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Virginia Schutte

Virginia Schutte has written 15 posts for oceanbites
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Why I want to talk about science with you

I’ve been a writer here at Oceanbites for about a year, but now it’s time for me to hang up my mousepad. For my last piece, I discuss why science communication is so important (to me and to the world).

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Oil spills leave a deadly legacy

This study shows that after several days of exposure to oil-contaminated water, coral larvae survival isn’t reduced very much (hooray!). Unfortunately, this study also shows that this is hardly the whole story (oh, boo…). Post-exposure effects were much more severe than those exhibited during exposure, reminding us that the environment responds to human disturbances in some really tricky ways.

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Oceanbites Mingles With ArcticMix (Part 3)

This is part 3 of 3 in a series on the recent ArcticMix expedition aimed at improving ocean models that describe faster-than-predicted Arctic warming. Oceanbites sat down with Dr. Jennifer MacKinnon, chief scientist for the mission, to discuss her experiences in the field and her life as a scientist.

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Activity at one end of a migration affects fitness at the other

Effectively managing migratory species requires an understanding of what impacts them along their entire migratory route. This paper evaluates how sea turtles reproducing in Greece are affected by their choice of foraging grounds, which can be some distance from their nesting beaches.

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Small ocean currents can make a big difference in population connectivity

Marine population connectivity studies that reveal unexpected dispersal limitation have in the past attributed this pattern to “chaotic genetic patchiness”. In other words: “we don’t know exactly why it’s like this!” This study discusses how understanding ocean currents in detail can help explain dispersal limitation, clarifying metapopulation characteristics for both scientists and managers.

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Profiling developing countries to improve marine resource management

This study quantifies the higher quality of life found in coastal communities in developing countries. It also highlights the need for marine resource management to reach beyond cities to improve the wellbeing of rural communities, which are more impoverished than their urban counterparts.

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Stop, collaborate and listen: decision-oriented data collection improves marine conservation

Managers often need specific information in order to best preserve a particular marine resource. This paper details a step-wise approach that decision-makers and other stakeholders can use to prioritize scientific and conservation efforts that promote sustainability. Using this triage approach will result in a more transparent decision-making process and focus scientific assessments, providing better information for crafting management plans.

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Staying ahead of commercial exploitation in the deep sea

The first seafloor massive sulfide mine in the Pacific is expected to begin commercial operation in 2017. Licenses have already been granted and environmental impact assessments conducted, but we know little about the marine communities surrounding sulfide deposits in the ocean. This study characterizes such communities in a future mining exploration site.

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Epic: sperm whales hunt squid

Bad environmental news can seem overwhelming at times. No matter how environmentally aware you are, you will still need to eat something and you will take up space that probably used to belong more to nature than it does now. So let’s take a moment to appreciate why it’s worth trying to conserve nature. Let’s talk about sperm whales pursuing squid in the deep oceans!

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Survival at different stages of the fishing process informs management strategies for the silky shark

Knowing that a species has low survival rates after encountering a fishing vessel is useful. But knowing exactly what about the fishing process kills that species can result in more effective conservation efforts.

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Analyzing bycatch to better understand natural fish communities

Commercial shrimp trawlers haul in 3 to 15 times more of anything else than they do shrimp. Most of these extra animals are dumped back into the ocean after they die, but analyzing this bycatch before it’s discarded could tell us how non-shrimp species are doing.

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Local natural resource management can combat the effects of global environmental disturbances

Global environmental problems can’t be solved overnight by one person, but there are things we can do locally to positively impact natural resource supplies in the midst of these large-scale problems. This article describes one successful strategy used to increase fishing revenues in southern Kenya.

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Puncture wounds hold the key to new marine forensic technique

Identifying the culprits responsible for injury is a very useful thing, but tricky in the ocean, where saltwater cleans wounds quickly. Researchers have recently developed new DNA recovery techniques that can identify species and even individuals biting others in the sea.

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Manta ray movement and motivations

Everyone loves manta rays, but how much do we actually know about their basic ecology?

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Digitally partnering with spearfishers to survey fish communities

Cameras mounted on spearfishing guns are a viable source of scientific data, which could lead to new citizen science partnerships

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