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Pollution

This category contains 92 posts

How many microplastics are in your body? An insight into lifetime accumulation

Microscopic plastics have been found anywhere and everywhere, including in the food we eat. With plastic pollution on the rise, it is important to get a handle on what this means for public health. Researchers are working to understand everyday microplastic consumption and chemical exposure in adults and children using predictive models. Kayla MladinichI am […]

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 […]

Are biodegradable plastics too good to be true? Here’s what actually happens to them in the ocean

“Biodegradable plastics are better for the environment!” You might have heard this a lot, but is this true? Do biodegradable plastics actually break down in the ocean? Jiwoon ParkI am a PhD student in chemical oceanography at University of Washington. I am studying how different forms of metals in the ocean are shaping microbial communities […]

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 […]

Sea lions and seals and PFAS, oh my: Location still matters for Australian pups

I recently found myself falling down a chemical pollutant rabbit hole. Every news source seemed to be shouting “PFAS chemicals are inside you, and they are ruining fertility and shrinking penises!” There are several reasons that these conclusions may be premature, but the potential threat of PFAS seems to finally be getting the attention it […]

Let them eat plastic – Animals eating microplastic could choke the ocean

Plastic pollution may bring to mind big images – dead birds, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and beaches filled with trash. But as plastic breaks down into smaller pieces, called microplastics, the ocean’s smallest animals are able to eat it. Ultimately, this could make it harder for sea creatures to breathe. Kristin HuizengaI am a […]

Fish feed on ocean plastic… but are they really only eating plastic?

Pretty much any plastic product is made from plastic pellets. However, billions of pellets have now made their way into the ocean. Read on to learn more about how these pellets absorb toxic metals in seawater, then get eaten by fish and birds, threatening the marine ecosystem. Jiwoon ParkI am a PhD student in chemical […]

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 Otter Guys: How heavy metal pollution affects Alaskan northern sea otters

Most pollution is clearly visible in nature, but some types are very subtle. In the case of heavy metal pollution, its effects are nearly invisible, mostly causing harm to the internal organs of animals at the top of marine food chains. How does this pollution affect endangered otter populations, and is it a cause for […]

Oxygen Minimum Zones: Should we be worried?

Reviews and syntheses: Present, past, and future of the oxygen minimum zone in the northern Indian Ocean It is no secret that oxygen is essential for most life forms, but there are certain areas in the oceans where there is little oxygen. In their recent research, Dr. Rixen from the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine […]

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 […]

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 […]

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  • 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
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  • 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
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