Posts

September 15, 2014

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6:42 PM | What it’s Like to SCUBA Dive: Part I
I have returned from a SCUBA diving trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, and I am inspired to share the joy of diving with those that may never learn to dive. PADI, a leading SCUBA diving organization that certifies divers, has certified over 23 million SCUBA divers. That means (assuming most of the certifications […]

September 14, 2014

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8:21 PM | New Obligations and Continuing Challenges in Shark Conservation
As the sun rose this morning here in Trinidad and Tobago where I’m conducting field work, I was certain about two facts.  First: Trinidadians and Tobagonians awoke to their morning ritual of doubles and a new reality with regard to their nation’s obligations on the international trade of five species of endangered shark species (Great, […]
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8:21 PM | New Obligations and Continuing Challenges in Shark Conservation
As the sun rose this morning here in Trinidad and Tobago where I’m conducting field work, I was certain about two facts.  First: Trinidadians and Tobagonians awoke to their morning ritual of doubles and a new reality with regard to their nation’s obligations on the international trade of five species of endangered shark species (Great, […]

September 13, 2014

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10:43 AM | To El Niño or not to El Niño, that is the question
At the beginning of the summer, climate forecasters were forecasting that 2014 would be the year of another El Niño. And it was ominous, because El Niño will do things to the weather. THINGS I TELL YOU. Here is Chris Farley perfectly capturing how the media wants you to feel about El Niño*. Since then, the probability that an El Niño […]
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10:43 AM | To El Niño or not to El Niño, that is the question
At the beginning of the summer, climate forecasters were forecasting that 2014 would be the year of another El Niño. And it was ominous, because El Niño will do things to the weather. THINGS I TELL YOU. Here is Chris Farley perfectly capturing how the media wants you to feel about El Niño*. Since then, the probability that an El Niño […]

September 12, 2014

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12:34 AM | Did ocean currents stop flowing?
No. No, they have not. This is not the reason this blog has been quiet for a while. I wish it was because I was on a summer vacation. It's not that either. As if trying to finish my PhD wasn't enough, and I am going to be 2 months out of the country before defending which include a nice blogging project (or two if you count Travel blogging :) ). So, work has sucked every minute out of my days,

September 10, 2014

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8:03 PM | The Tale of a New Phylum That Really Wasn’t
In 1986, a group of scientists from Australia and New Zealand described, in the one of the highest profile scientific journals, the existence of a new class of organisms. During examination of echinoderms from sunken wood collected from depths between 1,057 and 1,208 m off the New Zealand coast, we discovered nine specimens of a […]
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8:03 PM | The Tale of a New Phylum That Really Wasn’t
In 1986, a group of scientists from Australia and New Zealand described, in the one of the highest profile scientific journals, the existence of a new class of organisms. During examination of echinoderms from sunken wood collected from depths between 1,057 and 1,208 m off the New Zealand coast, we discovered nine specimens of a […]

September 09, 2014

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6:22 AM | Bull sharks – salinity tolerance little-studied despite river attacks
While putting together a presentation for a Marine Biology subject on lionfish (and throwing in the recent controversy over plagiarised lionfish research), I struggled to find much research on an equivalent marine creature that has developed the same low salinity tolerance. There were papers on the more well-known euryhaline species (those that tolerate wide ranges of […]

September 08, 2014

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10:10 AM | The Plankton Pundit
One of the many reasons that I find plankton to be so delightful is the sheer joy of seeing something so beautiful and alien pop out of an ordinary seawater sample. I mean, I _know_ the sea is filled with plankton but I’m still excited every time! That’s why I’ve been such a fan of Dr. Richard Kirby’s plankton photography […]
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10:10 AM | The Plankton Pundit
One of the many reasons that I find plankton to be so delightful is the sheer joy of seeing something so beautiful and alien pop out of an ordinary seawater sample. I mean, I _know_ the sea is filled with plankton but I’m still excited every time! That’s why I’ve been such a fan of Dr. Richard Kirby’s plankton photography […]

September 05, 2014

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8:42 PM | Summer of the Goatfish
  I take on a senseless internet meme and make it even more so – for science. With the northern hemisphere days getting shorter, and the air getting crisper as autumn approaches, we reflect back on the summer soon passing. You may not have known, but this was the “Summer of the Goat” as christened […]
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8:42 PM | Summer of the Goatfish
  I take on a senseless internet meme and make it even more so – for science. With the northern hemisphere days getting shorter, and the air getting crisper as autumn approaches, we reflect back on the summer soon passing. You may not have known, but this was the “Summer of the Goat” as christened […]

August 29, 2014

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1:16 PM | The official anthology of Rick Ross rapping about crustaceans
I generally bow to Dr. M and Alex when it comes to rap music knowledge, but I’m just going to add this little factlet to the DSN vaults. Rick Ross, raps about crustaceans. A LOT*. And after reading all these lyrics, I’m positive there is a special place in his stomach for all arthropods. What does this dude do […]
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1:16 PM | The official anthology of Rick Ross rapping about crustaceans
I generally bow to Dr. M and Alex when it comes to rap music knowledge, but I’m just going to add this little factlet to the DSN vaults. Rick Ross, raps about crustaceans. A LOT*. And after reading all these lyrics, I’m positive there is a special place in his stomach for all arthropods. What does this dude do […]
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11:04 AM | About a Blog
In his early collection of miscellaneous writing Paperweight, Stephen Fry includes a column from The Listener called Absolutely Nothing At All, about… writing a column. He prefaces it in the book with the excuse, “Journalist friends tell me that columnists are allowed to write one column of this nature once in their lives.” On the assumption that bloggers get the same allowance, here we go… * I’ve had this post largely worked out in my head for several weeks. […]

