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Julia Zeh

Julia Zeh has written 14 posts for oceanbites

Holistic management: the vital role of Indigenous Peoples in conservation on the high seas

This Indigenous Peoples’ Day, consider the role of indigenous and local communities in marine conservation and policy. International governing bodies need to work to include Indigenous peoples and their holistic management practices as part of important discussions on how to conserve marine biodiversity on the high seas. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse […]

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 […]

An ancient dolphin gives a glimpse of the past

What can fossilized dolphin skeletons tell us about how whales transitioned from land to sea millions of years ago? New research describes Ankylorhiza tiedemani, an extinct species of dolphin that hunted large prey in the ancient seas of South Carolina. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research […]

VaquitaCPR: Trying to save the world’s most endangered marine mammal

What do you do when the species you’ve been working to save from extinction is down to fewer than 30 individuals? With only thirty vaquita porpoises left in the entire world, despite years of conservation efforts, emergency action needed to be taken in an effort to save the world’s smallest and most endangered porpoise. Julia […]

Menacing microplastics hamper hermit crab choices

How can little bits of plastic in the ocean impact a hermit crab’s ability to make decisions? Microplastics can be found from the deep sea to the coasts and they can affect everything from animal health to cognition. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research focuses on […]

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 […]

Arctic Unicorns: Understanding the past, present, and future of narwhals and their mysterious tusks

Why do narwhals have tusks that make them look like unicorns? As climate change continues, what is the fate of narwhals and their enigmatic tusks? Two recent studies of these unicorns of the sea start to answer questions about their past, present, and future. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine […]

A round of underwater applause: Scientists record gray seals clapping underwater

How do you get someone else’s attention underwater? It turns out some seals may clap their flippers together the same way humans clap their hands. Marine animals make incredible sounds underwater, from the songs of humpback whales to the pops of snapping shrimp and the grunts of fish, and now we may hear the sounds […]

Of Wildfires and Oceans

Wildfires are all over the news, from California to Australia, but do these terrestrial events have any impact on ocean ecosystems? Is it possible that wildfires can cause massive coral die-off across reefs? A research paper from 2003 provides some insight into these questions, and points to a need for more studies on the links […]

Ensuring that coral reefs sound like home

What does a coral reef sound like? The answer is more important than you might think. By playing the sounds of a healthy reef over a loudspeaker, scientists were able to attract a variety of baby fish to settle on a degraded reef, results which show how acoustic interventions are a tool that can be […]

Mazes aren’t just for mice: European shore crabs exhibit spatial learning

Mazes aren’t just for mice, although a scientific literature search for maze learning might lead you to think so. In a recent study, scientists investigate crab performance in a complex maze and propose that European shore crabs exhibit spatial learning and memory, potentially tied to their need to find food along the complicated, three-dimensional seafloor. […]

The story behind the story: Understanding how mother whales communicate and the challenges of studying an endangered species

How do North Atlantic right whale moms talk to their calves? A recent paper describes new quiet calls which have only been recorded from mother/calf pairs. But there’s more to the story than just what makes it into the journal article, namely the logistical as well as emotional challenges of studying an endangered species. Julia […]

From Animal Tracking to Conservation

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride on the back of a whale? Scientists now use a variety of tag technologies and tracking methods to understand the movement of marine animals from whales to sharks to birds to turtles. But how can tracking data be effectively translated into conservation policy that […]

Same-Sex Squid Sex

Same-sex sexual behavior exists across a wide range of animals, but the behavior has long puzzled scientists because of the apparent paradox of mating behavior that does not produce offspring. What is the adaptive value of same-sex mating and what are the different reasons it has evolved in so many species? A recent paper describes […]

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