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Human impacts

This category contains 183 posts

Biofouling Organisms Tell All About The Age Of Lost Fishing Gears

Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gears (ALDFG) constitute a significant portion of marine litter, with about 640,000 tons lost in the oceans every year. While submerged underwater, ALFDG get populated by biofouling organisms, which have a fascinating story to tell us about the age of lost fishing gear. Cindy LebrasseBorn and raised on Mauritius […]

Taking a Bite of the Blue Economy

As Shark Week draws to a close, take a minute to check out how sharks are boosting ecotourism in Mexico.  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 mammal observer in the Atlantic. While my undergraduate research focused […]

Far reaching microplastics: They may be closer than you think

We all know plastic pollution is a growing problem in our oceans harming sea creatures and covering beaches. What is not as well known is plastics are beginning to enter the food we eat, and scientists still do not know what the effects could be. Shawn WangI am a PhD student studying climate physics and […]

The high seas: where fishing meets mining

New research out of the University of Hawaiʻi considers how spatially overlapping anthropogenic impacts in the high seas may have consequences not only for the biological communities, but for global economies as well. Gabrielle StedmanI am currently a PhD student in Biological Oceanography at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. I use DNA found in […]

Lights out: How the aquatic food web is responding to coastal darkening in the North Sea

Have you ever been on a plane, flying over the coast, and noticed a stream of brown-colored water draining from land into the blue-green coastal waters? Scientists have been studying this phenomenon for years and came up with the term coastal darkening, which may have serious implications for the aquatic food web. Cindy LebrasseBorn and […]

Fishing or Farming: Can Fisheries and Offshore Wind Farms Coexist?

Last month, President Biden announced that the US will be turning to offshore wind farms (OWFs) to meet the growing need for clean energy. While this is an exciting step forward for clean energy, some are concerned about how OWFs might affect and restrict fishing activities in certain areas. A new study carried out in […]

Shells and cells: Lack of oxygen and the presence of bacteria contribute to oyster mortality

Lack of oxygen for a long period of time is bad for oysters, but is that the whole story? 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 […]

The disastrous effects of an oil spill: A tale of Mauritius vs. MV Wakashio

Does Mauritius ring a bell? This tiny Indian Ocean Island was hit by the worst oil spill it had ever known when the MV Wakashio, a Japanese tanker ran aground off its coast in July 2020. This article explores the efforts in containing the spill and its aftermath on the surrounding marine life. Cindy LebrasseBorn […]

High-TEK Turtle Monitoring: Lessons from Traditional Ecological Knowledge

In this new study carried out in Colombia, traditional ecological knowledge helps to shine a light on sea turtle and fishery management. 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 mammal observer in the Atlantic. While my undergraduate […]

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 […]

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  • by oceanbites 3 months ago
    Happy Earth Day! Take some time today to do something for the planet and appreciate the ocean, which covers 71% of the Earth’s surface.  #EarthDay   #OceanAppreciation   #Oceanbites   #CoastalVibes   #CoastalRI 
  • by oceanbites 4 months 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 5 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 6 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 6 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 7 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 7 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 11 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 12 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 12 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 1 year 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 
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