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Biology

This category contains 338 posts

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 […]

“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 […]

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  • by oceanbites 3 weeks ago
    Not all outdoor science is fieldwork. Some of the best days in the lab can be setting up experiments, especially when you get to do it outdoors. It’s an exciting mix of problem solving, precision, preparation, and teamwork. Here is
  • by oceanbites 1 month ago
    Being on a research cruise is a unique experience with the open water, 12-hour working shifts, and close quarters, but there are some familiar practices too. Here Diana is filtering seawater to gather chlorophyll for analysis, the same process on
  • by oceanbites 3 months ago
    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
  • by oceanbites 3 months ago
    Leveling up - did you know that crabs have a larval phase? These are both porcelain crabs, but the one on the right is the earlier stage. It’s massive spine makes it both difficult to eat and quite conspicuous in
  • by oceanbites 3 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Cierra Braga. Cierra works ultraviolet c (UVC) to discover how this light can be used to combat biofouling, or the growth of living things, on the hulls of ships. Here, you
  • by oceanbites 3 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Elena Gadoutsis  @haysailor  These photos feature her “favorite marine research so far: From surveying tropical coral reefs, photographing dolphins and whales, and growing my own algae to expose it to different
  • by oceanbites 4 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on Oceanbites we are featuring Eliza Oldach. According to Ellie, “I study coastal communities, and try to understand the policies and decisions and interactions and adaptations that communities use to navigate an ever-changing world. Most of
  • by oceanbites 4 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Jiwoon Park with a little photographic help from Ryan Tabata at the University of Hawaii. When asked about her research, Jiwoon wrote “Just like we need vitamins and minerals to stay
  • by oceanbites 4 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #Oceanbites  we are featuring  @riley_henning  According to Riley, ”I am interested in studying small things that make a big impact in the ocean. Right now for my master's research at the University of San Diego,
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Gabby Stedman. Gabby is interested in interested in understanding how many species of small-bodied animals there are in the deep-sea and where they live so we can better protect them from
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Shawn Wang! Shawn is “an oceanographer that studies ocean conditions of the past. I use everything from microfossils to complex computer models to understand how climate has changed in the past
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    Today we are highlighting some of our awesome new authors for  #WriterWednesday  Today we have Daniel Speer! He says, “I am driven to investigate the interface of biology, chemistry, and physics, asking questions about how organisms or biological systems respond
  • by oceanbites 6 months ago
    Here at Oceanbites we love long-term datasets. So much happens in the ocean that sometimes it can be hard to tell if a trend is a part of a natural cycle or actually an anomaly, but as we gather more
  • by oceanbites 6 months ago
    Have you ever seen a lobster molt? Because lobsters have exoskeletons, every time they grow they have to climb out of their old shell, leaving them soft and vulnerable for a few days until their new shell hardens. Young, small
  • by oceanbites 7 months ago
    A lot of zooplankton are translucent, making it much easier to hide from predators. This juvenile mantis shrimp was almost impossible to spot floating in the water, but under a dissecting scope it’s features really come into view. See the
  • by oceanbites 7 months ago
    This is a clump of Dead Man’s Fingers, scientific name Codium fragile. It’s native to the Pacific Ocean and is invasive where I found it on the east coast of the US. It’s a bit velvety, and the coolest thing
  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
    You’ve probably heard of jellyfish, but have you heard of salps? These gelatinous sea creatures band together to form long chains, but they can also fall apart and will wash up onshore like tiny gemstones that squish. Have you seen
  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
    Check out what’s happening on a cool summer research cruise! On the  #neslter  summer transect cruise, we deployed a tow sled called the In Situ Icthyoplankton Imaging System. This can take pictures of gelatinous zooplankton (like jellyfish) that would be
  • by oceanbites 9 months ago
    Did you know horseshoe crabs have more than just two eyes? In these juveniles you can see another set in the middle of the shell. Check out our website to learn about some awesome horseshoe crab research.  #oceanbites   #plankton   #horseshoecrabs 
  • by oceanbites 9 months ago
    Feeling a bit flattened by the week? So are these summer flounder larvae. Fun fact: flounder larvae start out with their eyes set like normal fish, but as they grow one of their eyes migrates to meet the other and
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