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Human impacts

This category contains 135 posts

Larval fish foraging grounds inundated by plastic pollution

If the adage “you are what you eat” holds true, we may be in some big trouble. A recent study found that pieces of plastics are becoming concentrated in areas where larval fish hunt for food, which could be a big problem for fish and humans alike. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the […]

A High-Flying Aquatic Robot

Inspired by the flying squid, researchers have built a robot that can launch itself from the water surface using water-reactive fuel. 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 multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some engineering), and […]

#Monkseals on Instagram can Teach Scientists about Human-Wildlife Interaction

Social media, like Instagram, can provide valuable data for scientists studying the conservation of endangered species such as monk seals. Rishya NarayananRishya is a multimedia science communicator and policy analyst with an MS in Media Advocacy from Northeastern University, specializing in  Environmental Science Communications and Policy. She spent a year in informal education and policy […]

Power plays in low carbon pathways: how elite groups may influence a green transition

Learn how elite groups can guide and shape climate initiatives (spoiler alert: it’s spoooooky) – and what we can do to move towards a just transition away from fossil fuels. 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 […]

Sunlight May Stimulate Breakdown of Ocean Plastic

A new study suggests that one form of plastic might not take as long to break down in the ocean as previously thought. 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 multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some […]

The Largest Belt on Earth?

What golden, gooey, and weighs 20 million metric tons?? 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 impact extreme weather events has on its population abundance and distribution.

Sharks vs. Fishing Vessels: The fatal overlap

Article Global spatial risk assessment of sharks under the footprint of fisheries. Nuno Queiroz, Nicolas E. Humphries, et al. Nature (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1444-4   Background Over the past 50 years, world fisheries production has increased significantly. Many studies have shown fishing impacts on ocean health. Beyond the direct effects of fish removal, fishing causes an indirect […]

The Sound of (Fish) Music

The ocean contains a symphony of sounds. A new study describes a novel method for capturing the chorus “sung” by fish. 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 multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some engineering), and […]

Tracking the transience of lake ice in a changing climate

Changes in seasonal lake ice are threatening the lives of those who depend on it. Find out how scientists are tracking them. 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 – impact wind […]

The HyperDiver: A New, (Hyper-) Intelligent Way to Map the Ocean

Coral reefs are facing unprecedented change. A new high-tech, diver-operated imaging system promises to be the future of coral reef monitoring. 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 multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some engineering), and […]

New York City’s poop is a source of greenhouse gas emissions. What now?

The Hudson River has been a Superfund site since 1984, but pollution continues to be a problem today. 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 – impact wind stress, or air-sea momentum […]

You are Now Entering the Twilight Zone: Exploring the Unique Realm of Mesophotic Reefs

200 feet below the surface of the ocean, light slips away from view. But even here, in the mesophotic zones, life thrives. As scientists learn more about the beautiful fishes and corals that live at these depths we are finding out that they are not immune to human-induced threats. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree […]

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. […]

Not So Organic Marine Snow

What happens when plastic pollution mixes into the ocean carbon cycle? Read to find out more about how plastic from the surface ocean might reach mussels living at the bottom of the sea! Melanie FeenI am a first year graduate student at the Graduate School of Oceanography at University of Rhode Island. I use robots […]

Fixin’ to lose: Trichodesmium reacts to climate change

Nitrogen is vital for all life on the planet. One of the main global sources for nitrogen, the bacteria Trichodesmium, may stop providing nitrogen to the global cycle in an ocean affected by climate change. LeAundra JeffsI am a Master’s Candidate at University of Delaware where I study the evolution of microbes in the sediments […]

Tracking Global Fisheries with the Help of Computer Neural Networks

Fisheries are vital to global economies and to the billions of people who rely on fish for their primary source of protein. How do we track and manage these fisheries? Read how a new study looks at the global footprint of fisheries and analyzes what drives this market. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from […]

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 […]

Just Put on the Market: Ideal for Coral Reef Development

Scientists Identify Best Spots for Reef Restoration Coral reefs have been front and center in the news lately, as rising temperatures, increased acidity, and nutrient pollution cause mass bleaching events and scientists lament losses they say mark the “death” of coral reefs around the world. Conservation superstars have even weighed in on the issue; Suzuki, […]

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 received my B.S. Marine Biology with a minor in Acoustics at the University of Rhode Island. Currently, I am a Ph.D. student at the University of New Hampshire with a research focus […]

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