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Conservation

This category contains 106 posts

For Coral Reef Restoration to Work, Remote Sensing Technology is Key

Technologies that can sense qualities like temperature, ocean color, and the shape of the seafloor from afar have transformed global marine monitoring by providing quick access to ocean data, including information from remote locations. Remote sensing technology is essential for successful coral reef restoration, argues a new study, and that it will only become more […]

Snakes On A Boat! How Do Sea Snakes Stay Hydrated During Long Ocean Trips?

Lillywhite HB, Sheehy CM, III, Sandfoss MR, Crowe-Riddell J, Grech A (2019) Drinking by sea snakes from oceanic freshwater lenses at first rainfall ending seasonal drought. PLoS ONE 14(2): e0212099. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0212099 Sea snakes are awesome animals. Evolved from terrestrial ancestors, modern sea snakes have developed a number of adaptations to survive in the harsh […]

Ocean Acidification Reduces Habitat for Antarctic Organisms

A new study uses a climate model to predict that ocean acidification will reduce the viable habitat for many marine organisms in the Antarctic over the next century. This is because more acidic seawater dissolves the chemical compounds that the organisms need to form their shells. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps […]

Far-Flung Relatives: A seabird’s story of population fragmentation

The Peruvian diving petrel was once abundant along the Pacific coast of South America. These days, though, only seven breeding colonies dot the coastline, separated by dozens of miles. Conservation efforts were initially aimed at the species as a whole, but a recent study has uncovered evidence that calls into question how effective those efforts […]

The Gulf of Mexico Triangle: Assessing Movements of Large Pelagic Fish Across Multiple National Boundaries

Pelagic predators or difficult to manage due to their vast migrations through through multiple countries jurisdictions and international waters. In order to effectively manage these species multinational agreeements are required. However, collecting movement data for species that travel long distances is difficult to collect. Here, researchers look at the movements between countries of 8 species […]

Long-term monitoring reveals optimistic future for endangered limpets

Monitoring species populations over is important if scientists want to understand how the species will persist into the future. Read on to see how one research group used long-term monitoring data to develop a future prognosis and conservation plan for the endangered Giant Limpet, an important marine invertebrate in the Mediterranean Sea. Katherine BarrettKate is […]

Hawksbills in hot water? Temperature and Precipitation Impacts on Hawksbill Sea Turtle Nests

Climate change is already having effects on sea turtles. All seven species of sea turtle are dependent on temperature for habitat selection and physiology. The impacts of temperature and moisture on hatchling development have real long-term impacts on marine turtle populations. Matthew LarsenI am a second year master’s student at Coastal Carolina University in the […]

What’s next for Air Jaws? Research Priorities for The Great White Shark

Since the beginning of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, viewers have been mesmerized by the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). The great white shark coverage outshines the rest with television specials like the Air Jaws series filling many of the week’s time slots. There are numerous unanswered questions about its ecology, physiology, and relationship with humans. To […]

Communication Woes: Are we speaking the same language?

Scientists know communicating the significance of their findings is a huge part of their job. But what happens when the words we use mean different things to different people? When references and metaphors are only understood by certain generations, or by people from specific geographic regions? What hurdles come after the experiments are done and […]

Commercial fishing in Marine Protected Areas highlights the need for careful management

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) increase biodiversity and preserve ecosystem health when they are properly managed. But researchers have detected destructive practices that undermine conservation goals still occurring in many MPAs. 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 now working […]

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 […]

The Biological Big Bang: Testing the hypothesis that sperm whales use auditory bursts to stun prey and other proposed feeding strategies.

Article Fais, A., Johnson, M., Wilson, M., Soto, N. A., & Madsen, P. T. (2016). Sperm whale predator-prey interactions involve chasing and buzzing, but no acoustic stunning. Scientific reports, 6, 28562. Background Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) are big. To put it in perspective, an adult or bull sperm whale is longer on average (52 ft.) […]

Reconnecting with Sharks

Sharks: an animal we love to fear. Sharks are an essential part of the environment; unfortunately, these animals are facing the most danger in the entirety of their 450 million year old existence. What can we do to protect these amazing elasmobranchs? The first step is reconnecting with sharks. Rishya NarayananRishya is pursuing an M.S. […]

Who Governs the Ocean Around Antarctica?

Antarctica is often considered an untouched wilderness. While its location is remote, the region is hardly undisturbed by human activity. Exploitation of marine species, tourism, scientific research activities, and anthropogenic climate change are all impacting Southern Ocean ecosystems. A recent policy paper examines the governance challenges for the Antarctic, particularly those due to climate change. […]

Good Neighbors: Why we need to be careful with Piping Plovers, even when they aren’t breeding

A new study has discovered that leaving Piping Plover habitat unprotected when the birds aren’t breeding may be hindering conservation efforts. Piping Plovers are stressed by human activity, making the birds less likely to survive. Kristin HuizengaI am a PhD student in Biological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. My interests […]

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 […]

Plastics increase disease risks for corals

You have probably heard about the troubles coral reefs are facing and about the detrimental effects of plastic pollution in our oceans. Now these two issues appear to be linked: corals are getting sick when they come in contact with plastic. Find out more here. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of […]

Baby come back: capture-induced premature birthing in elasmobranchs

Capturing pregnant elasmobranchs can induce stress-related abortions. Read more to understand why and what can be done to prevent this! Aditi TripathyHello! I am an undergraduate student majoring in Marine Biology with a minor in Acoustics at the University of Rhode Island. I am a science geek to the core, and my research interests lie […]

How our Fear is Killing Sharks

Through my journey as a shark defender, I have realized the most challenging obstacle to tackle is the fear of sharks, rather than the actual killing of sharks; most people never encounter a shark in their lifetime, yet they are still scared of them and therefore don’t take the time to think much about shark […]

Green vs. Blue: How Green Turtles Might Limit Blue Carbon Storage

Green turtle populations are on the rise, which is a good thing, right? There has been recent concern that the increasing population will negatively impact seagrass role in blue carbon sequestration. Researchers found that turtles are decreasing the rate of carbon uptake into sediment but seagrass meadows remain active carbon sinks. Victoria TreadawayI am a […]

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