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Phytoplankton

This tag is associated with 45 posts

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galax-Sea

This team of scientists is studying microscopic organisms to help us understand more about the movement of sea turtles. Riley HenningI am currently a Master’s candidate in Environmental and Ocean Sciences at the University of San Diego, and I study the stickiness of phytoplankton using 3D images. By tracking collisions of phytoplankton, I can see […]

SURFO Special: Summer Research or Summer DIY Project

Andria Miller is a rising senior at Jackson State University, majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. This summer she worked remotely with Susanne Menden-Due and Pierre Marrec through the URI GSO Summer Undergraduate Research program. Plankton are a community of organisms that provide basic fuel for marine and freshwater ecosystems. Freshwater ecosystems, such as […]

It’s a cold, cold winter for Arctic phytoplankton

Ever wonder what winter is like for marine organisms? What about those that rely on light for growth? In a recent study of microscopic photosynthesizers in some of the most extreme winter conditions in the Arctic, a group of scientists set out to investigate. Samantha SettaI’m a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab at the […]

SURFO Special: Ocean Color Optics and Imaging: Phytoplankton in Narragansett Bay

What can the color of the ocean tell us about the tiny algae that live in it? SURFO student Taylor Bowen spent this summer researching the relationship between light and the well-being of phytoplankton. Anastasia YandulskayaI am a PhD candidate at Northeastern University in Boston. I study regeneration of the nervous system in water salamanders […]

SURFO Special: From outer space to the microscope: How NASA’s satellites are helping us understand the ocean’s smallest life

Every summer, the URI Graduate School of Oceanography hosts undergraduate research interns called SURFOs. In this post learn about how ocean satellites can be used to understand microscopic organisms and Julia Lober’s 2020 SURFO research in the Mouw Lab. Samantha SettaI’m a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab at the University of Rhode Island (URI) […]

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 […]

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen: An analysis of phytoplankton with changing ocean temperature

If you went to the beach and the water is cold, would you jump in? The same questions pertain to very small creatures called phytoplankton off the coast of Mexico. A group of scientists recently studied the behavior of phytoplankton as the ocean’s temperature due to large weather events like El Niño and found some […]

What your poop says about your diet: Iron in the ocean is controlled by zooplankton diet and poop

Have you ever had weird colored poop? Just like your poop can tell you what you’ve been eating lately, zooplankton poop can tell you what they’ve been feeding on. Iron in zooplankton poop is used as a nutrient by phytoplankton to boost their growth and absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Therefore, understanding how […]

Winter Cruisin’ on the North Atlantic

Do you wonder what it is like to do oceanographic research aboard a sea-going vessel? What types of research are conducted out at sea? Where do the scientists set up their labs? Read this article to find out more about research at sea! Diana FontaineI am a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab studying Biological […]

Catch prey while the sun shines – Herring grow bigger when they can see their food

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a sea creature in possession of a home in higher latitudes (further from the equator), must (on average) possess more size than its mid latitude neighbors. But why should high latitude fish be in possession of such a good fortune? Kristin HuizengaI am a PhD student studying Biological […]

Icebergs Fertilize Phytoplankton Growth

Icebergs contain iron, the limiting nutrient for phytoplankton in the polar regions. Icebergs, therefore, have the potential to stimulate biological productivity and carbon uptake. However, this will depend on the iceberg iron content, which is not well known. Therefore, a recent study sought to quantify the variability in iceberg iron content and subsequent carbon uptake. […]

Atmospheric traffic jams halt nutrient flow to ocean phytoplankton

It is known that climate change is influencing our oceans in many direct ways, but what about changes in atmospheric wind patterns? Winds drive ocean currents, and these currents carry nutrients to support marine food webs. But what happens when the winds are at a stand-still? Read on to find out if the answer is […]

Who’s benefiting from increasing CO2?

Bach, L. T., Hernández-Hernández, N., Taucher, J., Spisla, C., Sforna, C., Riebesell, U., & Arístegui, J. (2019). Effects of elevated CO2 on a natural diatom community in the subtropical NE Atlantic. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, 75. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00075 As the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere steadily increases, oceans are taking up more […]

Phytoplankton Bloom Driven by Volcanic Eruption

A large volcanic eruption in 2018 deposited tons of lava into the Pacific Ocean. Scientists were puzzled that the lava-impacted region of the ocean had explosive growth of microalgae called phytoplankton. They discovered that the lava was heating nutrient-rich waters at the seafloor, which made them rise up to the surface. Channing PrendI’m a physical […]

How important is carbon export by ocean eddies?

A recent paper uses an ocean model to investigate the relative importance of carbon sequestration by eddies transporting phytoplankton into the ocean interior. Results suggest that eddies may not be as important as we thought due to the compensation between transport by clockwise and counter-clockwise eddies. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps […]

Antarctic phytoplankton blooms linked to seafloor topography

A recent study uses observations from robotic floats to examine phytoplankton blooms in the Southern Ocean. The data show that biological productivity is closely linked to seafloor topography. This is because currents flowing over seamounts cause enhanced mixing that delivers nutrients to the sunlit upper ocean where phytoplankton grow. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD […]

Rugged Southern Ocean phytoplankton weather the storms

Phytoplankton from the “wild west” of the world’s oceans have learned to regrow after storms… over and over and over again. Nyla HusainI’m a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. I use a small-scale computer model to study how physical features like surface waves at the air-sea interface produce […]

Small currents influence small creatures

Phytoplankton, the tiny photosynthesizing organisms in the ocean, tend to just go with the flow. Even the smallest currents can push them around. But how much does this rearranging actual matter for plankton populations? Eric OrensteinEric is a PhD student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research in the Jaffe Laboratory for Underwater Imaging […]

Phytoplankton Expanding Northward as Arctic Sea Ice Retreats

A recent study uses satellite data to show that Arctic sea ice retreat is causing changes in the timing and location of spring phytoplankton blooms, which play a large role in the regional ecosystem and carbon cycle. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I use […]

Millennial algae are not as productive: lazy, or less sea ice opportunities?

Why aren’t Arctic phytoplankton as productive as they used to be? Is it a lazy millennial thing, or something more complex and systematic? Researchers use observations to learn more about this generation of phytoplankton, and what it could mean for Gen Z and beyond… Nyla HusainI’m a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island’s […]

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