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Kristin Huizenga

Kristin Huizenga has written 24 posts for oceanbites

Crushed it: Sea turtles can help us understand hurricanes in the mid-Atlantic

Predicting what hurricanes will do is a matter of life and death, but when Hurricane Irene headed north in 2011, the predictions broke down. A group of scientists are using tracking devices on sea turtles to better understand what happens when the hot force of a hurricane hits the cold mid-Atlantic. Kristin HuizengaI am a […]

Consider the marsh crab: Climate change shifts which species are key

Munching, nibbling and burrowing their way through life, the humble marsh crab can now add “keystone species” to its ecological resume. As sea level rise has inundated shorelines on the East Coast of the United States, marsh crabs have emerged as important players in shaping how marshes respond to climate change. Kristin HuizengaI am a […]

Fig leaf or laurel wreath – When does “green” development help or hurt the ocean?

Making new coastal development more environmentally friendly seems like a win-win, but how much is helpful and how much is just for show? Kristin HuizengaI am a PhD student studying Biological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. My interests are in food webs, ecology, and the interaction of humans and the […]

A game of shark and ray: Rays act differently when sharks are around

As our oceans change, we don’t really know what the current decline of sharks means for stingrays, or for the coral reefs where they both live. Scientists at James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science want to find out. Kristin HuizengaI am a PhD student studying Biological Oceanography at the University of […]

The Blob: A movie monster of the sea

The Blob, the Pacific marine heatwave from 2016, sounds more like a movie monster than a natural phenomenon. Still the Blob can have some monstrous effects, especially for hungry fish. Kristin HuizengaI am a PhD student studying Biological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. My interests are in food webs, ecology, […]

Follow the breadcrumbs: Sponges show how some animals clean up viruses

These days, hunkered down in our homes (if we are lucky) and washing our hands till they’re raw, it can feel like the outside world is a virus soup. However animals in the ocean go swimming through viruses on a daily basis. A new study from the Netherlands shows us that in fact many animals […]

Catch prey while the sun shines – Herring grow bigger when they can see their food

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a sea creature in possession of a home in higher latitudes (further from the equator), must (on average) possess more size than its mid latitude neighbors. But why should high latitude fish be in possession of such a good fortune? Kristin HuizengaI am a PhD student studying Biological […]

Protections with a bite: Are toothed whales sheltered by South African Marine Protected Areas?

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are often put into place to protect biodiversity and essential fish stocks, but toothed whales are rarely considered when deciding where to put an MPA. As South Africa looks to expand its protected areas, Jean Purdon and her colleagues set out to learn where the toothed whales are living off the […]

Want to know about water? Ask some sea creatures

There are animals that are constantly traversing places we have barely begun to understand. Animals can’t directly tell us what is going on, but what if we could get the information in a different way? A group of scientists led by Dr. David March set out to show how we can use animal born instruments […]

Sea-sick – Examining ocean diseases through literature

From coral bleaching to sea star wasting disease, stories of an unhealthy ocean have been all over the news. But are the animals in the sea actually sicker than before? Without long-running data sets tracking disease over time, it can be hard to see if diseases are growing more prevalent. In spite of this, Dr. […]

A silver lining: How warming waters in the Gulf of Maine gave lobsters a leg up

Warming coastal waters in New England have been linked to a decline in lobsters in southern New England, but a new article by Goode et al. proposes that it is precisely this warming that boosted the Maine lobster fishery to where it is now. Kristin HuizengaI am a PhD student studying Biological Oceanography at the […]

Clinging, cloning jellyfish: How an old species is coming back with new force

On the fourth of July, 2019, happy beach-goers in Rhode Island escaped the directness of the sun by wading into Point Judith Pond. For an unlucky few, this small pleasure turned out to be immensely painful. By July 5, people were being warned about clinging jellyfish. What was this new threat to unsuspecting swimmers? Turns […]

Are you jelly? Citizen scientists find jellyfish to help sea turtles

The largest leatherback ever recorded weighed 2,019 pounds, and yet this behemoth lives on a diet composed almost entirely of jelly – gelatinous zooplankton that is. These endangered sea turtles travel up to the Atlantic Canadian coast during the summer in search of a tasty treat. In order to better understand the link between jellyfish […]

On the case: Scientists use many sources to find the culprit in kelp disappearance

The extensive decline of the Great Barrier Reef has received a lot of press attention in recent years, yet reefs aren’t the only down-under ecosystem struggling. In a recent paper in Estuaries and Coasts, researchers Carnell and Keough from the University of Melbourne and Deakin University have reported an equally alarming decline in kelp forests […]

Into the deep: Deep sea mining is upon us, whether you would risk it or not

While we have a lot to discover about the deep sea, we do know that in the depths of the ocean are a number of valuable minerals and metals like gold, manganese, and cobalt. Yet with so little known, companies are ready to dive into the cold deep, gathering these metals for economic gain. Kristin […]

Saving the Blue Bloods: Horseshoe Crab Edition

We use horseshoe crab blood to test every FDA approved drug given to humans. Yet with horseshoe crab populations dropping and a feasible replacement test already developed, why haven’t we made the switch? Kristin HuizengaI am a PhD student studying Biological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. My interests are in […]

Digging Deep: Burrowing Animals are Just One Element of a Healthy Mudflat

Despite mudflats supporting fisheries, providing homes for birds, and serving as a buffer between land and sea, these ecosystems are still threatened by human development. Researchers looking for ways to protect mudflats found that in order for mudflats to remain healthy, 4 important roles must be filled by the animals living in them. Kristin HuizengaI […]

The Slow Burn: Slower Metabolisms May Help Mollusks Avoid Extinction

By looking at fossils found in the Western Atlantic, Dr. Luke Strotz and a team of scientists at the University of Kansas and Oxford have come across an intriguing idea: that an animal’s metabolism may be linked to how likely the species is to going extinct. Kristin HuizengaI am a PhD student studying Biological Oceanography […]

Holding fast: kelp in Nova Scotia tries to grow on turf algae after a period of decline

Kelp has had a few rough decades that have led to the decline that threatens not only kelp but the other species that use the algae for habitat. Researchers at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia set out to determine if kelp can make a comeback from seas filled with turf algae. What they found is […]

Turtles in the Trash: How microplastics are washing up where turtles breed

Like plastic bags and other larger plastic pieces, these insidious micro particles can make their way into animal digestive tracts and pollute the places they live. This pollution is what concerns Doctors Beckwith and Fuentes, from Florida State University. If microplastics are spreading through the ocean, what does this mean for the future of sea […]

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