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Plastic

This category contains 37 posts

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 […]

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 […]

‘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 […]

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. […]

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.   […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

You are what you eat: Microplastics travel from food to the brain

Oceans are full of microplastics. These tiny plastic particles end up in the stomach of marine animals. Now, scientists have discovered that microplastics can travel from the stomach of velvet swimming crabs to other organs – including the brain. Anastasia YandulskayaI am a PhD candidate at Northeastern University in Boston. I study regeneration of 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 […]

Traces of human plastic pollution in ocean sediment

Is the plastic we produce being stored in our oceans’ sediments? To answer this question scientists studied a sediment core from the Santa Barbara basin dating back to 1836. 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 […]

Giant Clams vs. Small Plastics

Microplastics are found all throughout our oceans. But in the Red Sea, there are a lot less. Find out how giant clams could be a culprit for getting rid of small plastics. Arossa, S., Martin, C., Rossbach, S., & Duarte, C. M. (2019). Microplastic removal by red sea giant clam (Tridacna maxima). Environmental Pollution. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2019.05.149 We use […]

A boon to ocean conservation? Certain fungi can degrade marine plastics

Brunner I, Fischer M, Ru ̈thi J, Stierli B, Frey B (2018) Ability of fungi isolated from plastic debris floating in the shoreline of a lake to degrade plastics. PLoS ONE 13(8): e0202047. About a year ago, I decided to make a move towards reducing my plastic consumption. Working in environmental conservation leaves you with […]

There’s plastic in your tap water, beer, and table salt

Kosuth M, Mason SA, Wattenberg EV (2018) Anthropogenic contamination of tap water, beer, and sea salt. PLoS ONE 13(4): e0194970. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194970 You’ve seen it; plastic bottles discarded on the beach, photos of marine life starved on a diet of plastic straws, shopping bags adrift in a flotilla of single-use refuse. Plastic changed the world when […]

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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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