Posts

December 19, 2014

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11:27 AM | Ecologists as rock stars? Oh how I wish it were so…
The annual meeting of the British Ecology Society last week was unusual in a couple of ways: it was held in France, as a joint meeting with Societé Française d’Écologie; and, for the first time since I started going in the late 1990s, I wasn’t there. Rather than throw an almighty sulk about the injustice of this, I followed #BESSfe on Twitter as best I could, and felt I got a reasonable flavour of the conference - minus the hangovers, as an... Read more

December 17, 2014

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11:36 AM | Last chance to let me know what ocean/climate demo you would like to see!
Folks, before we are all off to our well-deserved breaks (and I am starting my blogging break early because, you know, life and work and that kind of stuff): Take a moment to head over to this post and leave … Continue reading →
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4:41 AM | Πолярник
I learned a new word this week: полярник, polyarnik, which is Russian and translates roughly as “polar explorer.” This word, along with another set of interesting thoughts on dedication to science and the polar regions, comes from a beautiful photo … Continue reading →
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12:34 AM | These are a few of my favorite species: The magnificent and very large sponge Monorhaphis chuni
Within the glass sponges (Hexactinellids), so called because of scaffolds of silica spicules they form, resides a family of sponges, the Monorhaphididae. Family here is used in taxonomic sense to delineate substantially different types of organisms. Think the differences between cows and giraffes, both artiodactyls but in different families. But in the common meaning of […]
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12:34 AM | These are a few of my favorite species: The magnificent and very large sponge Monorhaphis chuni
Within the glass sponges (Hexactinellids), so called because of scaffolds of silica spicules they form, resides a family of sponges, the Monorhaphididae. Family here is used in taxonomic sense to delineate substantially different types of organisms. Think the differences between cows and giraffes, both artiodactyls but in different families. But in the common meaning of […]

December 16, 2014

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11:02 AM | The complex wrath of the Ozone hole over Antarctica
Through its influence on atmospheric circulation, [the ozone hole] has helped to shield the Antarctic continent from much of the effect of global warming over the past half century. (Robinson & Erickson, 2014) That’s not a sentence I expected to read in a scientific paper. Most of us probably don’t think about the ozone hole that much […]
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11:02 AM | The complex wrath of the Ozone hole over Antarctica
Through its influence on atmospheric circulation, [the ozone hole] has helped to shield the Antarctic continent from much of the effect of global warming over the past half century. (Robinson & Erickson, 2014) That’s not a sentence I expected to read in a scientific paper. Most of us probably don’t think about the ozone hole that much […]

December 15, 2014

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11:49 AM | “Isostasy” of ships
  Empty ships look weird. Since we talked about the ship-and-anchor thing last week (you know – what happens to the water level when an anchor that was previously stored on board is thrown into the sea) I remembered that … Continue reading →

December 14, 2014

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9:16 PM | All Female Bone-Devouring Worms Fancy Dwarf Males, Except One
Our guest post is by Dr. Marah Hardt, a marine scientist and storyteller working to build a sustainable future for people and the sea. She is the Research Co-Director at Future of Fish and currently working on her first book, Sex in the Sea (www.sexinthesea.org). You can follow here on Twitter @Marahh2o. Fifteen years ago we didn’t know they existed. In 2002 […]
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9:16 PM | All Female Bone-Devouring Worms Fancy Dwarf Males, Except One
Our guest post is by Dr. Marah Hardt, a marine scientist and storyteller working to build a sustainable future for people and the sea. She is the Research Co-Director at Future of Fish and currently working on her first book, Sex in the Sea (www.sexinthesea.org). You can follow here on Twitter @Marahh2o. Fifteen years ago we didn’t know they existed. In 2002 […]

December 12, 2014

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5:48 PM | Not Another Film About Penguins
I am currently experiencing mild-to-moderate Antarctica envy. In addition to the continuing STRES cruise, some friends from the Lynch Lab are on their way south as well, to study various aspects of Pygoscelis penguin populations. So last night I watched … Continue reading →
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5:15 PM | Epic Science Raps of History – A teaser
It all started on a perfect San Diego summer night, Taco Tuesday to be exact (For those of you who don’t live in the local area, all things good in the world happen at Taco Tuesday). My friend and colleague from Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Levi Lewis, had called a meeting of the science rap braintrust, […]
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5:15 PM | Epic Science Raps of History – A teaser
It all started on a perfect San Diego summer night, Taco Tuesday to be exact (For those of you who don’t live in the local area, all things good in the world happen at Taco Tuesday). My friend and colleague from Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Levi Lewis, had called a meeting of the science rap braintrust, […]
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12:56 PM | Influence of stratification on mixing
A wind stress is applied to the surface of a stratified and a non-stratified tank to cause mixing. This is an experiment that Martin and I ran at the JuniorAkademie this summer, but since I posted soooo much back than (just … Continue reading →
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7:18 AM | iMonsoon: Life of a Sedimentologist
The main job of the JOIDES Resolution (or JR for short) is to drill beneath the seafloor and to collect intact sediment cores. Once it gets started, the JR does a really, really efficient job of retrieving core. Every fifteen minutes or so (depending on the water depth at a location, the type of drill […]
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5:43 AM | Pacific Adventures - Episode 5: That's a wrap
We are steaming back to Mexico to disembark. It is then a good time to reflect on the successes and challenges of this field campaign. Yes, challenges rather than failures. Because in Science just as in life, “failures” are a challenge to make things better.  Science went well! We went to the equatorial Pacific to sample the structure and dynamics of the cold tongue and the Equatorial

