SeaMonster blog

  • Caribbean hurricanes are getting stronger and more frequent

    At last night’s VP debate Mike Pence was asked about climate change. He stated that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says there are no more hurricanes now than 100 years ago. He’s wrong. And there are. Substantially more. Coincidentally, Laura Mudge, a graduate student in my lab in the Department of Biology at […]

  • Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN Climate Action Summit

    My message is that we’ll be watching you. This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school, on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you? You have stolen my dreams, and my childhood, with your empty words. […]

  • A case for evidence-based reef conservation

    Like forests formed by trees, tropical coral reefs are built up by corals over thousands of years via the slow accumulation of their skeletons. Corals – related to jellyfishes and sea anemones – provide shelter to countless other species, including the fishes we travel to see and love to eat. But corals and coral reefs […]

  • Bruno et al. 2019 ARMS review: Supplemental info on MPA enforcement

    One question I’ve gotten recently after presenting the results of the primary meta-analysis in this paper is whether the MPAs (most of which are fully protected marine reserves) were effective in protecting fish populations. Are they well-designed, well-enforced, etc. and are there more fishes, particularly herbivorous fishes, inside them than in neighboring unprotected sites? It’s […]

  • This week in seafood mislabeling

    This week in seafood mislabeling

                            When you teach a class on seafood forensics, your friends and family send you lots of stories about seafood mislabeling in the media. And this week there were some good ones. First, news that a supplier of Chesapeake blue crab was actually selling […]

  • Ocean warming caused most Caribbean coral loss: a review of the evidence

    Ocean warming caused most Caribbean coral loss: a review of the evidence

      Coral cover on Caribbean reefs has declined precipitously over the last few decades, e.g.; Gardner et al. 2003 (Science PDF here): and Schutte et al. 2010 (MEPS PDF here): Also see Hughes 1994, Cote et al. 2005, and Jackson et al 2014. There is substantial evidence that human-caused ocean warming is the primary cause of this loss of reef-building […]

  • In support of the Biscayne Bay marine reserve

    The ongoing battle over the planned marine reserve in Biscayne Bay has scientists and citizens scratching our heads. The impassioned opposition to the proposed protection of a tiny sliver of our shared resource is stunningly out of proportion to what the National Park Service (NPS) has proposed. Moreover, the arguments made by opponents have not […]

  • Response to Avigdor Abelson

    The graphics below are to supplement our response to the criticisms of Avigdor Abelson about our recent paper in Scientific Reports.

  • Back to Belize

    I arrived in Belize yesterday with three former lab members (Abel Valdivia from CBD, Courtney Cox from the Smithsonian, and Jenny Hughes, a recent graduate from UNC). Although field ecology is really fun (if pretty challenging) we are actually here to work. In 2008 my lab took over a reef monitoring program Melanie McField set up in the […]

  • Are isolated central Pacific reefs really “healthier”?

    In a new paper – that got a lot of media coverage – Smith et al 2016 quantified benthic reef composition “across 56 islands spanning five archipelagos in the central Pacific”. I think it’s an admirable project and an interesting data set, and there is a lot to like about the paper. However, some of […]

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