[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 [...]
This amazing piece is by June Zent, an Artist from my hometown (Jupiter Florida). See more of June’s work here.
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 [...]
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 . . .
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.
My review of Professor Callum Roberts’ new book The Ocean of Life has just come out in Toronto’s Globe and Mail. This is the follow up to his first book An unnatural history of the sea (it was one of the Five Books I picked for the Browser) – it dives into the history of how we’ve stripped [...]
You Wouldn’t Eat a Tiger, So Why Would You Eat Endangered Bluefin Tuna?
[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 [...]
[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 [...]
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 [...]
[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 [...]
[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 [...]
[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 [...]
[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 [...]
[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 [...]
Next week sees the start of Rio +20. It’s the follow up to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and hopes are high among some conservationists and scientists that this time positive change will be made for the oceans. You can keep up to date with the blue issues as they unfold at the [...]
This is a repost from Climate Central by Michael D. Lemonick. Ecologists have been saying for decades now that the world is in the midst of a biodiversity crisis. Hundreds of species are vanishing every year, thanks to assaults to the environment that include deforestation, overfishing, toxic pollution and, increasingly, climate change — the lethal icing [...]
My former PhD student Dr Pamela Reynolds and I just published a paper in PLoS One* that attempts to address this question. Trophic skew is an ecological term that describes changes in the relative number of species at different tropic levels, i.e., “species richness“. In most natural food webs, there are more species at the [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
[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 [...]
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 [...]
Here’s a few of the amazing pictures that won this year’s underwater photography contest run by the University of Miami Rosentiel School. Make sure you check them out in their full glory at the 2012 Winners website.
Filmmaker Jon Slayer has just returned from a trip to a remote corner of Madagascar. I caught up with him to find out what it was like diving on one of the healthiest hotspots of coral reef left in the country. HS: So Jon, could you pin us on the map. Where exactly are the [...]