Posts Tagged ‘science’

Smithsonian chooses Duffy to lead Tennenbaum Marine Observatories

Smithsonian chooses Duffy to lead Tennenbaum Marine Observatories

[Hot off the presses, from the VIMS announcement] Professor Emmett Duffy of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary, has been appointed director of the Smithsonian’s Tennenbaum Marine Observatories, effective September 16. He will be the first to lead this new initiative, a major long-term project to study coastal marine biodiversity […]

Taking the pulse of ocean life

Taking the pulse of ocean life

We tend to keep track of things we think are important—blood pressure, how many calories are in that muffin, hurricane tracks, stock prices, celebrity rehab details. But sometime we don’t know what’s important until it’s too late, and that ignorance can come back to bite us. Hence the annual physical exams that are standard in […]

I’m a grazer, baby

Our intrepid colleagues at DSN were, as ever, out in front on this. Thanks for the shout-out y’all! And, just as a teaser, we are in final stages of analysis of the ZEN 2011 global seagrass experiment. Stay tuned for actual scientific results! Soon . . .

All Reef Creatures Great and Small

All Reef Creatures Great and Small

In a follow up to our interview with Prof. Charles Sheppard about his latest expedition to the Chagos Archipelago, here is PhD researcher Catherine Head in an exclusive Seamonster guest post giving us a glimpse of the incredible hidden word of coral reef cryptofauna. Chagos for me is what it’s all about, it represents why […]

Coolification of scientists – live!

Coolification of scientists - live!

[Editor’s note: This is the second guest post from our intrepid graduate student teachers and heroes of scientific awesomeness Lindsey Kraatz, Sam Lake, Daniel Maxey, and Stephanie Salisbury. This post is a companion to their interview on NPR, which you can listen to here:  With Good Reason. Thanks for making us all seem cooler. Y’all rock!] […]

The ZEN of seagrass

David Williard of The College of William and Mary has done a nice video featuring our work in the Zostera Experimental Network (ZEN): NOTE: The dude abides.

Manta rays – the low down

Manta rays - the low down

Hot off the presses, a new study has just come out that brings together all that is known about manta rays and their close relatives the devil rays. Over the past few years, some incredible discoveries have been emerging from scientists around the world who are finding out more about these beautiful and mysterious beasts. […]

Goodbye to Belize

Goodbye to Belize

[The final post in our Belize series from the New York Times Scientist at Work blog]: Tuesday, July 10 As the days tick away, so do our last hopes of finding social shrimp. We came to Carrie Bow to collect two types of eusocial shrimp, each living in colonies with a single queen and dozens […]

Demise of reefs in Belize? Coda

Demise of reefs in Belize? Coda

[I was happy to receive a lot of comments on our most recent blog post from the field in the New York Times. Since the space available to respond to those comments on the NYT site is limited, I’ve elected to do so here.] Thanks to all for your comments. I have always considered myself […]

Reef Reminiscences: The way coral reefs were

Reef Reminiscences: The way coral reefs were

What was the world like back in the day? Are the fantastic stories all just legends? With the notable exception of Jacques Cousteau, few people were taking pictures of the undersea world a few decades ago, not only because the technology was more difficult and expensive and less available, but also because we tend to […]

Belize field log 2012: Witness to a murder

Belize field log 2012: Witness to a murder

[The fourth installment, and I’ll confess my favorite, in our New York Times “Scientist at Work” field log.] Sunday, July 8 As the sun breaks the horizon, I sit in a wooden chair at the edge of the backreef, an eye on the weather horizon, gratefully sipping the first strong coffee and gauging what the […]

Belize field log 3: Journey to the center of the reef

Belize field log 3: Journey to the center of the reef

[The third installment in our New York Times “Scientist at Work” field log.] Collecting shrimp is a complicated business. I am not as seasoned as my colleagues, but I quickly learn how tedious it can be. After taking a photograph and estimating the volume of a sponge, we have to locate every shrimp inside. Synalpheus […]

Belize field log 2: Social breakdown on the reef

[The second installment in our New York Times “Scientist at Work” field log.] Wednesday, July 4 Our hunt yesterday produced a good haul of shrimp species, but, alas, none of the social ones we’re searching for. I worked with my former Ph.D. student, Tripp McDonald, long into the night identifying the shrimp. Though little known […]

Belize 2012 field log 1: Snapping Shrimps and Hidden Sponges

[Our team has just returned from a 10-day research trip to the Belize Barrier Reef, searching for social sponge-dwelling shrimp in a long-term study of these curious animals as models for understanding the evolution of altruism and cooperation. The New York Times “Scientist at Work” feature is posting updates from our field log. We reprint […]

Will this be the end of the Aquarius Reef Base?

Next week a team of aquanauts including Sylvia Earle will live and work underwater for 6 days inside “America’s Inner Space Station” aka the Aquarius Reef Base. It’s the world’s only undersea research station and its future is looking shaky – unless new funding is found the station will be closed. In an effort to […]

Biodiversity and the battle for Planet Earth: The graphic novel

[Editor’s note: It’s been a big month for the science of biodiversity and an exciting time to be a part of it. Last week, Nature came out with its issue commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Rio meeting that first put biodiversity on the world’s radar screen and spawned the Convention on Biological Diversity. The […]

North Carolina legislature makes history yet again, proposing to outlaw sea level rise

[Editor’s note: OK, I know we live in crazy times, and getting crazier by the day. But this one is so utterly, bat-doo insane, masochistic and over-the-top that I can’t resist and must quote verbatim. By Scott Huler at From Scientific American blogs. John, Craig, Kevin Z, Andrew, et al — what the ___ is […]

Happy International Day for Biological Diversity!

Not only that but Marine Biodiversity (yeah, it caught us by surprise too — I think the Convention on Biological Diversity needs some marketing advice . . .) Anyway, they have a cool logo which is worth a post in its own right. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, today, 22 May 2012, is the official International […]

Online Encyclopedia of Life hits a million pages

The Encyclopedia of Life has hit a million pages!  From ScienceDaily: The Encyclopedia of Life has surged past one million pages of content with the addition of hundreds of thousands of new images and specimen data from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). Launched in 2007 with the support of leading scientific […]

Twilight of the giants in taxonomy

[Adapted in part from my recent review at Faculty of 1000] In an important sense, nothing exists until it’s given a name.  And in the living world of organisms, names—official, scientific names—are assigned by unique creatures called taxonomists, experts in the minutiae of structure and biology of particular groups of organisms, working according to a […]

Impacts of biodiversity loss rival those of climate change and pollution

Current estimates suggest we are now, or soon will be, in the grip of earth’s sixth mass extinction of species. This is of course a tragedy in many ways—but will it really affect us in any substantial way? With the thundering hooves of all the other apocalyptic horsemen bearing down on us—global warming heating, hypoxic […]

Going with the flow – on a planetary scale

We tend to think of ocean currents – when we think of them at all — as stately, slow-moving rivers in the sea, as I believe Ben Franklin himself first referred to the Gulf Stream. But in reality the patterns of water movement across the earth’s surface are extraordinarily complex. Nothing gives you a more […]

Smackdown 2012: Where’s the science?

When was the last time you heard aspirants to the post of leader of the free world holding a reasoned debate about the role of science in American society or the future of the country? Umm, I mean not counting foaming at the mouth about moving to moon colonies  after slashing and burning the planet […]

Money and the root of all climate change denial

[I started writing this as an addition to a string of interesting and thoughtful comments on John’s excellent post, which questions whether it is really the incompetence of scientists that’s responsible for the failure of this country to recognize climate change. But decided to post it up here  instead.] There are a host of factors […]