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Methodology

This category contains 18 posts

Could sponges replace expensive ocean tech?

The ocean is a big place and trying to study all of the animals living there can take a lot of time, effort, and some pretty expensive technology. Thankfully, a group of scientists may have found an alternative to the current sampling devices : Sponges. Read more about how scientists are looking into using sponges […]

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 […]

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.) […]

Smart sampling of the world’s oceans

The ocean is a big, dynamic environment – a combination that makes it incredibly challenging to efficiently study. In a new paper, Mark Costello proposes dividing the ocean into Ecological Management Units to help dictate what gets measured and when. The method could help scientists more effectively deploy their resource to explore our world’s seas. […]

Popping bubbles: Measuring nitrogen fixation in the ocean

Scientists have been measuring nitrogen fixation in the ocean wrong – but a new method offers a simple fix. Michael GrawI’m a 5th year PhD student at Oregon State University researching the microbial ecology of marine sediments – why do we find microbes where they are in the seafloor, and what are they doing there? […]

Science Behind the Scenes: A Tour of the Exploration Vessel Nautilus

What is it really like to do research out at sea? Last month oceanbites writers Megan Chen and Ashley Marranzino participated in a research cruise aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus – watch a special behind the scenes video blog to see a tour of the ship! Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University […]

Degrees of separation: How warm do we think Earth is going to get, really?

The Earth is warming up. But by how much? For some time, climate scientists could not reconcile the varying temperature ranges being published in different studies. But it is time to bury the hatchet, for we have now have a consensus! Read on to learn more… Prabarna GangulyI’m a fourth year PhD candidate in the […]

Using seabirds to study squid

How do scientists track fast swimming squid in the remote and vast open waters of the Southern Ocean? Probably not in any way you’d expect. They use squid predators, specifically a seabird—the wandering albatross—to find the squid for them. These albatrosses are outfitted with some very cool technology to bring the researchers information on their […]

Ctrl+P: 3D printing applications for oceanography

3D printing and oceanography? Check out the fascinating new research advancements made in ocean sciences using one of the most innovative technologies of the 21st century! Prabarna GangulyI’m a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at Northeastern University. My research focuses on the impact of early life stress in the form of […]

The Entire Ocean in a Drop

Article: Stoeckle MY, Soboleva L, Charlop- Powers Z (2017) Aquatic environmental DNA detects seasonal fish abundance and habitat preference in an urban estuary. PLoS ONE 12(4): e0175186 Effectively managing fish populations requires accurate and timely monitoring data. Scientists and environmental managers need to know when (presence/absence data), where (location data), and how many fish (abundance […]

Exciting strides for eDNA: Insights into whale shark population genetics

In the past few decades scientists have found new and exciting ways to use DNA to answer scientific questions. There is now a new technique that could further revolutionize DNA analysis by using tiny pieces of tissue floating around in the ocean. Read more about how scientists are using this technique to answer questions about […]

Ocean mapping on a budget

The seafloor is complex and mapping it is difficult because direct observations are hindered because it is underwater. Scientists have developed field methods and remote sensing methods to model the geomorphology of the seafloor but they are either limited spatially or by resolution. A newer method being applied to seafloor mapping is called Structure from […]

Listening for Symptoms: A new use for hydrophones in the face of harmful algal blooms

Whales aren’t the only animals hydrophones can detect out in the ocean. In fact, in the near future it might be possible to listen in on animals like scallops and determine if they’re healthy or not. Intrigued? Click here for more! Andrea SchlunkI am a former PhD student from the University of Rhode Island, having […]

To I.D. Debris: LIDAR as a tool to identify trash on the beach

Scientists may have a new option for figuring out how much debris litters our beaches and what it all is! Find out more in today’s World Oceans Day post on marine debris! Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of Rhode Island (M.S.). I now work in […]

Room to Grow

When natural ecosystems are destroyed from anthropogenic development there exists a common notion that a replacement can be replanted somewhere else. One has to wonder though; what if the ecosystem destroyed cannot be replaced into the same role it once had. Scientists investigate if planted mangroves in the Philippines change the natural mangrove areas surrounding […]

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-15-0035.1

Echoes in the deep: Robots with fish finders

You might call it the Batmobile of the sea: Scientists put sound based fish finders into an underwater robot to get closer to the creatures they want to study. Austen BlairAusten Blair is a MS candidate at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. While his current research focuses on the influences of […]

How we broke radiocarbon dating

CO2 from fossil fuel burning doesn’t contain C-14. That’s bad news for the future of radiocarbon dating. Michael PhilbenI recently completed a PhD in Marine Science at the University of South Carolina and am now a postdoc at Memorial University of Newfoundland. I research the effects of climate change on soil organic matter in boreal […]

Science at Sea

There are many steps in the scientific process before a paper is actually published and results are shared with the public. One of the first steps in this process is collecting samples. For a lot of the research discussed here at oceanbites.org, scientists must go out to sea on a research cruise to conduct their […]

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