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ecology

This tag is associated with 89 posts

To Combat World Hunger, Protect Biodiversity

Variety is the spice of life – or if you are an ecologist you might say “biodiversity” is the spice of life. Biodiversity is used to describe how a wide variety of living things (plants, animals, etc.) are all part of a healthy, thriving system. In most cases, biodiversity actually makes the living things in […]

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 […]

To communicate with members of its own species, flashlight fish uses a special type of morse code

Below a flashlight fish’s eyes is an organ that provides the ideal conditions for a special partnership. Bioluminescent bacteria live inside these organs. Here bacteria find the necessary nutrients to grow and reproduce. Flashlight fish cannot control how much light is created by these bacteria. However, it does have special flaps that block the bioluminescent […]

The Circle of Life: Understanding Lionfish Life Cycles

We know who’s the king of the jungle, but who’s the king of the reef? Lionfish may look cool, but they are actually invasive in the Atlantic and the adults have no natural predators. This new paper explains how understanding the early life stages of lionfish may help control their population in the Western Atlantic […]

Giant clams share symbiotic algae with corals via poop

While some corals inherit their algae from their parents, the majority gain their algae over time. How do corals gain their symbiotic algae from the environment is still a mystery. A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE found one way in which corals gain their symbiotic algae – via giant clam poop. Pablo […]

It’s a match! Cod do best when paired with copepods

What makes or breaks the young life of a cod? Maybe it’s food. Researchers investigated the overlap between young cod and a fatty copepod in the Norwegian-Barents Sea. Kristin HuizengaI am a PhD student studying Biological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. My interests are in food webs, ecology, and the […]

The view from a sperm whale’s nose

What happens if you place a microphone on the tip of a sperm whale’s nose? Putting anything on the nose of a 50-foot (15-meter) giant is no easy task, but the reward is a glimpse of how the world’s largest toothed predator sees the world. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying […]

Pros and cons of conservation: how rebounding sea otter populations impact local economies

Growing sea otter populations are seen as a conservation victory. These cute, charismatic marine mammals are rebounding from near extinction, and saving coastal ecosystems along the way. But their recovery comes with a catch that can cause conflicts with local communities. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island where I […]

VaquitaCPR: Trying to save the world’s most endangered marine mammal

What do you do when the species you’ve been working to save from extinction is down to fewer than 30 individuals? With only thirty vaquita porpoises left in the entire world, despite years of conservation efforts, emergency action needed to be taken in an effort to save the world’s smallest and most endangered porpoise. Julia […]

Facing the music: calls from one of the worlds most endangered dolphins

The Study: Melo-Santos, G., Figueiredo Rodrigues, A.L., Tardin, R.H., de Sá Maciel, I., Marmontel, M., Da Silva, M.L., May-Collado, L.J. 2019. The newly described Araguaian river dolphins, Inia araguaiaensis (Cetartiodactyla, Iniidae), produce a diverse repertoire of acoustic signals. PeerJ: e6670. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.6670   River Dolphins Inia araguaiaensis was first discovered in 2014 and is one of […]

Arctic Unicorns: Understanding the past, present, and future of narwhals and their mysterious tusks

Why do narwhals have tusks that make them look like unicorns? As climate change continues, what is the fate of narwhals and their enigmatic tusks? Two recent studies of these unicorns of the sea start to answer questions about their past, present, and future. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine […]

Follow the breadcrumbs: Sponges show how some animals clean up viruses

These days, hunkered down in our homes (if we are lucky) and washing our hands till they’re raw, it can feel like the outside world is a virus soup. However animals in the ocean go swimming through viruses on a daily basis. A new study from the Netherlands shows us that in fact many animals […]

Increasing Warming causes Ecosystem Change along the Northeastern Shelf

Are the tropics coming to the Northeast coast of the US? Freidland and his team seem to think so. A recent study shows how the Northeastern shelf region may experience tropicalization in the near future. Ashley MickensI recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability from Miami University of Ohio, and I’m […]

Ensuring that coral reefs sound like home

What does a coral reef sound like? The answer is more important than you might think. By playing the sounds of a healthy reef over a loudspeaker, scientists were able to attract a variety of baby fish to settle on a degraded reef, results which show how acoustic interventions are a tool that can be […]

Mazes aren’t just for mice: European shore crabs exhibit spatial learning

Mazes aren’t just for mice, although a scientific literature search for maze learning might lead you to think so. In a recent study, scientists investigate crab performance in a complex maze and propose that European shore crabs exhibit spatial learning and memory, potentially tied to their need to find food along the complicated, three-dimensional seafloor. […]

Gentoo Penguins as Indicators of Climate Change in the Southern Ocean

Carpenter-Kling, T., et al. “Gentoo penguins as sentinels of climate change at the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Archipelago, Southern Ocean.” Ecological Indicators 101 (2019): 163-172. The newest indicator of climate change is here, and it is penguin puke? While it might seem a little far-fetched, researchers in the Southern Ocean are using the stomach contents of […]

What’s Killing Seabirds in the Bering Sea?

Jones T, Divine LM, Renner H, Knowles S, Lefebvre KA, Burgess HK, et al. (2019) Unusual mortality of Tufted puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) in the eastern Bering Sea. PLoS ONE 14(5): e0216532. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0216532 Mass mortality events (or MMEs) are incidents that kill a vast number of individuals in a short period of time. They’re often caused […]

Into the deep: Deep sea mining is upon us, whether you would risk it or not

While we have a lot to discover about the deep sea, we do know that in the depths of the ocean are a number of valuable minerals and metals like gold, manganese, and cobalt. Yet with so little known, companies are ready to dive into the cold deep, gathering these metals for economic gain. Kristin […]

Tracking the Bay’s Rays: Cownose ray migration along the Atlantic coast

If you’ve ever tickled the back of a stingray in an aquarium’s touch tank, you’ve likely introduced yourself to a cownose ray. Despite their popularity in aquaria throughout the U.S., little is known about the movements of these fish in the wild. Grace CasselberryI am currently a Marine Science and Technology Doctoral student at the […]

Threats to Cetaceans: There’s More than Meets the Eye

Researchers spent seven years specifically studying deceased, stranded cetaceans along the coastline of the Canary Islands in Spain to figure out what most likely caused their deaths. They found that while human activity accounted for a large portion, something else was responsible for a much larger percentage of cetacean death. Rishya NarayananRishya is a multimedia […]

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  • by oceanbites 3 months ago
    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 4 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 5 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 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
  • by oceanbites 6 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 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
  • by oceanbites 8 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 8 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 8 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 9 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 9 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 10 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 10 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 11 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 11 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 12 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 1 year 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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