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Biological oceanography

This category contains 58 posts

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 4th year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. I use models to study small-scale turbulence at the air-sea interface induced by airflow over surface gravity waves […]

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 […]

Phytoplankton Expanding Northward as Arctic Sea Ice Retreats

A recent study uses satellite data to show that Arctic sea ice retreat is causing changes in the timing and location of spring phytoplankton blooms, which play a large role in the regional ecosystem and carbon cycle. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I use […]

Mixing Up Microalgae

A recent study shows that within the mixed layer—the region of the upper ocean where temperature and salinity are homogeneous—biological properties may not actually be well mixed. These results have implications for our understanding of phytoplankton biomass distribution. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I […]

Productivity Comes In Waves

How do waves in the ocean affect phytoplankton? Check out this post to learn more! Melanie FeenI am a first year graduate student at the Graduate School of Oceanography at University of Rhode Island. I use robots and satellites to research the biological carbon pump, which is a series of processes that transfer carbon dioxide […]

Millennial algae are not as productive: lazy, or less sea ice opportunities?

Why aren’t Arctic phytoplankton as productive as they used to be? Is it a lazy millennial thing, or something more complex and systematic? Researchers use observations to learn more about this generation of phytoplankton, and what it could mean for Gen Z and beyond… Nyla HusainI’m a 4th year PhD student at the University of […]

Growing a Scientist: Undergraduate Research 2018, part 2

Check out these posts by guest authors Anna Ward, Cassandra Alexander, Lauren Cook, and Sarah Paulson about microzooplankton, harmful algae blooms, daily migration in the deep sea, and eastern oysters–these students were part of the SURFO program at URI-GSO over Summer 2018, and have some really exciting research to share! Anna RobuckI am a third […]

Not So Organic Marine Snow

What happens when plastic pollution mixes into the ocean carbon cycle? Read to find out more about how plastic from the surface ocean might reach mussels living at the bottom of the sea! Melanie FeenI am a first year graduate student at the Graduate School of Oceanography at University of Rhode Island. I use robots […]

Octopus Mama Drama: Research Expedition Bonus Science

Dorado Outcrop is a small underwater mountain that first received attention from a few scientists because the seafloor that it sits upon is colder than what is expected. It ended up in the media spot-light because of the hundreds of octopuses that call it home. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, […]

Fixin’ to lose: Trichodesmium reacts to climate change

Nitrogen is vital for all life on the planet. One of the main global sources for nitrogen, the bacteria Trichodesmium, may stop providing nitrogen to the global cycle in an ocean affected by climate change. LeAundra JeffsI am a Master’s Candidate at University of Delaware where I study the evolution of microbes in the sediments […]

Turn Up The Heat, Turn Down the Productivity

What happens if we do not curb carbon emissions? In a recent study, Moore and co-authors (2018) predict the implications of sustained carbon emissions. Ocean nutrients may be redistributed leaving much of the global ocean in a state of declining biological production! Check out this article to learn more! Melanie FeenI am a first year graduate […]

Cyanobacteria invasions… from space?

They may not come from space, but they can be seen from up there! Learn how microscopic plants called cyanobacteria accumulate in the Baltic Sea, how they’re measured with satellites, and what it all means. Nyla HusainI’m a 4th year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. I use models to […]

Arctic Lights

We often think of the Arctic as a cold, dark place. But as sea ice continues to recede in the far north, the Arctic ocean might get quite a bit lighter. A new study out of Norway suggests these changes could alter the behavior of a particularly important type of plankton. Eric OrensteinEric is a […]

Biofilms are a prominent first step in the colonization of wood-falls

A profound yet never-before-appreciated first step in the colonization of sulfur oxidizing bacteria on the surface of wood-debris in the deep-sea is attributed to sugars and other labile components of wood. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I’m a marine research scientist who has been lucky to have had many roles […]

The Declining Japanese Eel Population: Is Ocean Circulation to Blame?

Recent declines in Japanese eel populations have been attributed to overfishing, but that may not be the only factor at play. Chang et al. investigate whether recent changes in ocean circulation might help explain this alarming trend. Julia DohnerJulia is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. Her focus is […]

Pteropods are Ptough: How one of the ocean’s most fragile creatures may cope with climate change

Climate change, due to the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning, is arguably the most important issue facing our planet. One of the most detrimental changes already in progress is the shifting pH of the world’s oceans, known as ocean acidification. Although the speed with which the planet is changing does not […]

Snowmageddon: A lighthearted start to Marine Snow theme week

While the term “marine snow” may conjure images of an aquatic winter wonderland, some aspects of this phenomenon may not inspire a Bing Crosby song. Marine snow is responsible for transporting many of the nutrients found in the surface, sunlit waters of the ocean to depths where it becomes a significant food and nutrient source […]

Antarctic krill retreat to icy terrace homes for the winter

An international research time dives beneath the ice in Antarctica’s remote oceans to understand how krill larvae make use of sea ice to survive the winter and make it to adulthood. Veronica TamsittI’m a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla California. My research is focused on the Southern Ocean circulation and […]

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