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Archive for September, 2015

Colorful adaptations: the use of fluorescence as a lure

When viewed under the right filter, the world can look like one big black light party. A large variety of organisms – everything from plants to penguins – are fluorescent. But what is the purpose of glowing when exposed to certain lights? Researchers tested one hypothesis: these fluorescent organisms may be luring in unsuspecting prey. […]

Wake-up Call: Global Oceans in Big Trouble!

Our global oceans are in a state of crisis. A new report from the WWF paints a bleak picture: human interference has pushed the oceans to the brink of collapse. The health of marine organisms and the habitats they live in have become severely threatened by compounding factors such as pollution, overfishing and increased CO2 […]

Microbes foil attempts to increase deep ocean carbon sequestration

Most carbon emitted to the atmosphere ends up in the ocean, much of it in organic molecules. While most is quickly respired back to CO2, a fraction is transformed by microbes to apparently stable compounds that persist in the ocean for centuries. Could we manipulate the microbial community to hold even more? A new study […]

Sea Turtles are Social Too

Ever wonder how sea turtles spend most of their time beneath the waves? Or how they interact with other sea turtles? Researchers put cameras on turtles and see what they see and do to find out! Check out what they found! Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the […]

Eating Snow: How detritus gets broken down

Marine snow is a critical part of the ocean ecosystem. Much of this carbon rich matter ends up in the deep ocean or on the sea floor. But what about the rest of it? Read on to find out! Eric OrensteinEric is a PhD student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research in the […]

Activity at one end of a migration affects fitness at the other

Effectively managing migratory species requires an understanding of what impacts them along their entire migratory route. This paper evaluates how sea turtles reproducing in Greece are affected by their choice of foraging grounds, which can be some distance from their nesting beaches. Virginia SchutteI just finished my graduate education in the Odum School of Ecology […]

Lobsters may dive deeper as climate changes

The American lobster is an iconic and economically significant species found all along the New England coast. Due to temperature sensitivity during the vulnerable larval stage, lobsters will likely be shifting their habitat north in the face of ocean warming caused by global climate change. This study shows that lobsters are also shifting into deeper […]

The Down, Up, and Down Again of Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay region is a densely populated area, and also experiences more rapid sea level rise than anywhere else along the North American Atlantic Coast. Why? Scientists look to the lithosphere for answers, finding that the subsidence of an ancient lithospheric bulge may be partially to blame, and will continue for millennia. Zoe GentesZoe […]

Sound waves: dolphins in a noisy ocean

As human influence in Earth’s oceans increases, so does the background noise. How might dolphins cope with changes in environmental noise levels, particularly in areas where it has seen a substantial, recent increase? Do chattier dolphins have to invest more energy into their aural physiological systems? Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster […]

Ice ice diatom: how microscopic algae govern ice formation in the clouds

Scientists think that particles exuded by single-cell plankton ejected into the atmosphere by sea-spray affect ice formation in clouds, and thereby the lifetime of the clouds and their ability to deflect sunlight. Abrahim El GamalAbrahim is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego where he studies marine chemical biology.

How a whole reef community’s response to OA is impacted by the individual responses of different players

Researchers from California used a unique ex situ experiment to monitor two near identical reef communities in different concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide to observe the unique responses of community members and their roles in the whole community response. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I’m a marine research scientist who […]

Decalcifying Calcidiscus: An effect of ocean acidification on plankton

The vastness of the ocean can be deceptive–you’d think that only big things would have an impact on something the size of an ocean. That’s not always the case, though. Sometimes the smallest organisms can influence huge, global processes. But one such small organism is faced with harsher conditions these days and isn’t faring too […]

Overfishing and climate variability interactions spell trouble for fast growing species

Rather intuitively, terrestrial ecosystems show that large, slow growing species are less adaptable in the face of environmental perturbations than their smaller, faster growing counterparts. However, in marine systems, harvest of all types of species, both fast and slow growing, switches the risk of collapse. Recent modelling work shows that in the face of overfishing […]

Big Fishing on (Important) Little Fish

Forage fish may be little as individuals, but their big schools have a big impact on marine ecosystems. They serve as an essential link in marine food webs, utilized by all types of predators like sharks, seals, birds, whales, and other large fish. Humans also harvest incredible quantities of these fish each year, potentially putting […]

The barrels of the sea; giant barrel sponges that is

Giant barrel sponges are understudied compared to many other marine organisms, but that doesn’t make them any less important. Climate change has taken its toll on the Florida Keys coral reefs, but the giant barrel sponge has proven to be a hearty animal, growing in size and population. Valeska UphamFor my fisheries and aquatic science […]

Retreat! Barrier Beaches Meet Their Demise Despite Modest Sea Level Rise

Future sea level rise poses many challenges for communities on barrier islands. However, sea level rise alone may not be the only factor that determines the fate of barrier islands in a future of rising seas. Brian CaccioppoliI am a recent graduate (Dec. 2015) from the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, with […]

Counterfeit fish: the extent of seafood mislabeling in the United States

Media coverage of a seafood mislabeling study in the U.S. has popularized the 2013 finding that one-third of U.S. seafood is mislabeled. What is the mislabeling situation now? Is it still as bad as we think, even worse, or better? Read more to find out! Megan ChenI graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine […]

Bait and Switch: are Maryland crabs the ingredient in your Maryland crab cake?

The non-profit organization Oceana went undercover to analyze the DNA in 90 crab cakes sold throughout Maryland and D.C. Their results suggest that 38% of these “locally caught” crab cakes were mislabeled, containing crab species other than the blue crab. Kari St.LaurentI received a Ph.D. in oceanography in 2014 from the Graduate School of Oceanography […]

The Sting of Sex: odd mating adaptations of box jellyfish

It might be hard for a box jellyfish to buy into the old adage “sex sells,” especially when their gonads are laced with stinging cells. This is just one bizarre adaptation in these organisms, read on to find out more! Gordon OberPostdoctoral Researcher, Claremont McKenna College I am currently a postdoc at Keck Sciences, Claremont […]

Tiny lobsters, big problems.

Larval lobsters face potentially dangerous situations, find out how they fare against a couple important environmental stressors (salinity and pH changes). 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 […]

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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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