August 28, 2014

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6:20 PM | Exploring Arctic Ice Minima
Every year 2007-2013 had a lower Arctic sea ice extent than every year before 2007.  2014 seems likely to continue this record.  I'll also suggest below that maybe the Arctic has entered a 'new normal', with September ice extents bouncing around 4.7 million km^2. For some data to work with further, I pulled the NSIDC September figures.  It's a small, simple text file, so you can check yourself what follows.  First up, let's draw a figure of what we're looking at -- but […]
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7:09 AM | Ocean acidification and policy failure
Originally posted on Ocean acidification:The Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) invites everyone to a free public lecture as part of the Sustainability in the Anthropocene series. Event date: Wednesday, 10 September 2014 Event time: 1-2pm Event location: Theatre C, Old Arts Building, University of Melbourne Ocean acidification is potentially one of the most pervasive…

August 27, 2014

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9:33 PM | My 25 Favorite Things For Ocean Field Work
I am particular about my set of gear and equipment that I take when I am out at sea. Much time spent was spent on trial and error research and development of my sea kit. The items below reflect advice from my scientific mentors and advice about tools from my father and father-in-law, one an […]
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9:33 PM | My 25 Favorite Things For Ocean Field Work
I am particular about my set of gear and equipment that I take when I am out at sea. Much time spent was spent on trial and error research and development of my sea kit. The items below reflect advice from my scientific mentors and advice about tools from my father and father-in-law, one an […]

August 26, 2014

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9:21 PM | No way is that a Manta in the Kelp Forest…
Yes…yes it is.   This video was just taken off of San Clemente Island by spearfisherman Carter Jessop (used with permission). This is his account of the miraculous interaction: “The real excitement of the trip came on the second afternoon at the island. We were diving a spot with strong wind and current and I […]
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9:21 PM | No way is that a Manta in the Kelp Forest…
Yes…yes it is.   This video was just taken off of San Clemente Island by spearfisherman Carter Jessop (used with permission). This is his account of the miraculous interaction: “The real excitement of the trip came on the second afternoon at the island. We were diving a spot with strong wind and current and I […]
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12:08 PM | Review of Mission Blue Documentary about Dr. Sylvia Earle
On August 15, 2014, Netflix began streaming a biographical documentary on Dr. Sylvia Earle called “Mission Blue.” Sylvia is the pre-eminent oceanographer of our time. She has logged over 7,000 hours underwater, and even walked beneath the ocean untethered to 1,250 feet! She is often called “Her Deepness.” I have admired Sylvia for most of […]

August 25, 2014

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3:07 PM | A little unexpected Monday Morning Zen with a Portuguese Man-of-War
It’s monday morning and I’m dragging a little. You might be too. But this gorgeous video of Portuguese Man-o-War by Aaron Ansarov (via National Geographic) reminded me of all the amazing things and processes that remain to be studied in the ocean. And that just perked me right up! Ansarov is a retired U.S. Navy combat photographer, who […]
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3:07 PM | A little unexpected Monday Morning Zen with a Portuguese Man-of-War
It’s monday morning and I’m dragging a little. You might be too. But this gorgeous video of Portuguese Man-o-War by Aaron Ansarov (via National Geographic) reminded me of all the amazing things and processes that remain to be studied in the ocean. And that just perked me right up! Ansarov is a retired U.S. Navy combat photographer, who […]

August 23, 2014

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4:56 PM | The Etiquette of Flags At Sea
John Tissott from the East Fremantle Yacht Club in Perth, Australia has just developed an infographic (below) on the topic of flags flown at sea.  For example, I have just learned that flags are flown by owners and worn by the yacht.  Or in my case a dinghy with substantial hole. Over at the DSN HQ we […]
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4:56 PM | The Etiquette of Flags At Sea
John Tissott from the East Fremantle Yacht Club in Perth, Australia has just developed an infographic (below) on the topic of flags flown at sea.  For example, I have just learned that flags are flown by owners and worn by the yacht.  Or in my case a dinghy with substantial hole. Over at the DSN HQ we […]

August 22, 2014

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2:15 PM | What the “Call of the Reef” is Telling Us
Coral reefs are in crisis. They are fragile. They are complex. And they are disappearing faster than we are able to understand them. This threat is exacerbated by an ecological battle raging on reef lines between corals and seaweeds. When fish are removed, seaweeds run rampant, and corals suffer. This negative feedback loop is often […]
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2:15 PM | What the “Call of the Reef” is Telling Us
Coral reefs are in crisis. They are fragile. They are complex. And they are disappearing faster than we are able to understand them. This threat is exacerbated by an ecological battle raging on reef lines between corals and seaweeds. When fish are removed, seaweeds run rampant, and corals suffer. This negative feedback loop is often […]

August 21, 2014

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6:55 PM | Throwback Thursday: France’s Lab Buoy
I recently received an email from a colleague asking for a copy of a recent paper. In return, they sent me a plot of inertial current circles from 1965 along with this intriguing image. First thought…OMG it’s the french version of R/P FLIP! But after clumsily wading through a bit of french text with the help […]
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