Posts

January 16, 2015

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2:00 PM | Talking Green Crabs at Northeast Aquaculture Conference
Wells Reserve science was on the program for the 2015 Northeastern Aquaculture Conference & Exposition held in Portland this month. Here are the abstracts we shared with our colleagues and those in the aquaculture industry. European Green Crabs in Southern Maine Marshes: Trends in Abundance and Marsh Impacts Kristin R. Wilson, Jacob Aman, Jeremy Miller, and Daniel F. Belknap* Recent studies indicate that intertidal crabs contribute to marsh erosion and loss through foraging and burrowing […]
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2:00 PM | Talking about Green Crabs at Northeast Aquaculture Conference
Wells Reserve science was on the program for the 2015 Northeast Aquaculture Conference & Exposition held in Portland this week. Here are abstracts from the presentations I made to colleagues and representatives of our region's aquaculture industry. European Green Crabs in Southern Maine Marshes: Trends in Abundance and Marsh Impacts Kristin R. Wilson, Jacob Aman, Jeremy Miller, and Daniel F. Belknap* Recent studies indicate that intertidal crabs contribute to marsh erosion and loss through […]
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9:37 AM | Whale Shark and Manta Ray Gif Roundup
Dr. Simon Pierce (@simonpierce) is a marine biologist extraordinaire focusing on whale sharks. He is the Principal Scientist at the Marine Megafauna Foundation and Science Coordinator of the Global Whale Shark Photo-ID Library.  You can visit it gorgeous website here.  On Twitter Simon shared some gifs of Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) and manta rays (Manta ???)  taken last month in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. […]
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9:37 AM | Whale Shark and Manta Ray Gif Roundup
Dr. Simon Pierce (@simonpierce) is a marine biologist extraordinaire focusing on whale sharks. He is the Principal Scientist at the Marine Megafauna Foundation and Science Coordinator of the Global Whale Shark Photo-ID Library.  You can visit it gorgeous website here.  On Twitter Simon shared some gifs of Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) and manta rays (Manta ???)  taken last month in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. […]
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1:43 AM | Ocean Sunfishes: The Eeyore of the Sea
The following post is authored by Catherine Chen as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. Sixty million times. That’s really big, but just how big? 60 million kilometers is almost half the distance from the Earth to the sun. 60 million times bigger is a baby born at […]
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1:43 AM | Ocean Sunfishes: The Eeyore of the Sea
The following post is authored by Catherine Chen as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. Sixty million times. That’s really big, but just how big? 60 million kilometers is almost half the distance from the Earth to the sun. 60 million times bigger is a baby born at […]

January 15, 2015

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11:34 PM | What is the world’s largest barrel sponge?
It is the 2.5 meter (8.2 feet) diameter giant (photo below) that was a tourist attraction for scuba divers visiting Curaçao in the Caribbean in the early 1990s.  Unfortunately frequent touching by scuba divers likely caused lesions that lead to an infection of the sponge tissue (show as the dark spot pointed to by the arrow in the […]
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11:34 PM | What is the world’s largest barrel sponge?
It is the 2.5 meter (8.2 feet) diameter giant (photo below) that was a tourist attraction for scuba divers visiting Curaçao in the Caribbean in the early 1990s.  Unfortunately frequent touching by scuba divers likely caused lesions that lead to an infection of the sponge tissue (show as the dark spot pointed to by the arrow in the […]
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9:24 PM | Six Reasons to Supersize
The following post is authored by Caroline Schanche as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. For those who have seen elephant seals up close and personal, there is no questioning the fact that elephant seals are not afraid to put on the pounds. This guy surely doesn’t seem […]
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9:24 PM | Six Reasons to Supersize
The following post is authored by Caroline Schanche as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. For those who have seen elephant seals up close and personal, there is no questioning the fact that elephant seals are not afraid to put on the pounds. This guy surely doesn’t seem […]
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4:51 PM | James Cameron, Back from the Deep
“Hi, I’m James Cameron. You may remember me from such blockbusters as Alien and Titanic. But today, I’m here to talk to you about something different: trends in deep-sea epibenthic biodiversity.” Well, that’s how Troy McClure might say it. On … Continue reading →
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2:00 PM | The Great Thing About Science Is...
It is NOT about easy answers, shortcuts, or even [usually] a-ha revelations. Why on earth is that great? Here's a shallow post today about something I really enjoy thinking deeply about. Consider some recent examples of science's apparent un-greatness: Grandmothers have always contended that if you get cold, you'll catch a cold. I have heatedly shot back, many times, that cold weather does not cause colds. Then a study came out recently that *apparently* showed that lab mice […]
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2:00 PM | Tracking the Life History of a Trout
In 2014, Wells Reserve researchers trapped and counted numerous brook trout in Branch Brook as part of an ongoing project to restore these native fish and the habitat they depend on (see previous blog post).  We caught these fish as they moved from the estuary into the freshwater reaches of Branch Brook and ascended the restored fish ladder at the Water District filtration plant on Route 1.  But other than the fact that they were in our net on a given date, we know very little about […]
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12:34 PM | lifeunderthewaves: Descending Sperm Whale by KeriWilk A sperm...
lifeunderthewaves: Descending Sperm Whale by KeriWilk A sperm whale in Dominica. Shot under government permit.
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12:34 PM | lifeunderthewaves: Descending Sperm Whale by KeriWilk A sperm...
lifeunderthewaves: Descending Sperm Whale by KeriWilk A sperm whale in Dominica. Shot under government permit.
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12:04 PM | The weird sizes and exotic shapes of nematode worms
FACT: We study evolution in nematodes by constructing trees out of their penis size. Ok, well a “penis” in male nematodes is actually a hard copulatory spine called a genital spicule–males physically pry open the female’s vulva–but you get the idea. What better way to open a blog post about the story of size? Marine nematodes are […]
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12:04 PM | The weird sizes and exotic shapes of nematode worms
FACT: We study evolution in nematodes by constructing trees out of their penis size. Ok, well a “penis” in male nematodes is actually a hard copulatory spine called a genital spicule–males physically pry open the female’s vulva–but you get the idea. What better way to open a blog post about the story of size? Marine nematodes are […]
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7:27 AM | AMPHIPODS! Tiny Crustaceans that show AMAZING colors!
Image by Arthur AnkerAMPHIPODS! What are they? Small, very diverse crustaceans that occur all over the world in marine, freshwater and even terrestrial habitats. They are distinctive in that their bodies are laterally compressed, in other words, their bodies are "taller" than they are wide.There's a bewildering diversity of them with over 9500 species known.Most of them are pretty tiny (about 1.0 to 20 millimeters) but some giants approach 34 centimeters (13 inches!).. such as these supergiant […]
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4:49 AM | Adventure Time on Great Gull Island
Particularly diligent readers of this blog may have noticed a couple of changes last week to its About and Research pages, for the first time since I finished my master’s in Seattle and moved to Long Island. In that time, … Continue reading →

