circulation can’t keep up with global climate change and this has caused the North Atlantic to cool. 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.

The Secret’s in the Slime

Scientists have recently discovered that the hagfish’s notorious slime has uses beyond defense: it also mediates uptake of toxins through the hagfish’s skin. Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Higgins Lab at Colorado School of Mines, where I study poly- and perfluorinated chemicals. I got my Ph.D. in […]

Just sealing around; Ice seal misidentification in aerial surveys

Aerial photographs are a great way to collect images of marine species in order to analyze their distribution patterns. Distinguishing different species is difficult, and unfortunately this leads to the misidentifictation of several species. This is the case for ice-associated seals, species for which global climate change has motivated intensive monitoring efforts in recent years. […]

Fizzing glaciers are louder than you’d expect

While anthropogenic noise pollution has been gaining a lot of attention, there is still much to be learned about ambient ocean noise. A team of researchers found that glaciers create some of the loudest noises in the ocean, with evolutionary implications for marine organisms living near glaciers. These findings elucidate the nature of ambient, natural […]

Lethal Injection: Crown of Thorns Edition

Predation by crown of thorns sea stars (COTS) is one of the main causes of coral reef decline in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Death by injection of sodium bisulfate is the most commonly used method, but this requires COTS to be removed from the reef and injected many times. Is there a better way? Read […]

Oceanbites Wants to Hear From You!

We here at oceanbites want to know what you’re interested in reading about. Whether you’re new to the site or a regular reader, we’d love to hear from you — let us know what you think by filling out our survey! Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Higgins […]

Blooming around the world: A story of coccolithophore co-existence

Satellite remote sensing suggests that different phytoplankton species can live in harmony during phytoplankton blooms in the open ocean. 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 the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (Horn Point Laboratory). I am […]

Cetacean avoidance? They’re doing it on porpoise

Dolphins aren’t always fun loving and gregarious like Flipper. In fact, they often act like bullies. Dolphins show aggression towards other marine species, even their close relatives, porpoises. Off the coast of California, harbor porpoises have had enough, and have started actively avoiding dolphins. Read on to find out more! Gordon OberPostdoctoral Researcher, Claremont McKenna […]

One fish, two fish, small fish- don’t fish!

Fishery management is complicated, but important. Read more about one way to protect young fish from the Icelandic longline fishery. 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. When not concerning […]

Out of sight, out of mind: The effect of gas & oil spills on deep-sea communities

When undersea wells blowout, toxic concentrations of hydrocarbons can be rapidly released into the environment. The media presents these blowouts with dramatic images of flora and fauna covered in black tar along coastlines and on the sea surface. What are rarely shown in glossy photographs, however, are the consequences to the unseen deep-sea. Sarah FullerWith […]

These Volatile Pollutants Can’t Fly, but Can They Hop?

Volatile methyl siloxanes can be easily found in personal care products (e.g. shampoo, lotion and cream) . Recently, scientists detected these compounds in soils, vegetation, phytoplankton, and krill samples from the Antarctic Peninsula region. This finding brings into question the belief that these compounds are not able to reach remote terrestrial and marine surfaces. Caoxin […]

Rise Up! Overestimated sea-level rise during the 20th century.

Calculating a global average change in sea-level over the twentieth-century is no walk in the park. This study uses a new technique to critically look at previous estimates of sea-level rise. The findings suggest that previous estimates may have been too high, but what does this mean for future sea-level rise projections? Brian CaccioppoliI am […]

Highlights from the National Shellfisheries Meeting

Ever wanted to know what it’s like to go to a scientific conference? Here’s a summary of what conferences are all about, plus the four most interesting talks I saw at this year’s National Shellfisheries Association meeting. Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree at URI, focusing on lobsters and […]

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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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