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Ecology

This category contains 250 posts

Facing the music: calls from one of the worlds most endangered dolphins

The Study: Melo-Santos, G., Figueiredo Rodrigues, A.L., Tardin, R.H., de Sá Maciel, I., Marmontel, M., Da Silva, M.L., May-Collado, L.J. 2019. The newly described Araguaian river dolphins, Inia araguaiaensis (Cetartiodactyla, Iniidae), produce a diverse repertoire of acoustic signals. PeerJ: e6670. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.6670   River Dolphins Inia araguaiaensis was first discovered in 2014 and is one of […]

Increasing resilience, one cannibal at a time

When a species invades a new habitat they must learn to cope with previously unknown environmental stressors. Read on for this species strange adaptation to survive the winter. 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 […]

The Adventures of Shell-ock Holmes: A case of green sea turtles

How can scientists find sea turtles in the ocean? Traditional methods like capturing and tagging are invasive and expensive. Is there another way? Following turtle tracks in the ocean may be the answer. Anastasia YandulskayaI am a PhD candidate at Northeastern University in Boston. I study regeneration of the nervous system in water salamanders called […]

Arctic Unicorns: Understanding the past, present, and future of narwhals and their mysterious tusks

Why do narwhals have tusks that make them look like unicorns? As climate change continues, what is the fate of narwhals and their enigmatic tusks? Two recent studies of these unicorns of the sea start to answer questions about their past, present, and future. Julia ZehI am a second-year PhD student at Syracuse University studying […]

Climate-driven events leave an imprint on corals in the Great Barrier Reef

In this re-post, we discuss the ecological memory of corals from bleaching events that occurred back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. With this pattern repeating itself in 2020, has mass bleaching become a near-annual event? Nyla HusainI’m a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. I use models to study how […]

Winter Cruisin’ on the North Atlantic

Do you wonder what it is like to do oceanographic research aboard a sea-going vessel? What types of research are conducted out at sea? Where do the scientists set up their labs? Read this article to find out more about research at sea! Diana FontaineI am a second year PhD student in the Rynearson Lab […]

Sinking Alligator Carcasses into the Deep Ocean to See What Eats Them

  The Deep Unknown The deep ocean is an alien world. Life here must contend with crushing pressures, near-freezing temperatures, and a complete absence of light. At more than a thousand feet deep, it’s also the least explored and least understood ecosystem on Earth. That’s a problem, because the deep makes up about 95% of […]

A transforming ecosystem: Chukchi and Bering Sea

Article: Huntington, H.P., Danielson, S.L., Wiese, F.K. et al. Evidence suggests potential transformation of the Pacific Arctic ecosystem is underway. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2020). Even though we constantly hear about climate change, we still do not understand how exactly and to what extent it affects our ecosystems. That is because ecosystems do not respond in […]

Prey variety is key to coexistence of octopuses and sea stars

At family gatherings, relatives often compete for that last bite of turkey or crescent roll. How do predators living in the same habitat get the resources they need? Do they compete for the same resources, or do they use resources in different ways? Read on to find out how Storero and colleagues investigated predator diets […]

Deep Breathing Underwater

The Labrador Sea is one of the lungs of the ocean. A new study finds that it is taking an even deeper breath than expected—making it more vulnerable to climate change than thought. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I […]

Lionfish, Counting, and Errors, Oh My: Challenges in Measuring Biomass of an Invasive Nuisance 

Invasive lionfish in the Caribbean have been called “ravenous,” “destructive,” and “a living, breathing, devastating oil spill.” The hungry predators also grow differently between similar spots in the Caribbean, which a recent study argues makes the biomass of local lionfish populations hard to estimate accurately. Fine-tuning calculations will help scientists pinpoint how many of the […]

Increasing Warming causes Ecosystem Change along the Northeastern Shelf

Are the tropics coming to the Northeast coast of the US? Freidland and his team seem to think so. A recent study shows how the Northeastern shelf region may experience tropicalization in the near future. Ashley MickensI am a senior Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability major at Miami University of Ohio. While my undergraduate research […]

An Ocean on Fire

Heatwaves in Australia are stoking the flames of the wildfires currently ravaging the country.  While the effects are not as visible, the ocean, too, is suffering from extreme temperatures.  Recent research reveals that underwater heatwaves are escalating, with devastating impacts. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater […]

Deep Sea: The Final Frontier

With the decade drawing to a close, it is a good time to look toward the future and start thinking about what the next decade holds for scientific discovery. Star Trek has popularized the idea of outer space as “the final frontier.” But what if it’s really the deep sea? Ashley MickensI am a senior […]

Turning Knowledge into Action: How the Town of Truro Adapted to Increasing Flood Risk Under Climate Change

Global sea level is projected to rise at a rate of 3.7mm/year throughout the first half of the next century, according to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC). As coastal communities around the world brace to meet this worrying projection, it’s become clear that many simply have no options […]

Think global, act local: how lake microbes respond to their environments

How do microbes in lake sediments respond to small and large scale influences, and what does it have to do with climate change? Nyla HusainI’m a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. I use models to study how small-scale physical processes at the air-sea interface – like waves – […]

Welcome to the world, little ones!!

Article First record of recurring reproduction of captive tawny nurse sharks Nebrius ferrugineus. 2019. The fisheries Society of the British Isles. Lewis N. Cocks, Jonathan K.L. Mee, Alex P. Shepherd   Sharks have been kept in public aquariums since the 1860s. Many different species of sharks can be found in aquariums around the world, but […]

Jellyfish Blooms Could Increase the Risk of Bacteria-Spread Illnesses in Humans and Marine Animals

Happy Thanksgiving! With Black Friday right around the corner, it might be surprising to hear that humans aren’t the only species that swarm to certain areas. Ashley MickensI am a senior Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability major at Miami University of Ohio. While my undergraduate research focused on biogeochemical cycles in lakes and streams, I […]

Hidden diversity in ships’ ballast tanks

Did you know that organisms can live in the ballast tanks of cargo ships? Ballast tanks are used by ships to maintain stability as they transverse across ocean basins. Unfortunately, ballast water is a major culprit of the introduction of invasive species worldwide. Read on to learn more about a recent study that uses genetic […]

Gentoo Penguins as Indicators of Climate Change in the Southern Ocean

Carpenter-Kling, T., et al. “Gentoo penguins as sentinels of climate change at the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Archipelago, Southern Ocean.” Ecological Indicators 101 (2019): 163-172. The newest indicator of climate change is here, and it is penguin puke? While it might seem a little far-fetched, researchers in the Southern Ocean are using the stomach contents of […]

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