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Archive for November, 2018

Can you smell that? Oil spills change stingray’s sense of smell

It may have occurred 8 years ago, but scientists are still talking about the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill. This epic oil spill made scientists recognize gaps in our knowledge about how oil impacts the environment. To explore the question of how crude oil impacts organisms, a team of scientists at Florida Atlantic University investigate […]

The Biological Big Bang: Testing the hypothesis that sperm whales use auditory bursts to stun prey and other proposed feeding strategies.

Article Fais, A., Johnson, M., Wilson, M., Soto, N. A., & Madsen, P. T. (2016). Sperm whale predator-prey interactions involve chasing and buzzing, but no acoustic stunning. Scientific reports, 6, 28562. Background Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) are big. To put it in perspective, an adult or bull sperm whale is longer on average (52 ft.) […]

A boon to ocean conservation? Certain fungi can degrade marine plastics

Brunner I, Fischer M, Ru ̈thi J, Stierli B, Frey B (2018) Ability of fungi isolated from plastic debris floating in the shoreline of a lake to degrade plastics. PLoS ONE 13(8): e0202047. About a year ago, I decided to make a move towards reducing my plastic consumption. Working in environmental conservation leaves you with […]

A Case of Mistaken Identity: Seafood Fraud

Sustainable seafood has recently become a hot topic in marine conservation, and scientists and conservationists advise transparency in the seafood process. However, what happens when we can’t track seafood’s journey or we’re not exactly sure about what we’re eating? Rishya NarayananRishya is a multimedia science communicator with an MS in Media Advocacy from Northeastern University, […]

Tips from a workshop on Negotiating

Negotiating is a valuable skillset that many scientists are never formally trained in. This post highlights some of the take away messages from a Strategic Persuasion and Negotiating workshop I attended last week (November 13, 2018). Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I’m a marine research scientist who has been lucky […]

In the hot seat: Hot spots for pelagic shark movement reflect hot spots for commercial longline fisheries in the North Atlantic.

Check out the latest from Matt Larsen about shark habitat around the globe, and how these areas overlap with fishing hotspots! 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 on […]

Do we know what it means to engineer the climate?

At this point, it’s undeniable that the climate is changing rapidly. What are our options for mitigation? Many scientists are considering strategies that involve engineering the climate – also known as geoengineering. Nyla HusainI’m a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. I use a small-scale computer model to study […]

Shark Intelligence: Who needs a degree when you’re schoolin’ life?

People often associate intelligence with mammals because humans are mammals and we like to think of ourselves as being pretty smart. The movie Deep Blue Sea toys with the concept of genetically modified hyper-intelligent sharks running loose in a research facility. While this Sci-Fi thriller is a sensational over-exaggeration, it does pose an interesting question: […]

If the benthos could talk: the value of long-term biodiversity monitoring

The tiny critters that burrow, swim, and graze in the benthic (bottom) habitats of marine ecosystems are often monitored over long time periods so that researchers can measure changes in biodiversity over time. Read on to find out how researchers used long-term benthic data from Narragansett Bay to link human activities with changes in biodiversity. […]

Digging Deep: Burrowing Animals are Just One Element of a Healthy Mudflat

Despite mudflats supporting fisheries, providing homes for birds, and serving as a buffer between land and sea, these ecosystems are still threatened by human development. Researchers looking for ways to protect mudflats found that in order for mudflats to remain healthy, 4 important roles must be filled by the animals living in them. Kristin HuizengaI […]

Saving Sawfish: Adventures in the Everglades

A few months ago, I wrote about sawfish research in Papua New Guinea, but if you live in the U.S. you can find sawfish much closer to home. The smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) once roamed throughout the Gulf of Mexico and along the East Coast, but now calls South Florida, particularly Everglades National Park, home. […]

I like to move it, move it: Krill boogie down all year

Krill, the tiny organisms that feed the Southern Ocean, have long been thought to be pretty mellow in the winter. As it turns out, it is quite the party down there year around! Eric OrensteinEric is a PhD student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research in the Jaffe Laboratory for Underwater Imaging focuses […]

Phytoplankton Expanding Northward as Arctic Sea Ice Retreats

A recent study uses satellite data to show that Arctic sea ice retreat is causing changes in the timing and location of spring phytoplankton blooms, which play a large role in the regional ecosystem and carbon cycle. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I use […]

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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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