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Archive for August, 2020

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen: An analysis of phytoplankton with changing ocean temperature

If you went to the beach and the water is cold, would you jump in? The same questions pertain to very small creatures called phytoplankton off the coast of Mexico. A group of scientists recently studied the behavior of phytoplankton as the ocean’s temperature due to large weather events like El Niño and found some […]

SURFO SPECIAL: The oxygen puzzle of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence

Each summer, the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) hosts undergraduate students from all over the country to participate in oceanographic research. These Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURFOs) have not only been working with GSO scientists, but they also have spent part of their time learning how to communicate this science to […]

SURFO SPECIAL: A virtual adventure in coastal restoration

Coastal and Marine National Parks welcome millions of visitors every year, and they need our help! Habitat degradation is a key issue that these parks are facing, and this project aims to solve that problem through encouraging restoration. Diana FontaineI am a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab studying Biological Oceanography at the Graduate School […]

Is There Plastic in Paradise?

Tropical islands like the Maldives have always been viewed as untouched paradises for most people, but what lies beneath the crystal-clear waters? For the first time, scientists examine the island of Naifaru, Maldives in search of tiny bits of plastic, known as microplastics. Elena GadoutsisI have always been happiest in nature – exploring forests, traveling […]

A boat pulled out f the water and standing on land exposing the propellers and hull which are covered in various fouling organisms.

Too Slick to Stick

Have you ever walked down a dock to look at the boats? How about under the boat? The sides? Chances are you’ve probably seen a few things growing on the boat wherever it is submerged underwater such as barnacles or algae. This is known as biofouling, the unwanted accumulation of plants and animals on a […]

Shark Smarts: Can associative learning change shark behavior?

We all know that sharks are excellent hunters, but can the instinctual predatory mind of one of the ocean’s apex predators be influenced by the fishing actions of humans? Can sharks learn to feed differently based on human presence? Francesca GiammonaI am a PhD candidate at Wake Forest University, and I received a B.S. in […]

Sharks Have Friends Too

Did you know sharks can be social? Researchers track and analyze grey reef sharks around Palmyra Atoll to learn more about how they rely on each other to hunt. Riley HenningI am currently a Master’s candidate in Environmental and Ocean Sciences at the University of San Diego, and I study the stickiness of phytoplankton using […]

How will climate change affect the Southern Ocean ecosystems?

Changes in the Southern Ocean can affect global climate, and understanding the Southern Ocean’s response to climate change helps us better predict future climate. A team of researchers have looked into this question to predict how human impact on Earth’s climate will affect the Southern Ocean and its ecosystem in the near future. Jiwoon ParkI […]

Be careful what you fish for: Using protected areas to save lobster claw size

Fishing doesn’t just remove fish from the sea– it can also change the evolutionary trajectory of a species. For lobster, fishing pressure is driving populations to have smaller and smaller claws. Could marine protected areas (MPAs) rescue the large-clawed trait of the lobsters we love? Ellie OldachHello! I’m a third-year PhD student at University of […]

Skating on Thin Ice

Newly developed global climate models show us that Arctic Sea ice may be more unstable than we previously thought. The first ice-free summer in the Arctic may be just around the corner. Shawn WangI am a PhD student studying climate physics and marine geology at MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. I am interested in […]

Relative body size and major size classifications. Figure courtesy of Gabrielle Stedman

Oh where, oh where can micro-organisms be?

Does the width of 10 strands of human hair matter compared to the size of an entire ocean? A new study shows how small distinctions in body-size amongst micro-organisms is the difference between occupying whole ocean basins and just sub-regions. Gabrielle StedmanI am currently a 3rd year PhD student in Biological Oceanography at the University […]

The Age-Old Question about Sea Turtles

There’s a lot that science has taught us about sea turtles – but we still don’t know how old these marvelous marine reptiles can get. A team of scientists turn to genetics to predict the answer. Rishya NarayananRishya is a multimedia science communicator with an MS in Media Advocacy from Northeastern University, specializing in Environmental […]

The view from a sperm whale’s nose

What happens if you place a microphone on the tip of a sperm whale’s nose? Putting anything on the nose of a 50-foot (15-meter) giant is no easy task, but the reward is a glimpse of how the world’s largest toothed predator sees the world. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying […]

Life at One Hundred Million Years Old

A team of scientists traveled to the South Pacific Gyre and discovered 100 million year old, energy-starved microorganisms hidden below the seafloor. With a little bit of food (and patience), the team brought these ancient microbes back to life in the laboratory, using carbon isotopes for their detective work. Amanda SemlerI’m a PhD candidate in […]

How corals thrive in deep ocean waters

Ever wonder how corals live in the cold, dark depths of the ocean? How could climate change impact these organisms? Read on to find out more. 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 on human impacts […]

House of Mucus

Scientists use new laser-scanning technology to study palaces of snot in the deep ocean. 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 my academic interests lie in using novel […]

Shedding Light on the Origin of Clam Photosymbiosis

You may have heard of photosymbiosis in corals. But did you know that some species of clams also host photosynthetic algae? Find out how photosymbiosis evolved in giant clams and fraginae clams. Constance SartorConstance is a graduate student at the University of Guam studying coral genetics. She also paints murals integrating art and science at […]

How does an octopus decide what to eat?

Under the sea, octopuses spend a lot of time hunting their dinner. Their choice of prey ranges from clams to crabs to fish. When picking from this extensive menu, do octopuses care more what the food looks like or what it smells like? Scientists now have an answer. Anastasia YandulskayaI am a PhD candidate at […]

Plastic Problems in Marine Pathways

What if I told you that the organisms in the ocean produce half of the oxygen we breathe? Then what if I told you that plastic in the ocean can affect these organisms and other parts of the environment? Pretty crazy right? Read on to learn more about how small plastics in the ocean can […]

Bottom trawling may irreparably damage seamount habitats

Destructive fishing practices like bottom trawling damage seafloor habitats. To see how detrimental this fishing technique might be on fragile deep-sea ecosytems, scientists investigated how long it takes seamounts to recover from bottom trawling. The results are not extremely promising. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island where I studied […]

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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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