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Pollution

This category contains 81 posts

Tiny Human-Engineered Particles Damages Marine Life

Nanoparticles exist everywhere in our lives – on the fabric of your clothing, the makeup you wear, the display of your TV screen and your car batteries. But when these human-engineered nanoparticles enter the ocean, they can be toxic to ocean life. Jiwoon ParkI am a PhD student in chemical oceanography at University of Washington. […]

‘Out of Sight’ Can’t Mean ‘Out of Mind’

Surface marine debris and microplastic pollution has received more attention recently—which is great—but there’s another garbage problem we are only starting to understand. Deep in the dark, discarded items litter the sea floor, like dust-bunnies swept along by currents and are collecting at rates previously underestimated. Click here to read more! Andrea SchlunkI am a […]

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 […]

Examples_of_different_types_of_microplastics

Plastics and Colors and Fish, Oh My!

Have you ever wondered what happens to the garbage that ends up in the ocean? Or about what just might eat this garbage thinking it might have been food? That what the scientists in this study looked at in Brazil. These scientists looked at the gut contents of several fish to see what they ate. […]

Human mercury pollution found at the deepest ocean

For many decades, humans have been putting mercury into the ocean, contaminating big fish like tuna and swordfish. But we haven’t fully realized how deep human-produced mercury could move down the ocean until now – and now scientist have found mercury pollution at the deepest parts of the ocean. Jiwoon ParkI am a PhD student […]

The plight of the mangrove

Celine E.J. van Bijsterveldt, Bregje K. van Wesenbeeck, Sri Ramadhani, Olivier V. Raven, Fleur E. van Gool, Rudhi Pribadi, Tjeerd J. Bouma, Does plastic waste kill mangroves? A field experiment to assess the impact of macro plastics on mangrove growth, stress response and survival, Science of The Total Environment, 2020, 143826, ISSN 0048-9697, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143826.   […]

Mercurial fish: Climate change and temperature could change how much mercury you’re eating

Dr. Amina Schartup’s research focuses on many important issues to both marine and human health, including methylmercury concentration in fish. Read on to learn more about Dr. Schartup’s research. Samantha SettaI’m a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO). My research interests are focused […]

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. […]

Cold Water Conundrum: How does unusually cold water affect fish growth?

With the threat of climate change ever present, many of us focus on the negative effects of unusually warm water on fish species. But, can abnormally cold water also hurt fishes, and can it hurt different fishes in different ways? Francesca GiammonaI am a PhD candidate at Wake Forest University, and I received a B.S. […]

Can Pacific Oysters handle a bit of microplastics in the lab? Shuck yeah!

Filter feeding animals like oysters can be exposed to small plastic particles, called microplastics, as they filter food out of the water. In this study microplastics apparently had no health effects on oysters, but is that the whole story? Hannah CollinsI’m a second year Masters student in Oceanography at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point. […]

Microplastics, Canned Fish, and You: How plastic pollution may play a role in your next lunch

Did you know that many plastic items can shed tiny particles called microplastics? These microplastics are present everywhere in our environment, from the sea to the air. But how prevalent are they, and do they pose harm to humans? Researchers attempted to answer this question by studying a common food item – canned fish. Francesca […]

Life in Plastic: 14 Million Tonnes of Microplastics Likely on Sea Floor

The deep-sea floor has always fascinated scientists and ocean lovers alike with its mystery and wonder. For the first time ever, scientists have estimated the amount of human-made plastics on the seafloor, and it will shock you. Elena GadoutsisI have always been happiest in nature – exploring forests, traveling to the ocean, or working with […]

Ocean plastic pollution damages bacteria that help us breathe

Every minute, we are dumping a garbage truckload of plastic litter into the ocean. Plastic pollution in the ocean are threatening not only millions of marine animals (whales, sharks, turtles and birds), but also marine plants. Toxic materials from plastic are affecting the ability of marine plants to produce oxygen that we breath. Jiwoon ParkI […]

SURFO Special: Scouting out marine plastics on the shores of Guam

Plethora of plastic pollution! Every year, large amounts of plastic are being deposited into our oceans as a direct result of human activities. It is up to us to understand what drive marine plastic with the hope to reduce waste in our waters. Katherine BarrettKate received her Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology from the University of […]

Is There Plastic in Paradise?

Tropical islands like the Maldives have always been viewed as untouched paradises for most people, but what lies beneath the crystal-clear waters? For the first time, scientists examine the island of Naifaru, Maldives in search of tiny bits of plastic, known as microplastics. Elena GadoutsisI have always been happiest in nature – exploring forests, traveling […]

Genetically Modified Yeast Can Clean Up Wastewater

Humans have been polluting the ocean with heavy metals by burning fossil fuels, mining metals and discharging wastewater. But we may be able to clean up metals from the ocean in the near future with yeast. Jiwoon ParkI am a PhD student in chemical oceanography at University of Washington. I am studying how different forms […]

Menacing microplastics hamper hermit crab choices

How can little bits of plastic in the ocean impact a hermit crab’s ability to make decisions? Microplastics can be found from the deep sea to the coasts and they can affect everything from animal health to cognition. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research focuses on […]

Is our plastic dependence accelerating climate change?

  Reference: Royer, Sarah-Jeanne, Sara Ferrón, Samuel T. Wilson, David M. Karl. “Production of methane and ethylene from plastic in the environment.” PloS One 13, e0200574 (2018). Doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0200574 Plastic? What’s the big deal? Since the 1950’s, over 6 billion tons of plastic have been produced globally. Less than 10% of plastic is recycled, and […]

Life in the Abyss: the ecological impacts of deep-sea mining

Did you know that about 95% of the ocean is unexplored? The deep ocean is logistically very difficult to access, so how do scientists study organisms that live hundreds of meters below the sea surface? The landscape of the deep-sea is diverse and certain structures such as polymetallic nodules, supports a vast array of marine […]

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