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pollution

This tag is associated with 56 posts

Smog can be a Bog: A Story about Iron in the Air and Ocean

Have you ever wondered where smog goes? A group of scientists investigated where particles of iron start and end up, and what they found out is quite interesting! Daniel SpeerHey! I’m a PhD student at the University of California, Davis studying biophysics. I previously studied organic chemistry (B.S.) at the College of William and Mary. […]

Stop Clowning Around: Cyanide Fishing in the Indo-Pacific

What does cyanide have to do with the tropical reef fish sold as pets and showcased in aquariums? A recent paper by Madeira et al. explore how illegal cyanide fishing is devastating Indo-Pacific reef ecosystems. Ashley MickensI recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability from Miami University of Ohio, and I’m […]

Caffeinated Seas: Unique Tracers for Wastewater-borne Contaminants

Did you ever think your coffee addiction could help solve marine pollution? It turns out all that caffeine and artificial sweetener does more than just give you that afternoon energy boost. Outside of New York City in the Long Island Sound, scientists are evaluating the use of your coffee byproducts as tracers for wastewater contamination. […]

Genetically Modified Yeast Can Clean Up Wastewater

Humans have been polluting the ocean with heavy metals by burning fossil fuels, mining metals and discharging wastewater. But we may be able to clean up metals from the ocean in the near future with yeast. Jiwoon ParkI am a PhD student in chemical oceanography at University of Washington. I am studying how different forms […]

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 […]

Sargassum: An Overlooked Solution

Sargassum, a type of brown seaweed, provides important ecosystem services in the Atlantic. However, this new study explores how sargassum may provide one solution to marine pollution. Ashley MickensI recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability from Miami University of Ohio, and I’m currently working as a marine mammal observer in […]

Larval fish foraging grounds inundated by plastic pollution

If the adage “you are what you eat” holds true, we may be in some big trouble. A recent study found that pieces of plastics are becoming concentrated in areas where larval fish hunt for food, which could be a big problem for fish and humans alike. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the […]

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 […]

New York City’s poop is a source of greenhouse gas emissions. Now what?

The Hudson River has been a Superfund site since 1984, but pollution continues to be a problem today. 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 friction for the […]

Can you smell that? Oil spills change stingray’s sense of smell

It may have occurred 8 years ago, but scientists are still talking about the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill. This epic oil spill made scientists recognize gaps in our knowledge about how oil impacts the environment. To explore the question of how crude oil impacts organisms, a team of scientists at Florida Atlantic University investigate […]

Lost in the sound: coral planulae habitat selection affected by boat noise

It can be hard to cut through the noises that surround us and focus on the task in front of us, right? This may not just be a human problem. Noise pollution may be another way human activity is negatively affecting corals. Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and […]

Plastics increase disease risks for corals

You have probably heard about the troubles coral reefs are facing and about the detrimental effects of plastic pollution in our oceans. Now these two issues appear to be linked: corals are getting sick when they come in contact with plastic. Find out more here. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of […]

Sea snakes join the dark side to cope with pollution

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

Crude oil cripples sandpiper flights

Maggini, I., L.V. Kennedy, A. Macmillan, K.H. Elliott, K. Dean, and C.G. Guglielmo. 2017. Light oiling of feathers increases flight energy expenditure in a migratory shorebird. J. Exp. Biol. 202:  2372-2379; doi: 10.1242/jeb.158220. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill On the evening of April 20th 2012, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig rocked the Gulf […]

Paper or plastic? Policies inspired by research to find a solution to plastic pollution

Paper or plastic? In a lot of grocery stores, this is an innocent question, but recently it’s become a controversial issue. We talk about how plastic pollution research has inspired a barrel of policies, and some of the creative new ways people are trying to clean up the earth! Laura ZinkeI am a PhD student […]

Seaweed antioxidants protect fish too

A new study suggests that feeding fish small amounts of antioxidant-rich seaweed can protected them from environmental challenges. 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 metabolic responses of Fundulus […]

Fireproofing the Arctic

Chemicals that are stable enough for our everyday use are often remarkably stable in the natural environment as well. This poses a problem because these chemicals can travel far from sources and end up in pristine environments like the Arctic. In the study described here, researchers from Germany and China joined forces to measure one […]

BAD BOYZ 2.0. Emerging environmental contaminants

Our generation is facing environmental challenges not only from commonly-known contaminants, but also emerging ones, which have been lurking in the shadows until recently. Check this week’s post to know more about these (sometimes surprising) pollutants, and their effects! Prabarna GangulyI’m a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at Northeastern University. My […]

The oil droplet is quite terrified

Oil Spill Snorkels: Eating oil, breathing electrons, saving the world?

Oil spills are not great for the environment, but some bacteria thrive on eating oil. Scientists have been researching ways to use these natural oil degrading bacteria to clean up oil contaminated areas. A group in Italy adapted graphite rods to encourage marine mud bacteria to degrade oil more quickly. They call this the “Oil […]

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