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Carrie McDonough

Carrie McDonough has written 41 posts for oceanbites

Tiny ocean creatures play a big role in the global fate of toxic pollutants

Scientists on the “biggest ever expedition on global change” studied the tiniest creatures in the ocean to learn about their role in accumulating and distributing toxic pollutants in the world’s oceans. Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Higgins Lab at Colorado School of Mines, where I study poly- […]

Notes from the Undergrads: Summer Research Projects in Oceanography (Part II)

Undergraduates from all over the US have come to the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography this summer to pursue research projects in oceanography as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships in Oceanography (SURFO) program. Learn more about what they’ve been up to in the second part of a two-day series of short […]

Notes from the Undergrads: Summer Research Projects in Oceanography! (Part I)

Undergraduates from all over the US have come to the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography this summer to pursue research projects in oceanography as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships in Oceanography (SURFO) program. Learn more about what they’ve been up to in their series of short blog posts. We’ll be […]

The Secret’s in the Slime

Scientists have recently discovered that the hagfish’s notorious slime has uses beyond defense: it also mediates uptake of toxins through the hagfish’s skin. Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Higgins Lab at Colorado School of Mines, where I study poly- and perfluorinated chemicals. I got my Ph.D. in […]

Oceanbites Wants to Hear From You!

We here at oceanbites want to know what you’re interested in reading about. Whether you’re new to the site or a regular reader, we’d love to hear from you — let us know what you think by filling out our survey! Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Higgins […]

We Don’t Know the Half of It: Hundreds of Contaminants in Dolphin Blubber from Southern California

Dolphins and humans are continuously exposed to low levels of various halogenated, persistent manmade pollutants through their diets. In this study, blubber samples from 8 dolphins were analyzed by cutting-edge techniques to find out what’s accumulating in these marine predators. Findings suggest many routine monitoring programs underestimate the exposure of marine mammals to toxins. Carrie […]

Attention Grad Students: Apply to Attend ComSciCon15!

Applications are now open for the Communicating Science 2015 workshop, to be held in Cambridge, MA on June 18-20th, 2015! Graduate students at US institutions in all fields of science and engineering are encouraged to apply. Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Higgins Lab at Colorado School of […]

Oil Spill Sleuths use Chemical Fingerprinting to Identify Sources of Tar Balls

Tar balls are small globules of thick, sticky oil that can be found on some shorelines. In order to mitigate tar ball deposition, we need to know where the oil is coming from: Is there a specific offshore oil field to blame? In this study, researchers from India and Singapore used hydrodynamic modeling and chemical […]

Cartilaginous Conundrum: Are Sharks and Skates Safe to Eat?

While smooth dogfish may not be on your list of favorite seafood, cartilaginous fish (mainly sharks and skates) may increasingly find their way onto your dinner plate due to the decline of more traditional fisheries. While increased demand for these species as a food item could help struggling seafood industries, recent proposals to use dogfish […]

Source: Keller et al.

Why Do Sea Turtles Get Tumors?

Large numbers of green sea turtles are growing tumors that impede their swimming, block their sight, and prevent them from feeding. Researchers know that the tumor-causing disease, fibropapillomatosis, is more prevalent in some areas than others, but no one knows why. In this study, scientists set out to determine whether exposure to chemical pollutants may […]

Hired Mussels: Mussel Farming to Clean Up Excess Nutrients

Plants need nitrogen and phosphorous to grow, and humans need plants to survive. In our quest to produce more and more food for more and more people, we have released immense amounts of nutrients into aquatic environments. In this study, researchers in Denmark set out to determine whether mussel farming is a cost effective way […]

How Much Garbage is in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

There’s been a lot of news floating around about “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, the region of the Pacific Ocean where all of our long-lasting plastic products accumulate. This study by Lavender Law et al. used a multi-year, spatially extensive data set to estimate just how much plastic is currently floating in the Pacific. Carrie […]

Baby Beluga is at Heightened Risk: Pollutant Accumulation in Arctic Predators Affects Gene Expression

Analyzing changes in gene transcription is a way to detect adverse effects in organisms before they are observable on the whole organism level. Here, a Canadian research group set out to determine whether beluga whales in the relatively pristine Beaufort Sea are accumulating toxic pollutants at levels that could affect the future health of the […]

From Your Sofa to the Sea

Oceanographers from Spain have measured several commonly used (and potentially harmful) organophosphate ester flame retardants in the air over the Mediterranean and Black Seas. What does it mean for the environment? We’re only just beginning to find out. Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Higgins Lab at Colorado […]

Big Fish Eats Little Fish: Biomagnification of Natural Toxins

Naturally occurring poisons produced by some microorganisms can concentrate to dangerous levels in carnivorous fish, just like man-made pollutants do. In this study, researchers travelled to the Republic of Kiribati to investigate how ciguatoxins, responsible for ciguatera fish poisoning, are transferred between species in a complex reef ecosystem. Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, […]

A Song of Ice, Fire, and Climate: Could Warming Seas Release Methane from Beneath the Seafloor?

In 2008, scientists were troubled to find methane bubbling up from marine sediments off the coast of a string of islands in the Arctic Ocean. In this study, researchers investigate whether the methane is the result of destabilization of methane hydrates under the seafloor due to warming ocean waters. Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of […]

Double Trouble: Marine Plastic Debris Absorbs Toxic Pollutants

Recently, you may have heard that scientists have discovered small plastic particles floating in the open ocean and in the Great Lakes. The presence of these tiny plastic pieces is a cause of concern on its own, but did you know that plastic can also interact with other forms of marine pollution? Researchers at San […]

Like Mother, Like Son: Stingrays Pass Toxic Pollutants on to Their Offspring

Animals in early stages of development are particularly susceptible to harmful effects of toxic pollutants. For this reason, the transfer of toxic pollutants from mothers to their young has been the subject of intense research. In this study, researchers from California State investigated how non-mammalian species like sharks, skates, and rays pass toxic pollutants on […]

Model Suggests 40% of Global Dioxin Emissions End Up in Oceans

Researchers at the University of British Columbia recently presented a global model simulating how dioxins, a group of very toxic, persistent pollutants, travel from source regions and are deposited around the globe. Their findings suggest that oceans are impacted more dramatically than previously thought. Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow […]

Intense Weight Loss by Migratory Humpback Whales Could Increase Health Risks Posed by Pollutants

Australian and Norwegian researchers measured levels of pesticides and PCBs in southern hemisphere humpback whales to find out whether extreme weight loss during migration could have unforeseen consequences for the species. Carrie McDonoughI am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Higgins Lab at Colorado School of Mines, where I study poly- […]

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