//archives

Biology

This category contains 325 posts

“Breaking Bad” inspired robot tracks sea turtle poachers

Sea turtle populations are declining, in no small part thanks to poachers. Here, the authors use robot-eggs to track poacher routes. Brandy BiggarI am a 2nd year Master’s student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. I am researching the highly invasive species the European green crab, and the impact extreme weather events has on its […]

SURFO Special: Summer Research or Summer DIY Project

Andria Miller is a rising senior at Jackson State University, majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. This summer she worked remotely with Susanne Menden-Due and Pierre Marrec through the URI GSO Summer Undergraduate Research program. Plankton are a community of organisms that provide basic fuel for marine and freshwater ecosystems. Freshwater ecosystems, such as […]

SURFO Special: Examining Atlantic cod populations on Northeast Atlantic through morphometric analysis

It’s important to understand the species specifics for proper fisheries management. Learn about how URI GSO’s SURFO, Angel Reyes, used morphology to study fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic all the while working remotely and dealing with a global pandemic. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I’m a marine research scientist […]

A loggerhead sea turtle hatchling crawling in the sand towards the water.

Virtual Sea Turtles: Predicting the Movement of Hatchlings at Sea

A young sea turtle emerges from its nest and races toward the sea and several others are close behind as they dig their way out of the sand. You can probably think of what it’s like for a sea turtle hatchling at the very start of its life as it tries to make it to […]

Upside-down jellies fire stinging grenades

Swimmers of Florida waters report incidences of being stung by the water! The authors set out to determine the cause. Brandy BiggarI am a 2nd year Master’s student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. I am researching the highly invasive species the European green crab, and the impact extreme weather events has on its population […]

Whisk-y Business: How Insights from Whisker Anatomy Can Expand Our Knowledge of Seal Behavior (Guest Post by Aubree Jones)

This is a guest post by Aubree Jones. Aubree is working towards her PhD at the University of Rhode Island. She studies how animals use their sensory systems to interact with their environment. She grew up in Oklahoma, where she learned to love the aquatic environment fishing with her dad. It’s no wonder that even […]

Around the world on a quest for diatoms

How do scientists explore the diversity of tiny cells in the vast ocean? Does diversity change in relation to environmental factors? This study used a series of models to explore diatom diversity around the world on one of the Tara Oceans expeditions. Read on to learn about the wonderful world of diatoms in the global […]

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen: An analysis of phytoplankton with changing ocean temperature

If you went to the beach and the water is cold, would you jump in? The same questions pertain to very small creatures called phytoplankton off the coast of Mexico. A group of scientists recently studied the behavior of phytoplankton as the ocean’s temperature due to large weather events like El Niño and found some […]

The Age-Old Question about Sea Turtles

There’s a lot that science has taught us about sea turtles – but we still don’t know how old these marvelous marine reptiles can get. A team of scientists turn to genetics to predict the answer. Rishya NarayananRishya is a multimedia science communicator with an MS in Media Advocacy from Northeastern University, specializing in Environmental […]

House of Mucus

Scientists use new laser-scanning technology to study palaces of snot in the deep ocean. 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 my academic interests lie in using novel […]

Shedding Light on the Origin of Clam Photosymbiosis

You may have heard of photosymbiosis in corals. But did you know that some species of clams also host photosynthetic algae? Find out how photosymbiosis evolved in giant clams and fraginae clams. Constance SartorConstance is a graduate student at the University of Guam studying coral genetics. She also paints murals integrating art and science at […]

Me, Myself, and I: The Solitude of Bacteria above the Southern Ocean

Picture this: shrink yourself down to the 1/1000th the size of the period at the end of this sentence. You are now the size of a bacteria. Due to your dimensions, you are so incredibly light (around 0.0000000000000000007 pounds) that the slightest wind could pick you up and move you around. Around most of the […]

Chuffing is an explosive exhalation that is the equivalent to when a person sneezes or coughs.

Sneeze, Cough, Chuff: Respiratory Irritation in Dolphins

We all know what it’s like to get sick and have that irritating cough that just doesn’t seem to go away. Well, what about when you’re a marine mammal that doesn’t breathe through a mouth? Dolphins breathe air through their blowhole which is located on the top of their head. What is interesting though is […]

Stop Clowning Around: Cyanide Fishing in the Indo-Pacific

What does cyanide have to do with the tropical reef fish sold as pets and showcased in aquariums? A recent paper by Madeira et al. explore how illegal cyanide fishing is devastating Indo-Pacific reef ecosystems. Ashley MickensI recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability from Miami University of Ohio, and I’m […]

Making Animals Comfortable In Their (Marine) Skin

The future of marine animal tracking could be a new flexible, stretchable, and ultra-lightweight technology called the “Marine Skin”. 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 my academic […]

Getting your toes wet: Citizen science as a means for long-term monitoring

To understand ecosystem level changes, it is important to monitor an ecosystem over a long period of time. However, long-term funding can be limited, especially during times of economic hardships. How do researchers carry out long-term ecological studies in place where sustained funding is unavailable? Read this article to get a glimpse into citizen science, […]

Peace for Coral Reefs

As the world has learned over the past several months, a little solitude goes a long way towards a healthy life. What if coral reefs need time away from humans to be able to live their best lives? Coral reefs, often called the rainforests of the sea, are known to be marvelous colorful ecosystems that […]

Sounds, Stress, and Stingrays

Have you ever wondered if stingrays can hear noise? Sharks, skates, and rays have multiple sensory organs to help then navigate their environment and hunt for food; for example, jelly-filled pores on their body allow them to sense electric fields in the water. However, less is known about how well these animals can hear. The […]

Slowing a Thorny Invasion – Managing for COTS with DNA

Crown-of-Thorns Starfish are a natural scourge on coral reefs… or are they? The cycle of outbreaks is cruel, since it tends to focus on areas that have been spared bleaching. What eats a COTS anyway? Can we harness natural predators to minimize the impacts of these coral-eaters? One team is trying.

Slime, baby, slime!

Hagfish might look like disgusting little slime eels, but there is so much more to these jawless fishes. Read on to learn about hagfish and what scientists are uncovering about their slime! Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island where I studied the sensory biology of deep-sea fishes. I am […]

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