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Biology

This category contains 343 posts

Protist Factories: A Potential Way to Make Gold and Silver

Modern research is investigating the ability of organisms to make valuable products for us. A multi-national team examined the ability of a species of protist to make important lipid molecules as well as silver and gold nanoparticles, and the results were quite exciting! Daniel SpeerHey! I’m a PhD student at the University of California, Davis […]

An unexpected source of deep-sea iron in the Southern Ocean fuels life at the ocean’s surface

The cold, dark Southern Ocean makes it difficult for phytoplankton, the plants of the sea, to get the resources they need to grow, like iron, but new research reveals an unexpected source of iron is from deep-sea vents, read on to find out more. Tricia ThibodeauI am a plankton ecologist focused on the effects of […]

Shark Sleuthing: How scientists can identify which species of sharks attack

Though shark attacks are uncommon, it is in humanity’s best interest to learn all we can about the sharks responsible. But how can we do that if the shark was not clearly visible by victims or witnesses? Scientists have developed ways to identify shark perpetrators by examining the DNA left behind in bite wounds. Francesca […]

Far reaching microplastics: They may be closer than you think

We all know plastic pollution is a growing problem in our oceans harming sea creatures and covering beaches. What is not as well known is plastics are beginning to enter the food we eat, and scientists still do not know what the effects could be. Shawn WangI am a PhD student studying climate physics and […]

Moray Eel’s Eerie Jaws Provide Unique Advantage

Most fish have a second set of jaws deep inside their throat that helps them process food. While these jaws in many fish are stationary, those of moray eels are strong and mobile, allowing them to swallow prey on land—an impossible feat for other bony fish. Rena KingeryI am a student of the MA in […]

Fish with supervision? See for yourself!

The deep, dark ocean is a hard place to live but new research reveals that some deep-sea fish are able to survive through specially evolved eyes that allow them to see in the dark, read on to find out more. Tricia ThibodeauI am a plankton ecologist focused on the effects of rapid climate change on […]

Like Parent, Like Offspring: Fish Inherit Changes in DNA Methylation

How do animals respond to these environmental changes? How can they make sure their offspring will survive these conditions too? Today we will look at the work of a multi-national team of scientists investigating how fish live in environments with high amounts of the dangerous chemical hydrogen sulfide. Daniel SpeerHey! I’m a PhD student at […]

The Circle of Life: Understanding Lionfish Life Cycles

We know who’s the king of the jungle, but who’s the king of the reef? Lionfish may look cool, but they are actually invasive in the Atlantic and the adults have no natural predators. This new paper explains how understanding the early life stages of lionfish may help control their population in the Western Atlantic […]

Can Green Algae Capture Microplastics in the Great Lakes?

Microplastics (specifically microfibers) can adhere to the cell walls of the green algae Cladophora, potentially removing them from the water. Hannah CollinsI’m a second year Masters student in Oceanography at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point. My current research interests involve microplastics and their effects on marine suspension feeding bivalves, and biological solutions to the […]

A lined seahorse.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes in Seahorse Hormones

While we already know that plastics are harmful to the environment, do you ever really think about how they can cause negative impacts? Not just by their physical presence like microplastics, but when the plastics start to breakdown and chemicals get released into the environment. Would you believe that the single-use plastic water bottle that […]

Luminous luster…with teeth

Don’t worry—these glowing predators won’t harm you. They’re more interested in picking on someone their own size. Scientists take a look at the latest shark confirmed to be bioluminescent and wonder: why does this large, slow-moving shark need its gleaming hide? Andrea SchlunkI am a former PhD student from the University of Rhode Island, having […]

Oxygen Minimum Zones: Should we be worried?

Reviews and syntheses: Present, past, and future of the oxygen minimum zone in the northern Indian Ocean It is no secret that oxygen is essential for most life forms, but there are certain areas in the oceans where there is little oxygen. In their recent research, Dr. Rixen from the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine […]

Marine heat waves leave seabeds ice cold

Marine heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change, and can have negative effects on invertebrate spawning success. Hannah CollinsI’m a second year Masters student in Oceanography at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point. My current research interests involve microplastics and their effects on marine suspension feeding bivalves, and biological solutions […]

A grey, striped shark rests on the seafloor.

One Fish, Two Fish, Climate Change, Who Lives?

There is variation within species, and this variation can lead to some individuals surviving better in the face of environmental change. But it is difficult to predict how animals will respond to an environment that is changing faster than they can evolve. Luckily, some scientists found a clever way to study how individuals might respond […]

The Life of an Aquatic NOMAD: A Study of Macroalgae in the Pacific

How can we better aquaculture? A team of Scientists in Seattle, Washington constructed a system for growing algae without a need for large spaces and nutrient enrichment. How? Using currents and letting the ocean do the work! Daniel SpeerHey! I’m a PhD student at the University of California, Davis studying biophysics. I previously studied organic […]

Do pesticides negatively affect moon jellyfish?

Do pesticides negatively affect the polyp life stage of moon jellies? Evidence suggests no, at least for tested pesticides. Hannah CollinsI’m a second year Masters student in Oceanography at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point. My current research interests involve microplastics and their effects on marine suspension feeding bivalves, and biological solutions to the issue […]

Examples_of_different_types_of_microplastics

Plastics and Colors and Fish, Oh My!

Have you ever wondered what happens to the garbage that ends up in the ocean? Or about what just might eat this garbage thinking it might have been food? That what the scientists in this study looked at in Brazil. These scientists looked at the gut contents of several fish to see what they ate. […]

An up-close view of a great white shark's head.

Peek-a-Boo, I See You and My Food Too

Imagine yourself floating in a metal cage off the side of a boat. You are waiting to see something rare, exciting, and in all reality dangerous if proper precautions are not used. Then you see it, a dark gray dorsal fin breaking the surface of the water. One of the ocean’s apex predators, a great […]

Under pressure: Amphipod uses aluminum to survive in the deep sea

Crushing pressures and freezing temperatures prevent many animals from surviving in the deepest depths of our oceans; yet, somehow, a deep-sea amphipod beats all odds and is able to survive and flourish where few other animals can. Scientists have revealed how these amphipods survive under so much pressure. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from […]

“Bienvenidos” to Baja California, Baby White Sharks!

Tamborin, E., Hoyos-Padilla, M., Sánchez-González, A., Hernández-Herrera, A., Elorriaga-Verplancken, F., Galván Magaña, F. (2019). “New Nursery Area for White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.” Turk. J. Fish.& Aquat. Sci. 20(4), 325-329. Big Travelers! Great white sharks, or simply white sharks, are considered one of the largest predators in the sea. They are […]

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    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #oceanbites  we are featuring Hannah Collins  @hannahh_irene  Hannah works with marine suspension feeding bivalves and microplastics, investigating whether ingesting microplastics causes changes to the gut microbial community or gut tissues. She hopes to keep working
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