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Archive for September, 2019

SURFO SPECIAL: What’s it like to live in a dogfish eat dogfish world?

Brianna Villalon is a senior at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, studying marine biology and looking to gear her research toward elasmobranchs. This summer she worked with Camilla McCandless at the NOAA Northeastern Fisheries Science Center alongside the Apex Predator Shark Tagging Program. Read on to learn more about her work with dogfish! Diana FontaineI am […]

SURFO SPECIAL: Flame retardants: Not as friendly as we like to think

Jamillez Olmo Classen is a senior at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, majoring in Technology in Industrial Chemical Process. This summer, she worked with Dr. Rainer Lohmann (advisor) and Dr. Jitka Becanova (mentor)  studying harmful chemicals and how to properly measure their concentrations in our water supply. Read on below to learn about her work! […]

SURFO SPECIAL: The world is your oyster: Collecting data on Matunuck Oyster Farm

Did you know that oysters act as a biological water purifier? Thus, many different environmental conditions like the tide and current affect how oysters filter. By collecting data on these conditions, the overall health of an oyster farm can be monitored to enhance farm productivity. Read on to learn more about the data collection process […]

Lost in transmission: how the delivery of electricity has its own carbon emissions

The life cycle of electric power is more complex than we give it credit for. Learn how researchers have estimated the carbon emissions that result from simply delivering electric power to our homes – and what can be done to curb them. Nyla HusainI’m a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School […]

Traces of human plastic pollution in ocean sediment

Is the plastic we produce being stored in our oceans’ sediments? To answer this question scientists studied a sediment core from the Santa Barbara basin dating back to 1836. Samantha SettaI’m a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO). My research interests are focused […]

Robofish To The Rescue!

When mosquitofish were introduced all over the world to control mosquito populations nobody thought they would have such a negative impact on the native ecosystem. Now, in an attempt to control their populations researches are using robotic predators. Brandy BiggarI am a 2nd year Master’s student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. I am researching […]

SURFO Special: Keep clam and carry on! Comparing diet differences in awning clams and quahogs

Every summer, the URI Graduate School of Oceanography hosts undergraduate research interns called SURFOs. In this post, learn about Sommer Meyer’s 2019 SURFO research doing isotope analysis on Rhode Island’s local clams and quahogs! Nyla HusainI’m a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. I use a small-scale computer model […]

SURFO Special: Surveying hazardous faults during Eastern Haiti’s 270-year earthquake hiatus

Every summer, the URI Graduate School of Oceanography hosts undergraduate research interns called SURFOs. In this post, learn about Kamal James’ 2019 SURFO research surveying hazardous faults beneath a lake in Eastern Haiti. 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 […]

There’s No Such Thing as Free Lunch: Observing the Foraging Behavior of Sharks Feeding on a Sperm Whale Carcass

All species in the animal kingdom must find food to survive. For some species, finding food can be difficult and energetically taxing. Sharks, in particular, expend large amounts of energy when chasing and procuring prey. In some instances, sharks will resort to scavenging on dead prey, such as whale carcasses, to fill up and restore […]

Birds of a feather are eaten together: Young tiger sharks take a bite out of migrating songbirds

Drymon, J. M., K. Feldheim, A. M. V. Fournier, E. A. Seubert, A. E. Jefferson, A. M. Kroetz, and S. P. Powers. 2019. Tiger sharks eat songbirds: scavenging a windfall of nutrients from the sky. Ecology 00(00):e02728. 10.1002/ecy.2728 Tiger sharks are well known to be opportunistic feeders, and that description isn’t limited to just live […]

How important is carbon export by ocean eddies?

A recent paper uses an ocean model to investigate the relative importance of carbon sequestration by eddies transporting phytoplankton into the ocean interior. Results suggest that eddies may not be as important as we thought due to the compensation between transport by clockwise and counter-clockwise eddies. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps […]

The Sound of (Fish) Music

The ocean contains a symphony of sounds. A new study describes a novel method for capturing the chorus “sung” by fish. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I have a multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some engineering), and […]

The Price of Motherhood: Deepwater Fish Regenerate Their Tails to Increase Reproductive Fitness

What happens if a fish gets its tail bitten off? It must survive the injury, but also decide what is more important: recovering or producing offspring. Read on to find out how a deep-sea fish copes with this dilemma. Anastasia YandulskayaI am a PhD candidate at Northeastern University in Boston. I study regeneration of the […]

From Animal Tracking to Conservation

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride on the back of a whale? Scientists now use a variety of tag technologies and tracking methods to understand the movement of marine animals from whales to sharks to birds to turtles. But how can tracking data be effectively translated into conservation policy that […]

Giant Clams vs. Small Plastics

Microplastics are found all throughout our oceans. But in the Red Sea, there are a lot less. Find out how giant clams could be a culprit for getting rid of small plastics. Arossa, S., Martin, C., Rossbach, S., & Duarte, C. M. (2019). Microplastic removal by red sea giant clam (Tridacna maxima). Environmental Pollution. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2019.05.149 We use […]

Could sponges replace expensive ocean tech?

The ocean is a big place and trying to study all of the animals living there can take a lot of time, effort, and some pretty expensive technology. Thankfully, a group of scientists may have found an alternative to the current sampling devices : Sponges. Read more about how scientists are looking into using sponges […]

Telling the complicated story of Atlantic Salmon with the help of genetic technology

  Plamu Salmo salar (or “Atlantic Salmon”, “Black Salmon”, or “Plamu” as it’s known in my neck of the woods) is a culturally, ecologically, and economically vital fish species that has experienced widespread declines over the last century. Damming, habitat degradation, climate change, and aquaculture are all thought to pose significant threats to salmon health, […]

3D Printing Can Help Coral Environments, Here’s How.

In the face of mass bleaching and other anthropogenic stressors, researchers and scientists alike have been working on ways to both bolster coral reef growth and study coral reef environments without disrupting them – and 3D printing coral structures has been one technique used to do so. However, before the use of 3D models in […]

Happy clams eat varied diets: seasonal changes in food resources for coastal critters

Between land and sea, coastal ecosystems receive seasonal varieties of food sources that impact organisms at the bottom of the food web, such as mussels. Read on to learn how scientists use stable isotopes analysis to identify what organisms eat, and why this is important for understanding coastal food webs. Katherine BarrettKate received her Ph.D. […]

Can Coral Reefs Strangled By Algae Recover?

“Experimental support for alternative attractors on coral reefs”, Russell J. Schmitt, Sally J. Holbrook, Samantha L. Davis, Andrew J.Brooks, Thomas C. Adam, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Mar 2019, 116 (10) 4372-4381; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1812412116   This article was reposted from March 2019.   Why Too Much Algae Hurts Coral Reefs Coral wages a constant battle against algae for space and dominance. On a healthy coral reef, it’s a battle […]

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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 2 months 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 6 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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