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Archive for May, 2020

Minke Boings: A 50-year mystery and the science of listening in the ocean

Whale sounds are weird and fascinating, but for a long time scientists weren’t even sure that whales made sounds. The history of the study of sounds made by marine animals starts with naval submarine recordings, World War II, and mysterious sounds like the minke boing. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying […]

A Song of Ice and Sea Level Rise

How much ice is really being lost in the polar regions, and what have been the consequences? A team of scientists use NASA satellites to determine ice mass loss in Greenland and Antarctica since 2003, and the resulting sea level rise. Amanda SemlerI’m a PhD candidate in Earth System Science at Stanford University, and I […]

Clawing Your Way to the Top: Lobster Farming in Vietnam

Can changing lobster aquaculture practices in Vietnam pave the way for green growth around the globe? The authors of a recent study think the key to minimizing environmental impacts while maximizing economic output lies in increasing efficiency. Ashley MickensI recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability from Miami University of Ohio, […]

Facing the music: calls from one of the worlds most endangered dolphins

The Study: Melo-Santos, G., Figueiredo Rodrigues, A.L., Tardin, R.H., de Sá Maciel, I., Marmontel, M., Da Silva, M.L., May-Collado, L.J. 2019. The newly described Araguaian river dolphins, Inia araguaiaensis (Cetartiodactyla, Iniidae), produce a diverse repertoire of acoustic signals. PeerJ: e6670. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.6670   River Dolphins Inia araguaiaensis was first discovered in 2014 and is one of […]

Turning up the heat: lab-adapted symbionts help coral survive warming waters

Ever wonder how organisms might adapt to climate change? How about humans aiding in this evolution? Read on to see how one group sought to increase coral reefs tolerance to bleaching in the lab. Samantha SettaI’m a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO). […]

A call for clouds in climate models

In this throwback to last March, learn how clouds influence the greenhouse effect. This climate modeling study focused on their potential disappearance as carbon emissions continue to rise. 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 how physical features like […]

Is our plastic dependence accelerating climate change?

  Reference: Royer, Sarah-Jeanne, Sara Ferrón, Samuel T. Wilson, David M. Karl. “Production of methane and ethylene from plastic in the environment.” PloS One 13, e0200574 (2018). Doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0200574 Plastic? What’s the big deal? Since the 1950’s, over 6 billion tons of plastic have been produced globally. Less than 10% of plastic is recycled, and […]

Increasing resilience, one cannibal at a time

When a species invades a new habitat they must learn to cope with previously unknown environmental stressors. Read on for this species strange adaptation to survive the winter. Brandy BiggarI am a 2nd year Master’s student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. I am researching the highly invasive species the European green crab, and the […]

The Blob: A movie monster of the sea

The Blob, the Pacific marine heatwave from 2016, sounds more like a movie monster than a natural phenomenon. Still the Blob can have some monstrous effects, especially for hungry fish. Kristin HuizengaI am a PhD student studying Biological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. My interests are in food webs, ecology, […]

The Adventures of Shell-ock Holmes: A case of green sea turtles

How can scientists find sea turtles in the ocean? Traditional methods like capturing and tagging are invasive and expensive. Is there another way? Following turtle tracks in the ocean may be the answer. Anastasia YandulskayaI am a PhD candidate at Northeastern University in Boston. I study regeneration of the nervous system in water salamanders called […]

Life in the Abyss: the ecological impacts of deep-sea mining

Did you know that about 95% of the ocean is unexplored? The deep ocean is logistically very difficult to access, so how do scientists study organisms that live hundreds of meters below the sea surface? The landscape of the deep-sea is diverse and certain structures such as polymetallic nodules, supports a vast array of marine […]

How scientists use our nuclear past to understand whale shark life history

To properly conserve and manage species, scientists need to understand how they live, grow, and age. But even figuring that out can be difficult when they are large and elusive, like the whale shark. See how scientists can benefit from more tragic moments in our past and use the legacy of nuclear bomb trials to […]

Let Marine Microbes Be Thy Medicine

The deep sea is a treasure trove of disease-fighting compounds–and is even helping us in the fight against the novel coronavirus. 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 lament of sediment: pesticide pollution hurts coastal biodiversity

Although seemingly far removed from the coasts, urban industries, agriculture, and daily human activities contribute pollution that can wind up stuck in the sediments of popular beaches and lagoons. Read on to find out how a recent study measured different kinds of pollutants in the sediment communities of a Mediterranean lagoon, and why long-term monitoring […]

Size Matters in Kelp Forests – Big, Dense Populations Are Better Equipped to Recover from Disturbance

Kelp are habitat-forming species, the “ecosystem engineers” of our coasts. Standing metres tall and sheltering coastal habitats from the full force of the ocean’s waves, kelp provide a refuge for a variety of marine animals and create a forest ecosystem similar to what you might find in the temperate latitudes on land. They are nursery […]

Tough bugs below the waves?

Just as humans can build up tolerances to things we’re exposed to, so can bacteria. Introduce antibiotics to an ecosystem and it’s a fair bet local germs will take note. Tag along and learn what a group of scientists in Florida found after sampling the water we’ve flushed down the drains! Andrea SchlunkI am a […]

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