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Archive for September, 2016

Beyond CO2: Chemical Consequences of Our Love Affair with Fossil Fuels

Our world relies heavily on the burning of biological materials such as wood or fossil fuels to harness energy. While we all know that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a harmful byproduct of burning fuel, it’s not the only chemical formed during this process. These chemical byproducts may play a bigger and more complex role in […]

Finding Nemo was right: what you flush down the drain can impact ocean creatures

Microplastics + pharmaceuticals in your pee + increased temperatures = trouble for some fish Anna RobuckI am a third year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography in the Lohmann Lab. My current research interests include environmental chemistry, water quality, as well as coastal and seabird ecology. When not in […]

The Manta in the Mirror: Are Manta Rays Self-Aware?

Fish are not typically thought of as the most intelligent animals. Yet, new research on manta rays may revolutionize the way we think about how some fish grasp difficult concepts like self-awareness. Read on to see how. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island where I studied the sensory biology […]

Grunts and Gnathiids: One Fish’s Daily Migration to Escape Parasites?

Animals move for a number of reasons. The French grunt leaves the coral reefs at night for seagrass. A group of scientists proposes and provides good evidence for why they might do that! Read on to discover whether they’re leaving to avoid being parasitized? Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame […]

Count On It: Cuttlefish Risk Management

As any gambler will tell you, the higher the financial risk, the larger the potential reward. As it turns out, the hungrier we get, the higher risks we’re willing to take, and this characteristic transfers over to other members of the animal kingdom. In this study, we look at how cuttlefish make decisions about attacking […]

Lobster Poop: Way More Interesting Than You’ve Ever Imagined

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never ever given any thought to lobsters and their poop. In contrast, the researchers who wrote this study have thought way too much about lobster poop; read on to find out what they discovered! Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree at URI, […]

Cascading Effects From Geoduck Expansions

An ecosystem model predicts how the Puget Sound ecosystem could be affected as the popular geoduck aquaculture industry increases. Including mediating affects, such as changes in predator refuges, allowed ecosystem-wide changes to be uncovered. For example, a decrease in seabirds was predicted due to shifts in prey populations resulting from the anti-predation guards for geoducks. […]

Dangerous Toxins Threaten Aquaculture on a Global Scale

Mycotoxins in fish feed threaten the health of fish, consumers, and the aquaculture market. The more we learn and understand about these toxins, the more effective regulations can be. Read more to find out how complicated mycotoxin science can be, and how its complexity plays into setting safety standards. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! […]

How is the changing diet of farmed Atlantic salmon affecting their nutritional value?

We eat oily fish to get the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. However, the level of omega-3s in farmed salmon is changing. How does this stack up to wild-caught salmon? Read more to find out! Megan ChenI graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine Management from the University of Akureyri in Iceland, and […]

Pet trout: domestication rapidly alters gene expression

The impact of domestication can be detected within one generation in steelhead trout, and may involve adaptation to highly crowded conditions. Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and metabolic […]

What to feed a fish

Stocks of small ocean-caught fish that are used to make fish feed for aquaculture are at risk of overexploitation. New research shows that farmed tilapia thrive on a diet where 100% of the fish oil in their feed is replaced with microalgae. This is an important step on the road to more sustainable aquaculture practices. […]

Los dialectos de delfines: ¿La primera evidencia de lenguaje hablado en los cetáceos?

Translated by Sandra Schleier, Original Post by GORDON OBER ⋅ Articulo: Ryabov, Vyacheslav A. “The study of acoustic signals and the supposed spoken language of the dolphins.” St. Petersburg Polytechnical University Journal: Physics and Mathematics (2016). Trasfondo: Los delfines son animales muy inteligentes, de eso no hay duda. Ellos pueden resolver problemas, usan herramientas (Fig. 1), desarrollan nuevos […]

Speed dating: how finding that special symbiosis saved some coral from climate change

Choosing the right symbiont might be a coral’s ticket to cheating global warming. Abrahim El GamalAbrahim is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego where he studies marine chemical biology.

Dolphin Dialects: first evidence of spoken language in cetaceans?

We all know dolphins are intelligent creatures that communicate with one another, but a recent study has analyzed dolphin sounds finding evidence of actual human-like, structured conversation. Their chats are full of complex sounds and frequencies, akin to words and sentences. In addition, dolphins appear to have a politeness edge on humans as they were […]

Survey! October Theme Week

We, the Oceanbites writers, want to write for you! Let us know what you’re interested in reading about for a whole month in October! If you have any other suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments below! Thank you! Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the […]

Ancient swimmers: Greenland sharks live for centuries

Using radiocarbon dating, scientists have discovered that the Greenland shark can live longer than any other known vertebrate. How long have some of these individuals been alive? Sean AndersonI am a first year MS candidate at the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography. I am interested in plankton ecology and the dynamics within […]

Mediterranean Magnetism shows Ancient Oceanic Crust

Compared to the continents, oceanic crust is relatively young, less than 200 million years. But in a corner of the Mediterranean Sea, a remnant of the ancient Neo-Tethys Ocean lurks from the time of Pangaea. Zoe GentesZoe has an M.S. in Oceanography and a B.S. in Geologic Oceanography from URI, with a minor in Writing […]

Why the Southern Ocean is getting less salty

The Southern Ocean has been getting less salty for decades, and scientists have finally proved that sea-ice is responsible for the extra fresh water in the ocean. Veronica TamsittI’m a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla California. My research is focused on the Southern Ocean circulation and it’s role in climate. […]

The physics of tiny jellyfish hunting

Tiny jellyfish live, swim, and eat in a viscous environment. How they capture their food is something of a mystery. A University of Oregon group took advantage of several fancy imaging techniques to shed some light on the matter. Eric OrensteinEric is a PhD student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research in the […]

Seagrass Invasion! Tunicates colonizing seagrass beds impact plant and animal community

Seagrass habitats worldwide are in decline due to a number of factors. What happens when an invasive species comes on the scene to add to the stressors affecting seagrasses? 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 […]

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