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Conservation

This category contains 98 posts

Great Salt Lake: a place migratory birds call home

Is Great Salt Lake America’s Dead Sea? Quite the contrary, as this inland sea is very much alive! Read on to learn about how this ecosystem is critical to the survival of many charismatic birds, including American White Pelicans. Katherine BarrettKate is a 2nd year PhD student in the Biological Sciences Department at the University […]

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 masters student studying 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 […]

Why We Need Ocean Optimism

Social science has shown that too much doom and gloom about the ocean and other environmental issues is depressing. So how do we empower more people to take action?  An appropriate dose of optimism! Megan ChenI graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine Management from the University of Akureyri in Iceland, and am currently […]

Saving seabirds: how mammal management has turned into seabird success

Seabirds and invasive species have been a poor mix for centuries, yet new research suggests seabird populations are bouncing back from invasive species damage. Read on to hear about seabird success following invasive predator removal on islands across the globe! Anna RobuckI am a third year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate […]

Current connections: how far away coastlines influence marine reserves

A research team used a state-of-the-art model to map how four remote Marine Protected Areas are connected to the surrounding oceans, and how human activities are impacting them from afar. 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 it’s […]

A long history of tool use in marine mammals? You otter believe it!

The use of tools by animals has been documented in a wide range of species, from birds to invertebrates, encompassing land animals and marine animals. Animals use tools to help shelter themselves as well as find their next meal. By investigating animals on a genetic level it’s possible to determine whether tool use is specific […]

How just 3% saves 50%: Small expansions of protected areas in “shark hot spots” could save HALF of currently endangered Sharks, Skates, and Rays

The old adage of, “work smarter, not harder” even applies to shark conservation…read on to learn how targeted expansion of marine protected areas could better protect more than 50% of imperiled shark species around the globe. Amanda IngramAmanda Ingram is a Masters of Marine Affairs Graduate Student at the University of Rhode Island. She earned […]

Marine Protected Areas need more than just a name

It is no secret that the Earth’s oceans are in trouble. Every day there is a new article on rising temperatures, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, and species extinction, to name just a few. Luckily, governments are taking notice and policies are being enacted to curb the loss of this delicate, and essential ecosystem. However, deciding […]

Shark attack prevention: what works, what doesn’t?

We aren’t going to need a bigger boat to prevent shark attacks…read this review article to get an idea what shark attack prevention strategies are best for both humans and sharks! Karla HaiatI’m an Undergraduate student at University of Rhode Island majoring in Ocean Engineering and Marine Biology. I’m interested in the intersection between technology, […]

Protecting Our Fish and Birds by Protecting Their Wetland Homes

Wetlands are the link between land and water, and are some of the most productive ecosystems on Earth. They need our protection, for the commercial fisheries we depend upon, for the recreational opportunities they provide us, and for the benefit of the species that use them. Zoe GentesZoe has an M.S. in Oceanography and a […]

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