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Human impacts

This category contains 174 posts

Living Life to the Fullest: Enzyme Activity of Two African Mussel Species

Every day, our body performs a plethora of activities. We breathe, exercise, eat food, think, and socialize. Behind all of these processes is a legion of very small molecular machines at work. These little machines, called proteins, can be greatly affected by the health of their environment. How do they change in response to pollution? […]

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 […]

The killing of killer whales

Talking about killer whales may conjure images of Free Willy defying the odds and escaping captivity. However, in the wild, killer whales face many different threats that affect several aspects of their lives, from survival, nutrition, and the occurrence of diseases. Read on to find out how one group of researchers are working to understand […]

Ocean Noise: The Sounds of Loudness

Below the surface, the oceans are getting louder. Will this have an impact on our marine animals? A group of researchers gather the facts on how sound is changing our world. Elena GadoutsisI have always been happiest in nature – exploring forests, traveling to the ocean, or working with wildlife. After obtaining my MSc in Marine […]

Killer Consequences: How boats affect the behavior of endangered killer whales

Killer whales are famous for their intelligence and athletic prowess in (and leaping out of) the water. However, for some killer whale populations, human activity on the water can negatively impact their lives. Just how bad is this impact, and does it differ between male and female whales? Francesca GiammonaI am a PhD candidate at […]

Warming up to the neighborhood: a gentoo penguin’s new digs

With warming temperatures, scientists expect to see species popping up in environments where they’ve previously been absent. Climate change virtually guarantees animals will move into new regions, either following prey or searching for more familiar temperatures. In the case of the gentoo penguin, it means a new frontier as colonies push to the edges of […]

The Ocean Robot Revolution

This year marks the start of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science. To reach its ambitious targets, we require new platforms to observe the ocean—such as armies of ocean robots. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I have a […]

Missing the (Kelp) Forest for the Trees: An Overlooked Factor in Blue Carbon Storage

A recent study exposes an overlooked carbon sink in the form of kelp forests. According to scientists’ estimates, a kelp forest in Australia sequesters 3% of global carbon per year, and this has important implications for the rest of the global carbon budget. Ashley MickensI recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and […]

Catching a ride on plastic: how dangerous bacteria might travel across oceans

Plastic is abundant in the ocean ecosystem. Not only is it harmful to marine animals, but as scientists discovered, it also transports disease-causing bacteria around the ocean. How can the plastic debris in the ocean spread sickness? Diana FontaineI am a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab studying Biological Oceanography at the Graduate School of […]

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 […]

Are marine mammals susceptible to COVID-19?

Humans aren’t the only ones susceptible to COVID-19 and as the virus continues to spread, concern for wildlife is growing. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research focuses on analyzing underwater recordings of whale calls in order to better understand whale behavior. I’m also interested in education, […]

Fisheries, Food and the Future

As we approach 2021, the idea of “the future” seems closer than ever before. In a recent article, Cabral and his team propose a futuristic network of marine protected areas to help meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world. Ashley MickensI recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability from Miami […]

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 […]

Eutrophication in the Chesapeake Bay

This post is in support of #BlackInMarineScience week highlighting Black scientists who have contributed to and are currently working in the marine science field. To find out more visit https://blackinmarsci.github.io/index.html. Ashley MickensI recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability from Miami University of Ohio, and I’m currently working as a marine […]

Don’t get ~tide~ down: Are biodegradable nets a good solution to the ghost fishing problem?

Biodegradable nets are a potential solution to the ghost fishing problem-or the phenomenon of lost fishing nets still catching animals. However, are they as efficient as conventional plastic polymer nets? 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 […]

Smog can be a Bog: A Story about Iron in the Air and Ocean

Have you ever wondered where smog goes? A group of scientists investigated where particles of iron start and end up, and what they found out is quite interesting! Daniel SpeerHey! I’m a PhD student at the University of California, Davis studying biophysics. I previously studied organic chemistry (B.S.) at the College of William and Mary. […]

Crash Compilation #1: A review of vessel collisions with marine animals

As more people take to the seas, either for recreation or trade, sea life encounters have also increased. These encounters can be awe-inspiring, but they can also be dangerous—both for the animals in the water and the people aboard the ships. Click here to read more about the challenges of assessing and preventing boat strikes, […]

No language bounds in the ocean

What happens when an animal is found outside of its native range? Does it take over? How does it get there? A recent study developed a multilingual invasive species screening kit to track where marine creatures travel in the ocean. Diana FontaineI am a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab studying Biological Oceanography at the […]

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  • by oceanbites 4 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 2 months 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 5 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 9 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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