December 11, 2014

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4:08 PM | Book Review: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly is a mermaid book. There are spells, tails, fancy clothing, houses underwater, animals as pets, and anemones as beds. This blurb from the inside cover perfectly sums up the book: “Serafina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromar, has been raised with the expectation—and burden—that she will someday become ruler of […]

December 10, 2014

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12:24 PM | First day of class
…because there are always classes starting somewhere or other… Ever wondered what a good practice for your first day of class might be? I started talking about this with colleagues prompted by a video on the coursera course on evidence-based … Continue reading →

December 09, 2014

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10:52 PM | Follow the S.T.R.E.S. Cruise in Antarctica
Speaking of end-of-semester stress…there happens to a better kind going on right now, as well: the Seasonal Trophic Roles of Euphausia superba (S.T.R.E.S) Cruise. My lab’s Fearless Leader is currently aboard the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer in Antarctica, on a … Continue reading →
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3:20 PM | Get Off The Altar
Last week, the New York Times Magazine published a show-stopping piece by Veronique Greenwood about her great-great aunt, Marguerite Perey. Perey worked in the Paris lab of M. and Mme. Curie, where she discovered the element now known as Francium. … Continue reading →

December 08, 2014

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12:50 PM | Stages of group development
Why you need a good storm in order to perform with a group. We’ve all made the experience of having to work in groups. Sometimes it is fun, sometimes it is less fun. But you can actually influence how well … Continue reading →
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7:54 AM | iMonsoon
Ahoy! I am typing this blogpost aboard the JOIDES Resolution, the flagship of the International Ocean Discovery Program, in the middle of the Indian Ocean! Last night, we reached Ninetyeast Ridge (most-creatively named!), the first drilling site of our research expedition. Currently we are waiting for the drillers to make sure all the equipment is […]

December 05, 2014

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4:16 PM | Excellent progress in SenseOCEAN
The first annual, FP7 funded, SenseOCEAN project meeting shows excellent progress on the development of technologies that will enable the real time acquisition and processing of biogeochemical ocean data from a greater range of platforms than ever before.This four year project, led by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), saw world leading SME’s and research organisations from across Europe come together in the Technical University of Graz, Austria, in order to discuss progress on the […]
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3:49 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: Desmarestia
This is acid. This is your seaweed on acid. Sulphuric acid to be exact. A highly corrosive substance, also known as oil of vitriol, H2SO4 is one of those ‘strong acids’ essentially meaning that yes, I actually wear gloves/goggles/lab coat/body armor (if available) when I am using it for legitimate fear of it getting on […]
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3:49 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: Desmarestia
This is acid. This is your seaweed on acid. Sulphuric acid to be exact. A highly corrosive substance, also known as oil of vitriol, H2SO4 is one of those ‘strong acids’ essentially meaning that yes, I actually wear gloves/goggles/lab coat/body armor (if available) when I am using it for legitimate fear of it getting on […]
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3:10 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: Hermit crabs without shells
Hermit crabs are generally awesome. They use snail shells, and sometime shells of other mollsucs, to protect their non-skeletonized squishy backends. Some are even adapted to live in burrows coral, wood, and old worm tubes, again to keep those soft rear ends protected. But one group of hermit crabs does something colossally different and it […]
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3:10 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: Hermit crabs without shells
Hermit crabs are generally awesome. They use snail shells, and sometime shells of other mollsucs, to protect their non-skeletonized squishy backends. Some are even adapted to live in burrows coral, wood, and old worm tubes, again to keep those soft rear ends protected. But one group of hermit crabs does something colossally different and it […]
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12:49 PM | Which displaces more water, a boat with the anchor onboard or in the water?
Not that this is a big effect in the ocean, but still, it’s a nice demo. A body submerges into the water until it displaces an amount of water that is equal to its own weight. So if you have a … Continue reading →

December 03, 2014

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12:48 PM | What’s your perspective on good teaching?
Taking a test as a basis for reflection in teaching beliefs, intentions and actions. I am always looking for ways to make teachers think – and talk – about best practice in teaching. And one important aspect is, of course, what the … Continue reading →

December 02, 2014

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8:25 PM | Pacific Adventure - Episode 4: Never a dull moment
 I have a confession to make: there is no realistic way that I can keep up with the science posts with all that is going on back here. I should have known. So I’ll switch up the format. For the remainder of the cruise we will talk more about highlights of what’s going on on the ship and what we see in our data, and back on land I’ll elaborate on all the science background and findings. My only
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