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Archive for April, 2018

Circulation running amok? Scientists think it could be happening in the North Atlantic

Check out this oceanbites take on two recent articles that suggest Atlantic circulation is slower now than it has been for the past 1000 years (and why this matters to you!). Anna RobuckI am a third year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography in the Lohmann Lab. My current […]

A Race for Recovery: can reef shark populations recover in no-take marine protected areas?

In this article we discuss the use of marine protected areas in relation to an apex predator of the ecosystem, the grey reef shark. There is sizable evidence that these types of protections can help populations recover from over-fishing, providing a hopefully method moving forward in shark conservation. Carolyn WheelerI am currently a PhD student […]

Heavy Metal Presence in Fish from Fresh and Coastal Waters of Ghana

Heavy metal: it’s not just an intense genre of rock music, but also an element high in density that can be incredibly toxic to humans at concentrated levels. While marine life faces many threats, an increasingly severe force has been the addition and accumulation of heavy metals in both coastal and freshwater environments. Francis Gbogbo […]

The Polar Vortex, Bomb Cyclones, and Climate

Bomb cyclones, the polar vortex, and climate – they’ve all been in the news in recent years, but how do they intersect? A new study finds a link between mid-latitude cyclones and enhanced sea ice melt in the Arctic. Nyla HusainI’m a 4th year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of […]

A Swirling Sea of Plastic

Check out this article detailing how currents and eddies in the ocean help determine plastic pollution distribution! Melanie FeenI am a first year graduate student at the Graduate School of Oceanography at University of Rhode Island. I use robots and satellites to research the biological carbon pump, which is a series of processes that transfer […]

Microbe Mishap: Microplastic Pollution on the Coast of China

Marine plastic pollution has vast negative effects on the environment and human health. Microbes on the plastic may be transferring disease-causing microorganisms around the ocean or reducing the plastic’s toxicity. Researchers studied these plastic associated microbes on the coast of Shanghai, China. LeAundra JeffsI am a Master’s Candidate at University of Delaware where I study […]

Killing Jaws: Tackling the Idea of the Bloodthirsty Predator

Even though shark attacks are rare, fear of sharks has led people to support laws that kill sharks en masse. A new study shows that at the root of our fear of sharks is the belief that they intend to hurt us. By thinking about how we talk about shark intentionality in educational settings and […]

Homebodies on the move: Documenting partial seasonal migration in mature nurse sharks

If I asked you to name a migrating shark, you might list pelagic ocean rovers like the white (Carcharodon carcharias), shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus), or maybe even the filter feeding whale (Rhincodon typus) shark. I would be willing to bet that no one would say “the nurse shark of course!” With their new paper, long-time […]

I saw the Sun!

It opened up my eyes, I saw the sun! Well, in this case, it opened up my light polarization sensor which allowed me to infer the Sun heading and elevation. I think that throws off the rhyme scheme… Eric OrensteinEric is a PhD student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research in the Jaffe […]

Little fish, big fish… which one poses the bigger threat?

Article: Biton-Porsmoguer, S., Bǎnaru, D., Boudouresque, C. F., Dekeyser, I., Bouchoucha, M., Marco-Miralles, F., … & Harmelin-Vivien, M. (2018). Mercury in blue shark (Prionace glauca) and shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) from north-eastern Atlantic: Implication for fishery management. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 127, 131-138. Have you ever heard the term mercury poisoning? It may not be as common as […]

Honey I shrunk the….fish?

What we know about commercial fishing’s repercussions on reef fish is more complicated than just reducing the size of their populations. Commercial fishing exploits are driving some fish species to become smaller. Read on to find out more and how marine protected areas may be critical to the recovery of exploited fish populations. Katherine BarrettKate […]

Biofilms are a prominent first step in the colonization of wood-falls

A profound yet never-before-appreciated first step in the colonization of sulfur oxidizing bacteria on the surface of wood-debris in the deep-sea is attributed to sugars and other labile components of wood. 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 […]

Citizen Science and Undersea Stars: The Value of Photographs to Global Megafauna Biology

Check out this article about how tourist pictures of whale sharks are helping scientists learn about whale shark populations around the globe! Matthew LarsenI am a second year master’s student at Coastal Carolina University in the Abel Lab. My interests focus on the ecology and life history of large marine megafauna with a central focus […]

The Declining Japanese Eel Population: Is Ocean Circulation to Blame?

Recent declines in Japanese eel populations have been attributed to overfishing, but that may not be the only factor at play. Chang et al. investigate whether recent changes in ocean circulation might help explain this alarming trend. Julia DohnerJulia is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. Her focus is […]

Old Bay of Fundy dykelands could sequester massive amounts of carbon if restored to saltmarsh

  Blue Carbon Blue carbon is a term scientists use to describe the organic material contained within all the living organisms and soil found in coastal ecosystems. Together, this organic matter, combined with the carbon contained in land-based systems, makes up the stored portion of the Earth’s carbon budget. Climate change scientists hope to protect […]

Venomous sea anemones “pick their poison” depending on their life stage

Many scientists are interested in studying venom for medicinal properties. A fascinating finding from a new study involving the starlet sea anemone (Nematostella vectensis) shows that we can’t just look in the right place, we also have to look at the right time. Megan ChenI graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine Management from […]

The Great Migration: Blacktip Sharks

Over ten thousand sharks gather off the coast of Palm Beach, Florida in one of the most impressive migrations in the animal kingdom. A research team from Florida Atlantic University has been quantifying and monitoring this massive migration since 2011. Check it out! Jasmin GrahamI am a Masters student in Biological Sciences at Florida State […]

Why is Antarctic Sea Ice Growing?

Despite increases in global ocean temperatures, long-term trends actually show an increase in Antarctic sea ice extent. There are a number of reasons for this apparent paradox: geography, ocean properties, and atmospheric circulation to name a few. This paper examines the role of atmospheric variability in driving Southern Hemisphere sea ice trends. Channing PrendI’m a […]

Warmer Waters Will Trap Nutrients Down Deep

Climate change is warming the ocean and altering how deep water is transported. Researchers in this study estimate that by the year 2300 these changes will have drastically altered where nutrients are available in the ocean causing up to a 15% decline in net primary production globally! Read more to see how this will happen […]

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