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community ecology

This tag is associated with 37 posts

The Death of an Ecosystem: Understanding the Collapse of Northern California’s Kelp Forests

In 2014, kelp forest ecosystems in northern California essentially disappeared. The reasons for the loss are now clear to scientists, but the future of this remarkable ecosystem is still uncertain. Rena KingeryI am a student of the MA in Science Writing program at Johns Hopkins University. Environmental science, human health, and agriculture are a few […]

Cone snails use the illusion of sex to catch their next meal

With the promise of sex, cone snails lure their prey out of hiding and deliver a deadly strike. The results of this study not only help to understand the complex hunting behavior of cone snails, but it might also lead to the development of new pain-relieving drugs. Pablo Brenes CotoHello! I am a science communicator […]

Size Matters in Kelp Forests – Big, Dense Populations Are Better Equipped to Recover from Disturbance

Kelp are habitat-forming species, the “ecosystem engineers” of our coasts. Standing metres tall and sheltering coastal habitats from the full force of the ocean’s waves, kelp provide a refuge for a variety of marine animals and create a forest ecosystem similar to what you might find in the temperate latitudes on land. They are nursery […]

Feces as Food

Urchins and bacteria, working together to link pelagic and benthic ecosystems.

It’s getting cold in here!

As we here into winter, we notice changes taking place in nature all around us. But what do microbes in the ocean do when it gets cold??? Laura ZinkeI am a PhD student studying sediment geomicrobiology at the University of Southern California. My primary research interests lie deep under the sea studying how microorganisms survive […]

Melting ice, shifting microbes

Polar bears have been the poster child for sea ice melting in the Arctic. But what does sea ice loss melt mean for the Arctic’s most numerous members – its microbes? Michael GrawI’m a 5th year PhD student at Oregon State University researching the microbial ecology of marine sediments – why do we find microbes […]

A blanket of oil: the role of bacteria in cleaning up after Deepwater Horizon

Nearly one million barrels of oil landed on the seafloor after the Deepwater Horizon spill – a feast if bacteria are able to consume it. 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, […]

Aliens in the kelp forests – community ecology and Miso soup

In the plant world, competition between species is almost always over space. Space dictates how much sunlight, nutrients, and potential mates you have access to. In community ecology, it’s thought that ecosystems only have so much space to offer different species, with some ecosystems containing more space than others. Most systems are also thought to be saturated so that, […]

The answer to starvation? Diversity

Photosynthetic microorganisms can’t go it alone, so they succeed by playing host to a diverse array of microbial partners 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? […]

Stressed-out microbes in an acidifying ocean

The ocean is acidifying in response to carbon dioxide emissions, but we are just beginning to learn how this effects the ocean’s most abundant lifeforms – microbes. 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 […]

Vacancy at your local kelp forest

A diverse community of seaweeds, snails, sponges, crustaceans, and more, find refuge and food within the dynamic kelp ecosystem. Katherine BarrettKate received her Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Notre Dame and she holds a Masters in Environmental Science & Biology from SUNY Brockport. She currently teaches at a small college in Indiana […]

Now we got bad blood: Oxygen binding is not affected by haemoglobin subtype in Atlantic cod

Why do northern and southern populations of Atlantic cod have different haemoglobin subtypes? A recent study upsets over 50 years of theory. Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and […]

Small MPAs: the new all-you-can-eat buffets?

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a popular conservation tool and are in many situations very effective. Unfortunately, as with many plans, there may be some unintended consequences, as seen in the case of small MPAs in Fiji, where they appear to have attracted corallivorous crown-of-thorns sea stars (Acanthaster spp.). Find out more in today’s oceanbites! […]

Hard Coral or Macroalgae? Coral Reefs May Have Another Option

Most of the time coral reef communities are discussed, it seems the focus is whether they’re dominated by hard coral or algae. It turns out there may be other possible outcomes for reefs in the future. Find out more in today’s oceanbites! Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and […]

Mangrove Takeover Impacting Salt Marshes

Mangroves are encroaching on salt marsh habitats worldwide, but what does this change in plant community mean for the plants, ecosystem processes, and other inhabitants of these areas? Find out a bit of the answer to that question in today’s oceanbites! Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the […]

Grunts and Gnathiids: One Fish’s Daily Migration to Escape Parasites?

Animals move for a number of reasons. The French grunt leaves the coral reefs at night for seagrass. A group of scientists proposes and provides good evidence for why they might do that! Read on to discover whether they’re leaving to avoid being parasitized? Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame […]

Seagrass Invasion! Tunicates colonizing seagrass beds impact plant and animal community

Seagrass habitats worldwide are in decline due to a number of factors. What happens when an invasive species comes on the scene to add to the stressors affecting seagrasses? 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 southwest Florida, contributing […]

The importance of sea urchins

A look into Valeska’s graduate research. Why coral reefs depend on the long spined black sea urchin for survival. Valeska UphamFor my fisheries and aquatic science PhD I am working on how to tank raise urchins and transplant them onto reefs across the Florida Keys in order to help reverse the phase shift from algae […]

Fooled Ya! How marine animals stay hidden in plain sight

It’s April Fools’ Day! Today’s the day when you try to prank people, convince them your lies are true, and generally make mischief and act sneakily! Animals have to act like it’s April Fools’ Day everyday, and it probably isn’t nearly as much fun since their lives depend on it. Predators sneak up on their […]

Are satellite tags the new dinner bell for harbor seals?

Satellite tags are being used to study the foraging behavior of fishes, but in the lab harbor seals have been found to be attracted to the acoustical signal given out by these tags. In the wild, does that mean these tags are acting as a dinner bell for harbor seals? Valeska UphamFor my fisheries and […]

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    Happy Earth Day! Take some time today to do something for the planet and appreciate the ocean, which covers 71% of the Earth’s surface.  #EarthDay   #OceanAppreciation   #Oceanbites   #CoastalVibes   #CoastalRI 
  • by oceanbites 3 months 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 3 months 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 6 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 6 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 8 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 8 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 9 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 11 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 
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