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Erin McLean

Erin McLean has written 39 posts for oceanbites

Lobsters fighting antenna and claw over burrows

Animals fight for all kinds of reasons, but the main reason an animal will fight is to become a dominant member of the population. But how do lobsters figure out which one of them is the alpha lobster? Read on to find out! Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree […]

Talking to your teen about climate change

Do you remember having “the talk” with your parents? No, not the birds and the bees – the talk about climate change. Didn’t have that one? Neither do most people. This new paper suggests that conversations around the dinner table could increase climate change mitigation behavior in teens. Read on to find out more! Erin […]

To Cull or Not to Cull: Determining Attitudes Towards Shark Mitigation Strategies

Opinions are like…well, you know…everyone’s got them. But how can we use what people think to make better decisions? Researchers in this study investigated beachgoers’ attitudes towards different methods to deter sharks from public beaches, in hoping that their opinions would reveal where we should most target education programs going forward. Read on to find […]

As far as the eye can(‘t) see: climate change may impact vision

Seawater is getting warmer, more acidic, and depleted of oxygen, and those shifts are causing animals serious problems: decreases in reproductive ability, increases in predators, and changes to habitats. A new review out of UC San Diego zooms in to investigate the effects of deoxygenation on a small organ with a big impact: the eye. […]

The elephant in the oxygen minimum zone

When people think of the animals that inhabit the deep sea, they think of the fascinating, alien-like creatures like the anglerfish or the colossal squid. But, there are other animals that are able to inhabit parts of the deep ocean for a short amount of time, like the elephant seal. Why do they go down […]

Minimizing bycatch by maximizing incentives

What’s the best way for fishermen to avoid catching the wrong type of animal in their nets? According to this paper, there’s the way we’re doing it now, and there’s a way that allows for more flexibility and more compliance. Read on to find out more about preventing bycatch through incentives! Erin McLeanHi and welcome […]

Eating bones and building habitats: the life of an ecosystem engineer

Believe it or not, zombies can be…a good thing? Read on to find out how “zombie worms” in the deep ocean contribute to biodiversity! Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree at URI, focusing on lobsters and how they respond metabolically to ocean acidification projections. I did my undergrad at […]

An Ocean in Your Beer

This St. Patrick’s Day, think outside the green beer and whiskey and try an ocean-inspired beer! Didn’t know there were beers brewed with ocean life? Read on to learn more about how our oceans and your beer are intertwined. Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree at URI, focusing on […]

Ocean acidification makes predators dumb

Chemistry is important for a lot of things, but can it change the behavior of animals? Read on to find out how changes in water chemistry alter the behavior of a venomous cone snail! Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree at URI, focusing on lobsters and how they respond […]

All Food Does NOT Come from the Sun

Excerpt: We’re taught at a young age that all food comes from the sun via photosynthesis. But, does it really? Read on to find out about a major fishery that is underpinned by chemosynthetic primary production! Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree at URI, focusing on lobsters and how […]

Lionfish slime helps ward off diseases

We know of many things that protect animals against disease – immune systems and gut bacteria are just the two most common examples. It turns out fish have antimicrobial properties that come from bacteria that live in the slime that covers their bodies, and it just might make lionfish specifically more resistant to disease. Erin […]

When Pigs Get Crabs: A Story of Symbiosis

Excerpt: The deep sea is not an easy place to live. Cold, dark, and featureless, it doesn’t provide a lot of food or hiding spots for the animals that live there. Read on to find out the odd way one species of crab has evolved to avoid both problems! Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! […]

Seahorses Don’t Like It Hot

Scientists have been doing a lot of work recently trying to figure out how species are going to react to climate change. This research group wanted to figure out just how much heat seahorses could take…and seeing as they can’t get out of the ocean, things aren’t looking good. Read on! Erin McLeanHi and welcome […]

Lobster Poop: Way More Interesting Than You’ve Ever Imagined

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never ever given any thought to lobsters and their poop. In contrast, the researchers who wrote this study have thought way too much about lobster poop; read on to find out what they discovered! Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree at URI, […]

How Much Wood Can A Wood Boring Clam Bore?

How much wood could a wood boring clam bore if a wood boring clam was given a lot of different options of wood to bore? Not as catchy as the original, but check this article out to learn about how the type of wood that falls to the deep ocean influences the community of animals […]

Migrating lobsters use magnets to find their way

For the last post in our school’s out for summer theme week, take a look inside to see how migrating groups of lobsters use the force to navigate around the bottom of the ocean! Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree at URI, focusing on lobsters and how they respond […]

Can being sick be a good thing for surviving ocean acidification?

Scientists (myself included!) have been doing a lot of work on how marine animals respond to rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, but CO2 alone isn’t the only problem. This study looks at how having a parasite affects survival in marine snails exposed to high CO2 – do they survive longer in those conditions with or […]

When life gives you dead mussels, make…lobsters?

Many industries have been trying to figure out how to make their waste products into useful raw materials for other products. Read on to find out how mussel aquaculture could contribute to your next lobster dinner! Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree at URI, focusing on lobsters and how […]

Marine life: Coming to a PharmaSea near you!

The PharmaSea program is looking to expand our library of marine-derived compounds for use in drug discovery. Want to know what marine organisms are already used in medicine, and where this program is looking to find new medicines? Read on to find out! Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree […]

Sea of Love: The Fascinating Story of Sexual Parasitism

When they think of deep sea fish, most people think of that crazy fish from Finding Nemo with the big teeth and the light on its head. The folks at Disney Pixar weren’t exaggerating; that kind of fish really does exist in the deep ocean, and it’s even weirder than you think it is. Read […]

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