18 posts · 34,586 views
For centuries, mariners sought the Northwest Passage, a route through the Canadian ice that connected the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. Today, the Arctic ice has melted so much that the Northwest Passage exists – there’s already multinational wrangling over shipping rights. Why is the Arctic melting so fast? There are a number of reasons, . . . → Read More: How microscopic plankton explain the opening of the Northwest Passage... Read more »
Spielhagen, R., Werner, K., Sorensen, S., Zamelczyk, K., Kandiano, E., Budeus, G., Husum, K., Marchitto, T., & Hald, M. (2011) Enhanced Modern Heat Transfer to the Arctic by Warm Atlantic Water. Science, 331(6016), 450-453. DOI: 10.1126/science.1197397
There a new ocean carbon sequestration scheme in town - dumping crop waste. A study published in Environmental Science and Technology last month proposes baling up corn husks and wheat stalks, weighting them with rocks, and tossing them into the deep sea. (Here’s the NYT blurb.)
The authors claim that marine creatures will be unable to [...]... Read more »
Stuart E. Strand, Gregory Benford. (2009) Ocean Sequestration of Crop Residue Carbon: Recycling Fossil Fuel Carbon Back to Deep Sediments. Environmental Science , 43(4), 1000-1007. DOI: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/es8015556?cookieSet
Geoengineering - the deliberate manipulation of the earth’s atmosphere in order to mitigate global warming - seems to be gaining more credibility worldwide. Just today, Wired reports that an iron fertilization experiment is being conducted in the Southern Ocean by Indian and German scientists.
Though iron fertilization is the best-known geoengineering proposal (thanks to Planktos’ shenanigans), [...]... Read more »
All animals need oxygen. Land animals have it easy, with all this air just floating about free for the breathing, but marine animals rely on oxygen that is dissolved in the water. Oxygen can only dissolve into the ocean from the surface, so it’s a limited resource. That’s why there’s natural low-oxygen habitats, like deep [...]... Read more »
R. Vaquer-Sunyer, & C. M. Duarte. (2008) Thresholds of hypoxia for marine biodiversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(40), 15452-15457. DOI/10.1073/pnas.0803833105
In which a distraught marine snail seeks advice about a penis sprouting from the right side of her head.... Read more »
Cardoso, R., Caetano, C., & Cabrini, T. (2009) Biphallia in imposexed females of marine gastropods: new record for Nassarius vibex from Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 69(1). DOI: 10.1590/S1519-69842009000100030
Matthiessen, P., & Gibbs, P. (1998) Critical appraisal of the evidence for tributyltin-mediated endocrine disruption in mollusks. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 17(1), 37-43. DOI: 10.1002/etc.5620170106
Dear Oyster’s Garter,
I’m a coccolithophore, a single-celled marine plant with a shell made of tiny plates. I come from a long line of mighty ocean warriors. Our massive blooms rule the waves, thriving in nutrient-poor waters where punier plankton fear to tread. (I don’t want to sound too scary, though - we are benevolent overlords, [...]... Read more »
M. Frada, I. Probert, M. J. Allen, W. H. Wilson, & C. de Vargas. (2008) From the Cover: The "Cheshire Cat" escape strategy of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi in response to viral infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(41), 15944-15949. DOI/10.1073/pnas.0807707105
Never mind plain old antibiotic resistance - some soil bacteria can actually EAT antibiotics. In this week’s Science, researchers reported that they isolated hundreds of types of bacteria from regular soil and grew them in the lab with antibiotics as their sole food source. Not only did the bacteria survive, but some strains happily munched on common antibiotics like penicillin & ciprofloxacin. NOM NOM NOM indeed.... Read more »
G. Dantas, M. O. A. Sommer, R. D. Oluwasegun, & G. M. Church. (2008) Bacteria Subsisting on Antibiotics. Science, 320(5872), 100-103. DOI/10.1126/science.1155157
For nearly 100 million years, sponges alone ruled the seas. In a study published in this week's Nature, researchers found chemical traces of sponges that were over 635 million years old. ... Read more »
Gordon D. Love, Emmanuelle Grosjean, Charlotte Stalvies, David A. Fike, John P. Grotzinger, Alexander S. Bradley, Amy E. Kelly, Maya Bhatia, William Meredith, Colin E. Snape.... (2009) Fossil steroids record the appearance of Demospongiae during the Cryogenian period. Nature, 457(7230), 718-721. DOI: 10.1038/nature07673
Dear Oyster’s Garter,
I am an attractive male sea squirt (a Styela plicata, in case you were wondering) in the prime of life. I live alone on the underside of a nice dock, I’ve got plenty of tasty phytoplankton to eat, and my siphons have extremely handsome pleats. But I’m worried, because every time I [...]... Read more »
A. J. Crean, & D. J. Marshall. (2008) Gamete plasticity in a broadcast spawning marine invertebrate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(36), 13508-13513. DOI/10.1073/pnas.0806590105
Time: 9 PM, after a long day in the lab.
