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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 PhD student at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. I […]

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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  • 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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