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Katherine Barrett

Katherine Barrett has written 38 posts for oceanbites

The killing of killer whales

Talking about killer whales may conjure images of Free Willy defying the odds and escaping captivity. However, in the wild, killer whales face many different threats that affect several aspects of their lives, from survival, nutrition, and the occurrence of diseases. Read on to find out how one group of researchers are working to understand […]

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 […]

The Bellagio of the natural world: glacial fountains

Glaciers are sentinels of global change, yet there is still much to be learned about how glaciers melt, and in turn, how melting glaciers interact with the surrounding water. Read on to find out how scientists are working to understand how glacial meltwater forms fountains that change the surrounding water. Katherine BarrettKate received her Ph.D. […]

Is Noise Pollution Causing Marine Mammals to Starve?

Noise surrounds our daily lives, and the oceans are no exception. Sonar is used by the Navy and oil industry, and the waves travel under the ocean’s surface. How does sonar impact marine mammals? Read on to find out how scientists are studying the consequences of sonar testing on the swimming behavior of dolphins and […]

Lessons from inland saline lakes: linkages between “extreme” systems and the ocean

What connections do inland salt lakes have with the ocean? Both are salty, and we can learn many important lessons from salt lakes, which can help protect marine resources. Read on to find out about Great Salt Lake in Utah, a lake with a global reach. Katherine BarrettKate received her Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology from […]

Destruction in your backyard: why we need to keep industry accountable (Guest post by Meaghan Efford)

This is a guest post by Meaghan Efford. Meaghan is an archaeologist and historical ecologist looking at how Burrard Inlet has changed over the past 250 years. She is a PhD student at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia, working in collaboration with Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Katherine BarrettKate received […]

SURFO Special: Scouting out marine plastics on the shores of Guam

Plethora of plastic pollution! Every year, large amounts of plastic are being deposited into our oceans as a direct result of human activities. It is up to us to understand what drive marine plastic with the hope to reduce waste in our waters. Katherine BarrettKate received her Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology from the University of […]

SURFO Special: The Pettaquamscutt River Estuary (AKA Narrow River): A Body of Water with Unique Characteristics and Unknown Circulation Patterns

Estuaries are unique bodies of water with a mixture of fresh and salt-water that operate much differently when compared to the ocean or fresh bodies of water. In an estuary with two ponds and abnormally deep regions, understanding the circulation patterns is critical to understanding the estuary as a whole. In this study we work […]

What’s up, doc? How scientists are developing health charts for fish populations

Have you ever thought about how scientists may measure the health of marine fish? Just as we have our health assessed with a variety of measures, so do fish, but some ways of measuring fish health are very costly. Read on to find out how scientists are measuring health of fish using cost-effective methods. Katherine […]

The lament of sediment: pesticide pollution hurts coastal biodiversity

Although seemingly far removed from the coasts, urban industries, agriculture, and daily human activities contribute pollution that can wind up stuck in the sediments of popular beaches and lagoons. Read on to find out how a recent study measured different kinds of pollutants in the sediment communities of a Mediterranean lagoon, and why long-term monitoring […]

Prey variety is key to coexistence of octopuses and sea stars

At family gatherings, relatives often compete for that last bite of turkey or crescent roll. How do predators living in the same habitat get the resources they need? Do they compete for the same resources, or do they use resources in different ways? Read on to find out how Storero and colleagues investigated predator diets […]

Protecting marine ecosystems by tracking top predators

What do canaries have in common with polar bears, sea turtles, and sea birds? Read on to find out how these marine animals we love and want to protect are receiving attention for their potential to protect marine ecosystems. Katherine BarrettKate received her Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Notre Dame and she […]

Atmospheric traffic jams halt nutrient flow to ocean phytoplankton

It is known that climate change is influencing our oceans in many direct ways, but what about changes in atmospheric wind patterns? Winds drive ocean currents, and these currents carry nutrients to support marine food webs. But what happens when the winds are at a stand-still? Read on to find out if the answer is […]

Happy clams eat varied diets: seasonal changes in food resources for coastal critters

Between land and sea, coastal ecosystems receive seasonal varieties of food sources that impact organisms at the bottom of the food web, such as mussels. Read on to learn how scientists use stable isotopes analysis to identify what organisms eat, and why this is important for understanding coastal food webs. Katherine BarrettKate received her Ph.D. […]

How does salinity impact fish grazing in seagrass meadows?

Seagrass meadows are widely recognized as one of the most productive and diverse marine ecosystems, as they provide a bounty of plants that support fish and invertebrates. However, scientists are still working out how changes in environmental factors, such as salinity, as well as organism interactions, such as fish grazing on seagrass leaves, impact these […]

Great Salt Lake: a place migratory birds call home

Is Great Salt Lake America’s Dead Sea? Quite the contrary, as this inland sea is very much alive! Read on to learn about how this ecosystem is critical to the survival of many charismatic birds, including American White Pelicans. Katherine BarrettKate received her Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Notre Dame and she […]

Hydrothermal vents spew out tasty morsels for local marine consumers

Hydrothermal vents are not only cool structures where magma meets the sea; they offer a previously unappreciated food source for marine organisms. Read on to find out how Chang et al. 2018 uncovered the role of vents in marine food webs. Katherine BarrettKate received her Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Notre Dame […]

If the benthos could talk: the value of long-term biodiversity monitoring

The tiny critters that burrow, swim, and graze in the benthic (bottom) habitats of marine ecosystems are often monitored over long time periods so that researchers can measure changes in biodiversity over time. Read on to find out how researchers used long-term benthic data from Narragansett Bay to link human activities with changes in biodiversity. […]

Monitoring the benthos by listening to photosynthesis

Even though the benthos is a largely unseen energy base for marine food webs, scientists are listening to benthic habitats as a novel way to monitor ecosystem health. Read on to learn about how acoustics can capture sounds produced by benthic algae. Katherine BarrettKate received her Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Notre […]

Navigating historical passages of marine invasive species

Invasive species are a persistent threat to marine ecosystems. In this post, authors explore the historical context of marine invasive species and point toward the need for the public to be engaged in preventing the spread of invasive species. Katherine BarrettKate received her Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Notre Dame and she […]

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    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
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    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 3 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 3 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
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    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 3 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 4 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
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    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 5 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 5 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 6 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 6 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 7 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 7 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 8 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 
  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
    Feeling a bit flattened by the week? So are these summer flounder larvae. Fun fact: flounder larvae start out with their eyes set like normal fish, but as they grow one of their eyes migrates to meet the other and
  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
    Have you seen a remote working setup like this? This is a photo from one of our Oceanbites team members Anne Hartwell. “A view from inside the control can of an underwater robot we used to explore the deep parts
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