Place: Lucha Libre Taco Shop
Bad Miriam: “If I do not have a Surf ‘n’ Turf burrito I will surely perish!”
Good Miriam: “No! Shrimp is bad! You know shrimp is bad! You are a goddamn marine biologist!”
Bad Miriam: “But it is sooooo delicious. Plus it tastes so . . . → Read More: DON’T PANIC: Sustainable seafood and the American outlaw... Read more »
Anh, P., Kroeze, C., Bush, S., & Mol, A. (2010) Water pollution by intensive brackish shrimp farming in south-east Vietnam: Causes and options for control. Agricultural Water Management, 97(6), 872-882. DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2010.01.018
Myers, R., & Worm, B. (2003) Rapid worldwide depletion of predatory fish communities. Nature, 423(6937), 280-283. DOI: 10.1038/nature01610
Rosenberg, A., Bolster, W., Alexander, K., Leavenworth, W., Cooper, A., & McKenzie, M. (2005) The history of ocean resources: modeling cod biomass using historical records. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 3(2), 78-84. DOI: 10.1890/1540-9295(2005)003[0078:THOORM]2.0.CO;2
My very first blog post at the new Slate spinoff Double X is up. As Double X’s resident marine biologist, I figured that I needed to get the dolphin issue out of the way post haste.
It never fails. Every single cocktail party, as soon as someone finds out that I’m a graduate student studying marine [...]... Read more »
Connor, R., Richards, A., Smolker, R., & Mann, J. (1996) Patterns of Female Attractiveness in Indian Ocean Bottlenose Dolphins. Behaviour, 133(1), 37-69. DOI: 10.1163/156853996X00026
LYAMIN, O., MANGER, P., RIDGWAY, S., MUKHAMETOV, L., & SIEGEL, J. (2008) Cetacean sleep: An unusual form of mammalian sleep. Neuroscience , 32(8), 1451-1484. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2008.05.023
Patterson, Reid, & Wilson. (1998) Evidence for Infanticide in Bottlenose Dolphins: An Explanation for Violent Interactions with Harbour Porpoises?. Proc Biol Sci., 265(1402).
Though I’m totally thrilled that my ode to squid sex appeared in Slate, I only brought the funny to existing research. Since the format at Slate does not allow for citations, here they are.
The videos and the excellent sneaker male facts were from Dr. Lou Zeidberg’s research up at Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, CA. [...]... Read more »
Zeidberg, Louis D. (2008) First observations of sneaker mating in the California market squid Doryteuthis opalescens (Cephalopoda: Myopsida). J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. 2 Biodiversity Records, 5998. DOI: http://www.mba.ac.uk/jmba/biodiversityrecords.php?jmbaref
I’ve written about my love of urban wildlife before, but this French weed is taking it to a whole new level. In the latest edition of PNAS, French scientists report that a humble sidewalk week has actually changed its reproductive strategy in just a few generations in order thrive amidst the vast concrete plains.
