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Biological oceanography

This category contains 74 posts

Turning up the heat: lab-adapted symbionts help coral survive warming waters

Ever wonder how organisms might adapt to climate change? How about humans aiding in this evolution? Read on to see how one group sought to increase coral reefs tolerance to bleaching in the lab. Samantha SettaI’m a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO). […]

Let Marine Microbes Be Thy Medicine

The deep sea is a treasure trove of disease-fighting compounds–and is even helping us in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I have a multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some engineering), and […]

The HyperDiver: A New (Hyper-) Intelligent Way to Map the Ocean

German researchers have developed a new system–based on sophisticated imaging technology and artificial intelligence–which promises to revolutionize how we map coral reefs. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I have a multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some engineering), […]

Winter Cruisin’ on the North Atlantic

Do you wonder what it is like to do oceanographic research aboard a sea-going vessel? What types of research are conducted out at sea? Where do the scientists set up their labs? Read this article to find out more about research at sea! Diana FontaineI am a second year PhD student in the Rynearson Lab […]

A transforming ecosystem: Chukchi and Bering Sea

Article: Huntington, H.P., Danielson, S.L., Wiese, F.K. et al. Evidence suggests potential transformation of the Pacific Arctic ecosystem is underway. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2020). Even though we constantly hear about climate change, we still do not understand how exactly and to what extent it affects our ecosystems. That is because ecosystems do not respond in […]

Phytoplankton: Small cells with a big impact

Tiny organisms called phytoplankton fuel the base of the marine food web. Did you know that every other breath of oxygen you take comes from the ocean? Read on to learn more about measuring phytoplankton production rates… Diana FontaineI am a second year PhD student in the Rynearson Lab studying Biological Oceanography at the Graduate […]

Deep Breathing Underwater

The Labrador Sea is one of the lungs of the ocean. A new study finds that it is taking an even deeper breath than expected—making it more vulnerable to climate change than thought. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I […]

An arms race: Foraging Fish vs. Rorqual Whales

Ever wonder how filter feeding whales are able to capture smaller, fast fish? The authors of this study looked at exactly how the feeding behavior of these whales allows them to catch fast, easily maneuverable foraging fish. Samantha SettaI’m a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School […]

Icebergs Fertilize Phytoplankton Growth

Icebergs contain iron, the limiting nutrient for phytoplankton in the polar regions. Icebergs, therefore, have the potential to stimulate biological productivity and carbon uptake. However, this will depend on the iceberg iron content, which is not well known. Therefore, a recent study sought to quantify the variability in iceberg iron content and subsequent carbon uptake. […]

A High-Flying Aquatic Robot

Inspired by the flying squid, researchers have built a robot that can launch itself from the water surface using water-reactive fuel. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I have a multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some engineering), and […]

Gentoo Penguins as Indicators of Climate Change in the Southern Ocean

Carpenter-Kling, T., et al. “Gentoo penguins as sentinels of climate change at the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Archipelago, Southern Ocean.” Ecological Indicators 101 (2019): 163-172. The newest indicator of climate change is here, and it is penguin puke? While it might seem a little far-fetched, researchers in the Southern Ocean are using the stomach contents of […]

Who’s benefiting from increasing CO2?

Bach, L. T., Hernández-Hernández, N., Taucher, J., Spisla, C., Sforna, C., Riebesell, U., & Arístegui, J. (2019). Effects of elevated CO2 on a natural diatom community in the subtropical NE Atlantic. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, 75. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00075 As the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere steadily increases, oceans are taking up more […]

Phytoplankton Bloom Driven by Volcanic Eruption

A large volcanic eruption in 2018 deposited tons of lava into the Pacific Ocean. Scientists were puzzled that the lava-impacted region of the ocean had explosive growth of microalgae called phytoplankton. They discovered that the lava was heating nutrient-rich waters at the seafloor, which made them rise up to the surface. Channing PrendI’m a physical […]

SURFO SPECIAL: What’s it like to live in a dogfish eat dogfish world?

Brianna Villalon is a senior at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, studying marine biology and looking to gear her research toward elasmobranchs. This summer she worked with Camilla McCandless at the NOAA Northeastern Fisheries Science Center alongside the Apex Predator Shark Tagging Program. Read on to learn more about her work with dogfish! Diana FontaineI am […]

The Sound of (Fish) Music

The ocean contains a symphony of sounds. A new study describes a novel method for capturing the chorus “sung” by fish. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I have a multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some engineering), and […]

The HyperDiver: A New, (Hyper-) Intelligent Way to Map the Ocean

Coral reefs are facing unprecedented change. A new high-tech, diver-operated imaging system promises to be the future of coral reef monitoring. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I have a multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some engineering), and […]

A Balancing Act for the US Atlantic scallop: Ocean Acidification and Fishery Management

Commercially important fisheries around the world are threatened by environmental changes. This post explores the effect of ocean acidification (OA) on the US Atlantic sea scallop. There is a fine balance between managing the scallop fishery and understanding the impacts from OA. As OA continues to threaten the fishery, there must be efficient management practices […]

Ecology of Fear: Current Implications of Orca Presence on Narwhal Behavior and Future Trends

The ecology of fear is a hypothesis that predators drive habitat use and behavior in prey species. In the Arctic, the orca drives behavioral changes in a variety of species including narwhals. Analyzing a narwhal population in a Fjord in Greenland researchers were able to look at how fear drives narwhal behavior. Article Breed, Greg […]

Rugged Southern Ocean phytoplankton weather the storm(s)

Phytoplankton from the “wild west” of the world’s oceans have learned to regrow after storms… over and over and over again. Nyla HusainI’m a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. I use models to study how small-scale physical processes at the air-sea interface – like waves – impact wind […]

Small currents influence small creatures

Phytoplankton, the tiny photosynthesizing organisms in the ocean, tend to just go with the flow. Even the smallest currents can push them around. But how much does this rearranging actual matter for plankton populations? Eric OrensteinEric is a PhD student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research in the Jaffe Laboratory for Underwater Imaging […]

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