Ocean Science

When the diving gets tough

When the diving gets tough

My plan for today in Fiji was to get up early, go out fishing with the women of Nagigi to record a piece for BBC Radio, then join the rest of the Drew Crew for diving to sample more fish. It hasn’t quite worked out that way. Last night the metal roof of the house [...]


Moving on from Savusavu

Moving on from Savusavu

The research team here in Fiji has been in the small town of Savusavu on Viti Levu for a few days now and we’ve all decided this is one of the most perfect spots in the world. The town lies along a tranquil stretch of water with dense mangrove forests and craggy, cloud-tipped mountains as [...]


Studying Fijian fish

Here’s Dr Joshua Drew just up from our first dive here in Fiji talking about the science we’re doing, studying the fish diversity on the coral reefs around the village of Naigigi (prounounced Nai – ni). #CUinFiji


Getting ready for science

Getting ready for science

It’s been a while since I’ve been part of a research team or travelled with more than one other person (often I’m by myself or with my husband). And so far, on this trip to Fiji it’s been a delight to spend time with five other people who share many of my views on the [...]


Seamonster in Fiji – it doesn’t all go to plan

Today we were supposed to catch a ferry out to our field site. But the ferry is delayed so instead we’re catching a bus-boat combo and arriving a day late (and we only have a week set aside for science). That’s tropical fieldwork for you. And just to show you that things don’t always go [...]


Introducing the Drew Crew

Bula. I’m in Fiji with Joshua Drew and his team from the Columbia University. We’ve been in Fiji’s capital, Suva, for a few days getting prepped for the field – sorting permits, meeting people, setting up equipment, all the things that need to happen before we head off to the study site. When Josh very [...]


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 [...]


How to extract lionfish otoliths

Do you need to know how to get ear bones out of lionfish? Or are you just curious to know what the inside of a lionfish’s head looks like? Either way check out this film shot on location in Abaco, Bahamas featuring the crack lionfish catching team, Serena Hackerott and Katie Dubois. Otoliths are teeny tiny [...]


5 things everyone should know about ancient oceans

Here’s the first in the series of 5 videos I made with researchers at Cardiff University’s School of Ocean & Earth Sciences. Check out all 5 in the playlist here.


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 [...]


Seamonster does standup

Seamonster does standup

They say you should do one thing that scares you everyday. Well recently I did one thing that was scary enough to keep me going for weeks. I did my first standup comedy gig. I should explain, this wasn’t as scary as it could have been. I took part in Cambridge Bright Club – a [...]


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 [...]


Chagos expedition 2013

Chagos expedition 2013

A year ago here on Seamonster, we heard from a team of scientists who were studying the coral islands of the remote Chagos archipelago (go back and check out parts one and two of our interview to find out just how dangerous ‘Danger Island’ is and to see more photographs from that expedition). I’m delighted [...]


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.


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


Happy Birthday Genie Clark

Today is Eugenie Clark’s 90th Birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GENIE! To celebrate I’m reposting my story about meeting my shark hero last year.  They say never meet your heros, but after meeting one of mine I can thoroughly recommend it. During my recent visit to Mote Marine Labs in Florida I had the chance to meet Eugenie Clark – [...]


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 [...]


The first men to reach the bottom

With the news that James Cameron is set to be the first person in 52 years to venture to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, here’s a piece of news footage from the first time people went down there (complete with fantastic musical backing track).