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Archive for January, 2021

Understanding the Demise and Recovery of Coral Reefs

In the last couple of decades we’ve learned a lot about the decline of coral reefs around the world. But there are still many unknowns. Scientists just discovered one of the constraints that prevent coral recovery after a bleaching event. Pablo Brenes CotoHello! I am a science communicator who loves sharing stories about the ocean. […]

Sail boat

Scientists set sail to survey the ocean’s plankton diversity

If you gaze into the ocean, or a lake or stream, you may be surprised at the abundance and variety of life that is contained within the open waters. Often, this unseen world of the plankton, is key to forming the foundation of marine food webs. Read on to find out how one team of […]

Missing the (Kelp) Forest for the Trees: An Overlooked Factor in Blue Carbon Storage

A recent study exposes an overlooked carbon sink in the form of kelp forests. According to scientists’ estimates, a kelp forest in Australia sequesters 3% of global carbon per year, and this has important implications for the rest of the global carbon budget. Ashley MickensI recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and […]

Aquatic predators: Our heroes for climate changing

Aquatic predators or aquatic killers?           Aquatic predators are animals that hunt at greater trophic levels, including oceans, bays, estuaries, rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands. Sharks, crocodiles, and orca whales are good examples of these predators, which are often associated with killing behaviors that scare people all around the world. However, aquatic predators are a fundamental […]

Catching a ride on plastic: how dangerous bacteria might travel across oceans

Plastic is abundant in the ocean ecosystem. Not only is it harmful to marine animals, but as scientists discovered, it also transports disease-causing bacteria around the ocean. How can the plastic debris in the ocean spread sickness? Diana FontaineI am a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab studying Biological Oceanography at the Graduate School of […]

CRASH!: A Chemical Study of Sea Spray from Breaking Ocean Waves

With every wave that crashes on the beach, little particles known as sea spray fly up into the air. Because of their contents, they can help form clouds in the atmosphere. So we can ask as the ocean acidifies, what happens to sea spray? Daniel SpeerHey! I’m a PhD student at the University of California, […]

Marine heat waves leave seabeds ice cold

Marine heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change, and can have negative effects on invertebrate spawning success. Hannah CollinsI’m a second year Masters student in Oceanography at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point. My current research interests involve microplastics and their effects on marine suspension feeding bivalves, and biological solutions […]

A grey, striped shark rests on the seafloor.

One Fish, Two Fish, Climate Change, Who Lives?

There is variation within species, and this variation can lead to some individuals surviving better in the face of environmental change. But it is difficult to predict how animals will respond to an environment that is changing faster than they can evolve. Luckily, some scientists found a clever way to study how individuals might respond […]

Cuttlefish Cognition: are these oceanic invertebrates capable of learning?

The science of animal behavior has become more focused on figuring out the intellectual capacity of non-human, and particularly non-mammalian, animals in recent years. Cuttlefish have now taken the spotlight, and in a recent study, scientists ask the question: can these small marine animals learn, and make decisions based on past experiences? Francesca GiammonaI am […]

Seafood Fraud: Is that Fish Really a Fish?

That fish you’re grabbing for dinner may actually be mislabelled. Seafood fraud is more common than you think. In a new article, scientists report on the negative impacts of seafood mislabelling on fisheries, marine ecosystems, and our health. Elena GadoutsisI have always been happiest in nature – exploring forests, traveling to the ocean, or working […]

Lunar Power Over Methane Emissions

Solid methane hydrates in the Arctic Ocean are slowly leaking methane into the atmosphere, and a team of scientists has discovered that the moon may have a small role in this process. But how? Amanda SemlerI’m a PhD candidate in Earth System Science at Stanford University, and I study how microbes in deep ocean sediments […]

Tiny Human-Engineered Particles Damages Marine Life

Nanoparticles exist everywhere in our lives – on the fabric of your clothing, the makeup you wear, the display of your TV screen and your car batteries. But when these human-engineered nanoparticles enter the ocean, they can be toxic to ocean life. Jiwoon ParkI am a PhD student in chemical oceanography at University of Washington. […]

Corals and scuba diver underwater

How to Plan a Marine Protected Area

The start of a new decade offers a chance to reflect on the past. We’ve missed our target conservation goals for global marine protected areas (MPAs), but maybe — just maybe — we’ve learned some important lessons about ocean governance along the way. In a recent paper, authors trace the history of MPA development in […]

A Small Pool Makes a Big Splash

Researchers find evidence that a small region in warm waters in the western Pacific could have played a big role in the global warming trend we have been observing. Shawn WangI am a PhD student studying climate physics and marine geology at MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. I am interested in using geochemical methods […]

Getting warmer – How will climate change shape disease?

Is a warmer world really a sicker world? When it comes to the ocean, it’s not always that clear. However, by looking at diseases in coastal waters, we may be able to get a better sense of what the future holds. Kristin HuizengaI am a PhD student studying Biological Oceanography at the University of Rhode […]

Protecting the unknown: how scientists are evaluating conservation efforts in undescribed areas of the deep sea

Large areas of the seafloor are designated for deep-sea mining, but much of this seascape has not been sampled or described. Learn how scientists McQuid et al. layered environmental data to map potentially important habitats for conservation. Gabrielle StedmanI am currently a 3rd year PhD student in Biological Oceanography at the University of Hawai‘i at […]

‘Out of Sight’ Can’t Mean ‘Out of Mind’

Surface marine debris and microplastic pollution has received more attention recently—which is great—but there’s another garbage problem we are only starting to understand. Deep in the dark, discarded items litter the sea floor, like dust-bunnies swept along by currents and are collecting at rates previously underestimated. Click here to read more! Andrea SchlunkI am a […]

Are marine mammals susceptible to COVID-19?

Humans aren’t the only ones susceptible to COVID-19 and as the virus continues to spread, concern for wildlife is growing. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research focuses on analyzing underwater recordings of whale calls in order to better understand whale behavior. I’m also interested in education, […]

Image of large commercial fishing vessel using longliner techniques to catch fish, similar to those used in this study. Vessel is red and white coloring loaded with fishing equipment on deck and moving through open waters.

The ugly truth behind seafood

Some large-scale commercial fishing vessels that operate on the high seas have a problem. Read on to learn more about forced labor in global fisheries and what we can do about it. Samantha SettaI’m a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO). My research […]

How to find a nursery for a baby manta ray

Great news! Scientists discovered lots of cute baby manta rays off the Floridian coast. Only two other manta ray nurseries had ever been identified in the entire world – talk about trying to find a daycare! But why do manta rays have nurseries – and how can we find more of them? Anastasia YandulskayaI am […]

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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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