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ecology

This tag is associated with 63 posts

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 Graw I’m a 5th year PhD student at Oregon State University researching the microbial ecology of marine sediments – why do we find […]

Invasive seagrass changes fish community in the US Virgin Islands

Seagrass meadows provide food and habitat for a variety of fish species. Juvenile fish are particularly dependent on the meadows, for the shelter they provide from predators. In the Caribbean, several native seagrasses might be found in the same shallow estuary or coastline, forming a patchwork of meadows that support a variety of different fish […]

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 Graw I’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 […]

Riding the phage wave: Emerging role of viruses in the ocean

Viruses live in the ocean, where they infect bacteria who also live in the ocean. Ocean viruses are crucial to the ecosystem, but we don’t know very much about how they ‘survive’ in the ocean. Scientists used data from samples collected all over the world, and explored what types of viruses were in these samples. […]

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 Graw I’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 […]

Sea snakes join the dark side to cope with pollution

Black sea snakes are more common in contaminated sites. Why? Brittney G. Borowiec Brittney 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 metabolic responses of Fundulus killifish to intermittent (diurnal) patterns of hypoxia.

The elephant in the oxygen minimum zone

When people think of the animals that inhabit the deep sea, they think of the fascinating, alien-like creatures like the anglerfish or the colossal squid. But, there are other animals that are able to inhabit parts of the deep ocean for a short amount of time, like the elephant seal. Why do they go down […]

The ocean’s tiny, mysterious majority

The earth has more viruses than the universe has stars – but we know far less about our tiny majority at home than we do about the glowing balls of gas in our night sky. Michael Graw I’m a 5th year PhD student at Oregon State University researching the microbial ecology of marine sediments – […]

Toxic living: finding the right home for sulfur-oxidizing bacteria

Hydrothermal vents are hot, dark, and toxic environments. But to sulfur oxidizing bacteria, they’re home. Michael Graw I’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? I spend my […]

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 Graw I’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 […]

TBT Old School Ocean Tech: Simple Sampling Gear

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make it all worth it! Well, it may just be me, but I love using the tried and true old school sampling gear, despite all the complex gadgets and gizmos that seem to be developed faster than I can learn about them. In today’s ocean tech post, […]

Red dead algae

Life on earth has been evolving for a long time – billions of years! The timing of when different kinds of life developed is controversial, but can tell us about the conditions of earth in the past. A group of scientists in Sweden looked at ancient fossils from India, and found what they describe as […]

Seagrasses reduce the risk of disease outbreaks

Seagrasses are one of humans’ greatest sidekicks. They are nursery areas for many species including commercially important ones, they protect coastal communities from extreme weather, they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen via photosynthesis and much more. Now, research shows that seagrasses can also reduce rates of disease in humans, fishes and invertebrates such as […]

Throwing Babies out with the Sea Ice: Ringed Seals Response to Ice Decline

As the Earth warms, sea ice declines. What happens to those animals who rely on the ice? Today’s oceanbites looks at one animal, the ringed seal, and how it may be affected by climate change! Rebecca Flynn I am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of Rhode Island (M.S.). […]

Ocean acidification makes predators dumb

Chemistry is important for a lot of things, but can it change the behavior of animals? Read on to find out how changes in water chemistry alter the behavior of a venomous cone snail! Erin McLean Hi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree at URI, focusing on lobsters and how they […]

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! […]

What killer whales tell us about menopause

Killer whales, or orcas (Orcinus orca), are amazingly intelligent and social animals. What can they tell us about the evolution of menopause? Brittney G. Borowiec Brittney 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 […]

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 Flynn I am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) […]

Do algal blooms kill whales?

Since 2005, southern right whale calves have been found dead in historic numbers off the Patagonian coast in Argentina. Scientists investigate whether harmful algal blooms may be to blame. Brittney G. Borowiec Brittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on 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 Flynn I am a graduate of the University of Notre […]

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