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Archive for February, 2017

Funny happenings in the tropical Pacific

Nitrous oxide is a powerful greenhouse gas made by environmental microbes. In the ocean, microbes making this greenhouse gas live in zones with little to no oxygen. Scientists always thought that Bacteria were making this gas. Recently, a team from the UK set out to explore this hypothesis in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, and found […]

The Meltdown: Protists in the time of disappearing Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean

Sea ice levels in the Arctic Ocean safeguard thousands of marine biosystems. Protists are little known micro-organisms that play a key role in maintaining a balanced oceanic ecosystem. Read more to see how climate change is affected sea ice-levels, and what that means for our protist comrades. Prabarna GangulyI’m a fourth year PhD candidate in […]

Manmade Pollutants Plague Deep-sea Organsims

Scientists have found an alarming accumulation of certain persistent organic pollutants in an environment previously thought pristine and untouched by humans: the deep sea. 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 now working with the South Carolina DNR at […]

Ocean acidification makes predators dumb

Chemistry is important for a lot of things, but can it change the behavior of animals? Read on to find out how changes in water chemistry alter the behavior of a venomous cone snail! Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree at URI, focusing on lobsters and how they respond […]

Small MPAs: the new all-you-can-eat buffets?

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a popular conservation tool and are in many situations very effective. Unfortunately, as with many plans, there may be some unintended consequences, as seen in the case of small MPAs in Fiji, where they appear to have attracted corallivorous crown-of-thorns sea stars (Acanthaster spp.). Find out more in today’s oceanbites! […]

What can tuna tell us about mercury emissions?

North America’s mercury emissions have declined over the last two decades. Researchers have found a connection between the declining emissions and the mercury level in tuna. Read more to find out how they made this link and what it could mean for the future. Victoria TreadawayI am a PhD candidate at the Graduate School of […]

Like a champion Casanova in the sky

After migrating thousands of miles from their southern wintering grounds, males of a certain species of shorebird log thousands more miles scouring the summer territories for fertile females. It’s pretty nuts. Abrahim El GamalAbrahim is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego where he studies marine chemical biology.

Glaciers have big league role in silica budget.

Glaciers get a lot of attention because they’re expansive sheets of ice. They’re important to understand because they can impact sea level, circulation, climate, albedo, and they are homes to microbial organisms and large animals. A new reason they are getting attention is their recently realized importance to the global silica budget. Researchers found that […]

Turn off some lights for the turtles: using statistics to make turtle conservation tangible

You’ve heard about “turn down for what…”; now check out this article and figure out exactly what you’re turning down for, or at least turning the lights down for! Turtles are impacted by light pollution; this article summarizes research framing this problem in an economic way. Anna RobuckI am a third year PhD student at […]

Senators propose bill to ensure independence of federal researchers

Last week, a group of Senators introduced legislation that aims to preserve the independence of U.S. government scientists. The Scientific Integrity Act instructs executive branch administrators to implement policies to ensure that data and results be disseminated in a timely and open manner. The bill, if enacted, would help separate the government’s scientific output from […]

Keeping Up the Fight: Tips for Science Policy Engagement

Concerned for the future of science? I’ve highlighted a few things you can do to stay engaged in 15 minutes a day. Zoe GentesZoe has an M.S. in Oceanography and a B.S. in Geologic Oceanography from URI, with a minor in Writing and Rhetoric. She was recently a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in the US […]

The Emergence of Science Twitter: 140 characters of facts and…fun?

It’s hard to argue that recent changes in the political landscape have brought science and scientists down from the Ivory Tower and out of the shadows. As a growing method of science communication, many scientists have taken to Twitter to promote their work, connect and engage with a broader audience, and to have a little […]

Clamate Change: How clams may be able to cope with a warming world

Global temperatures are increasing at a rate never before seen in Earth’s history. Although efforts to mitigate this are still very important, it is also important to study and understand what is going to happen to the plants and animals that live here. Evidence of climate change already surrounds us, and the more we know, […]

Apply for ComSciCon17 Now!

Applications are open for the Communicating Science 2017 (ComSciCon17) workshop, to be held in Cambridge, MA on June 8-10, 2017! The deadline for applying is March 1st. 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 […]

Antarctica’s bottom waters freshen up

A team of researchers went back to the same part of Antarctic after a decade to see how the deep ocean had changed, and were surprised to find the deep ocean was fresher than they expected. Veronica TamsittI’m a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla California. My research is focused on […]

What killer whales tell us about menopause

Killer whales, or orcas (Orcinus orca), are amazingly intelligent and social animals. What can they tell us about the evolution of menopause? 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 […]

¿Cómo combatir la Ciencia Falsa? Una guía para científicos y los defensores de la ciencia

Translated by Sandra Schleier, Original post BY MEGAN CHEN ⋅ Artículo: Thaler, AD, Shiffman, D., (2015).  Fish tales: Combating fake science in popular media.  Ocean & Coastal Management.  15:88-91. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2015.04.005 Los medios de comunicación social han cambiado la manera en la cual los científicos y conservacionistas se comunican con el público. En estos días, cualquiera puede promover una […]

Theme Week Survey: March 2017

Hello! We, the Oceanbites Team, want to know what you want us to read more about! Please take the survey below and tell us what you’d like us to cover for one week in March! And please feel free to give us suggestions for future theme weeks in the Comments! Thank you very much! ~The […]

Fisheries and Food Security

Fish have provided sustenance for millions of people, but in a world where stocks are rapidly depleting, what are the consequences of trying to save and rehabilitate their populations? Andrea SchlunkI am a former PhD student from the University of Rhode Island, having discovered my love of teaching and informal science education in part through […]

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