Crepis sancta ... Read more »
P-O Cheptou, O Carrue, S Rouifed, & A Cantarel. (2008) Rapid evolution of seed dispersal in an urban environment in the weed Crepis sancta. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(10), 3796-3799. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0708446105
Long time readers will know how perverse and socially inappropriate the unseemly sea squirt is. But there is an interesting property of sea squirt pornography and local oceanography that may have consequences in the debates surrounding marine reserve design. Castillo and colleagues examined the spawning behavior of intertidal tunicates (Pyura praeputialis, an invasive) . . . → Read More: Sea Squirts, SLOSS, and Sex... Read more »
Castilla, J., Manriquez, P., Delgado, A., Gargallo, L., Leiva, A., & Radic, D. (2007) Bio-foam enhances larval retention in a free-spawning marine tunicate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(46), 18120-18122. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0708233104
An occasional series where we briefly report 3 new studies and tell you why they are cool!
Olu et al. in PLoS One examine the potential exchanges of species in cold methane seeps across the Atlantic Ocean from the Congo to the Gulf of Mexico. By culling data from the literature, the authors demonstrate, despite great distance, . . . → Read More: Tide Pool: Cool Seeps, Parasitic Nematodes, and Magnetic Sea Animals... Read more »
Olu, K., Cordes, E., Fisher, C., Brooks, J., Sibuet, M., & Desbruyères, D. (2010) Biogeography and Potential Exchanges Among the Atlantic Equatorial Belt Cold-Seep Faunas. PLoS ONE, 5(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011967
Miljutin, D. (2010) Deep-sea parasitic nematodes of the genus Trophomera Rubtsov et Platonova, 1974 (Benthimermithidae) from the Equatorial Atlantic, with the descriptions of two new species. Helgoland Marine Research. DOI: 10.1007/s10152-010-0225-0
Cain, S. (2005) Magnetic Orientation and Navigation in Marine Turtles, Lobsters, and Molluscs: Concepts and Conundrums. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 45(3), 539-546. DOI: 10.1093/icb/45.3.539
I could write about a detailed account of a new study in PLoS One. I could discuss how the researchers imported information on the spatial extent of marine scientific research, submarine communication cables, radioactive waste disposal, munitions and chemical weapons waste disposal, military operations, oil and gas industry, and bottom trawling OSPAR maritime area of the . . . → Read More: Our Impacts on the Deep... Read more »
Benn, A., Weaver, P., Billet, D., van den Hove, S., Murdock, A., Doneghan, G., & Le Bas, T. (2010) Human Activities on the Deep Seafloor in the North East Atlantic: An Assessment of Spatial Extent. PLoS ONE, 5(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012730
You are probably aware that Smoove A* is an authority on crustaceous love. Some have gone so far as to describe Smoove A as the authority on all multi-legged ladies. I am an amphipod (Gammara pulex), a microscopic crustacean that inhabits lakes and streams, and I cannot confirm or deny this report, I can only say . . . → Read More: How To Cuddle Your Lady Right, by Smoove A... Read more »
Galipaud, M., Dechaume-Moncharmont, F., Oughadou, A., & Bollache, L. (2010) Does foreplay matter? Gammarus pulex females may benefit from long-lasting precopulatory mate guarding. Biology Letters. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0924
There is much buzz these days about marine protected areas (MPAs) and no-take zones. We are approaching the age of assessment. There has been enough time passed where we should see a signal of improvement to verify conservation theory. While the data has been trickling in for many MPAs and there is in general an improvement . . . → Read More: Penguins Immediately Benefit From MPA... Read more »
Pichegru, L., Gremillet, D., Crawford, R., & Ryan, P. (2010) Marine no-take zone rapidly benefits endangered penguin. Biology Letters, 6(4), 498-501. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0913
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