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Methodology

This category contains 30 posts

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 […]

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 […]

Communication Woes: Are we speaking the same language?

Scientists know communicating the significance of their findings is a huge part of their job. But what happens when the words we use mean different things to different people? When references and metaphors are only understood by certain generations, or by people from specific geographic regions? What hurdles come after the experiments are done and […]

How to catch a dead fish: using eDNA to reconstruct past fish abundances

Japanese researchers show an emerging method, eDNA, can be used to reconstruct fish abundances from up to 300 years ago. Gabrielle StedmanI am currently a 3rd year PhD student in Biological Oceanography at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. I use DNA found in the environment (eDNA), like a forensic scientist, to detect deep-sea animals […]

SURFO Special: Examining Atlantic cod populations on Northeast Atlantic through morphometric analysis

It’s important to understand the species specifics for proper fisheries management. Learn about how URI GSO’s SURFO, Angel Reyes, used morphology to study fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic all the while working remotely and dealing with a global pandemic. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I’m a marine research scientist […]

Homing in on a hammerhead’s range

Over the decades, many shark species have become endangered. In an effort to save these fishes, humans have set up “safe zones” where the sharks are less likely caught by fishing vessels. But do we know if these zones match with the sharks’ natural stomping grounds? Andrea SchlunkI am a former PhD student from the […]

Picture Perfect: Framing the Issues of Marine Conservation

This review article recommends some great SciComm tools for creating engagement surrounding marine conservation issues. Smile for the camera! 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 on […]

Southern Ocean diatoms: while they’re small, they are mighty!

Tiny organisms called phytoplankton fuel the marine food web. How have they adapted to live in the Southern Ocean where ice cover limits light exposure, water temperatures are frigid, and iron, an important resource for cellular function, is extremely limited? Read on to learn more about these small, but mighty organisms. Diana FontaineI am a […]

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 […]

Want to know about water? Ask some sea creatures

There are animals that are constantly traversing places we have barely begun to understand. Animals can’t directly tell us what is going on, but what if we could get the information in a different way? A group of scientists led by Dr. David March set out to show how we can use animal born instruments […]

Sea-sick – Examining ocean diseases through literature

From coral bleaching to sea star wasting disease, stories of an unhealthy ocean have been all over the news. But are the animals in the sea actually sicker than before? Without long-running data sets tracking disease over time, it can be hard to see if diseases are growing more prevalent. In spite of this, Dr. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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  • by oceanbites 2 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 1 month 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 2 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 4 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 8 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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