January 14, 2015

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6:50 PM | Growing Large on Jelly
The following post is authored by Caroline Schanche as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size Would you convert to a diet of cucumber? Could you do what the leatherbacks have done? None of us can really imagine surviving solely on foods such as cucumber or […]
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6:50 PM | Growing Large on Jelly
The following post is authored by Caroline Schanche as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size Would you convert to a diet of cucumber? Could you do what the leatherbacks have done? None of us can really imagine surviving solely on foods such as cucumber or […]
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4:11 PM | EnviroHack 2015, a two-day data jam
EnviroHack, organised by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) will take place in London in February. The NERC-funded 'hackathon' event will provide an exciting opportunity to collaborate and create value from environmental data sets.EnviroHack 2015 ©Raw data collected by environmental scientists will be available for 'hackers' to explore in new ways. For example, integrating atmosphere, soil, river and ocean data from different […]
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3:58 PM | GEBCO_2014 Grid released
The General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) is pleased to announce the release of its latest global terrain model at 30 arc-second intervals — the GEBCO_2014 Grid. The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) maintain and distribute bathymetric grids on behalf of the GEBCO community.The grid marks a significant update to the previous release (the GEBCO_08 Grid) and benefits from contributions from numerous data providers and mapping programmes. The updated regional […]
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3:41 PM | Journal Club: Birds pick nest materials with camouflage in mind
SUMMARY: A recent study by a research team in Scotland reveals that birds intentionally choose colour-matching materials to camouflage their nests thereby reducing predation risk. The old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket” belies the very thing that many bird species must do. For this reason, predation is a major cause of loss of eggs, nestlings and the brooding hen, especially for birds that build open-cup nests. So how do birds protect their nests from […]

Bailey I.E., Kate Morgan, Simone L. Meddle & Susan D. Healy (2015). Birds build camouflaged nests, The Auk, 132 (1) 11-15. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1642/auk-14-77.1

Citation
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3:30 PM | Why isn’t the Giant Isopod larger?
What I want to discuss, and I use this word specifically as after 10 years contemplation I seem no closer to an answer, is why the Giant Isopod is, well, giant? Mosely noted in 1880 Other [animals] attain under them gigantic proportions. It is especially certain crustacea which exhibit this latter peculiarity, but not all […]
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3:30 PM | Why isn’t the Giant Isopod larger?
What I want to discuss, and I use this word specifically as after 10 years contemplation I seem no closer to an answer, is why the Giant Isopod is, well, giant? Mosely noted in 1880 Other [animals] attain under them gigantic proportions. It is especially certain crustacea which exhibit this latter peculiarity, but not all […]
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2:00 PM | Green Crab Project Update
Back in September we reported on a current research project going on at the reserve — green crab sampling! We now have an update on this project, but first to refresh your memory… Over the 2014 field season, research staff and interns participated in a green crab abundance study in hopes of getting a better understanding of population dynamics of this invasive species on marshes along the coast of Maine. We used modified eels traps baited with Atlantic herring, deployed two […]
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1:15 PM | Space and SEMs
One question that comes up time and time again when I teach my SEM class is, “What do I do if I have spatially structured data?” Maybe you have data that was sampled on a grid, and you know there … Continue reading →

January 13, 2015

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4:53 PM | Anyone? Bueller?
Still hoping for some help on that abbreviated Dead Bird Quiz from the last post…
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3:11 PM | (Bird) Food for thought
At this time of year I tend to get through the post a steady trickle of catalogues, reminding me of the mailing lists to which I still need to unsubscribe. Qutie a few of these are wildlife related, with a good chunk given over to the £200M wild bird food industry. For a while now I’ve felt rather uneasy about the excessive commodification of what should be a simple act - attracting birds to the garden just to enjoy their company.... Read more
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