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Science

Fin-Body Ratios for Smooth Dogfish – Depends on How You Slice It

Conservation, fisheries, Focus on Nuance, sharks, Sustainability, Underrepresented Issues in Marine Science and ConservationAugust 8, 2014

The 2010 Shark Conservation Act prohibits removal of fins at sea for all sharks landed in U.S. Waters, with a glaring exception for smooth dogfish, or smoothhound sharks.  In an effort to ensure that fishermen aren’t performing the cruel practice of throwing a still-living but finless shark overboard, a fin:body ratio of 12% for smooth […]

Megalodon: the New Evidence is a fake documentary

Blogging, marine science, Natural Science, Popular Culture, Science, sharksAugust 7, 2014

So was last year’s “Megalodon: the monster shark lives.”  Both Shark Week specials claim to show evidence that Carcharocles megalodon, the largest predatory shark that ever lived, is still alive. In both cases, the evidence is 100% completely and totally fake. A disclaimer from “the monster shark lives” Video evidence is CGI, images are photoshopped, and […]

The Dark Side of Academia

Blogging, Life in the Lab, Science

Dr. Chris Parsons has been involved in whale and dolphin research for over two decades and has been involved in research projects in every continent except Antarctica. Dr. Parsons is an Associate Professor at George Mason University as well as the undergraduate coordinator for their environmental science program. He’s a member of the scientific committee […]

Busting Ocean Myths: This anglerfish is not as kink as you think.

deep sea, ecology, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceJuly 28, 2014

The claim: Deep-sea Anglerfish have parasitic dwarf males that fuse to their mates and become nothing more than wibbly gonads hanging off of the much larger female.  Who said it: Well, pretty much everyone. This Oatmeal Comic, Ze Frank, me. Status: Sometimes true, sometimes false. I’d like you to meet a very dear friend of mine. […]

Education and Experience are Not Mutually Exclusive: Job Market Pet Peeves

Focus on Nuance, Life in the Lab, Personal Stories, Science LifeJuly 22, 2014

While looking at positions that allow me to jump off the sinking ship of academia, I’ve seen plenty of rewarding, fun, and excitingly challenging job announcements out there. Most of them require two to five years of experience in the field, and I’ve looked at those, said ‘yep, I qualify’, and turned in the application. […]

Cascading planetary-wide ecosystem effects of the extirpation of apex predatory Krayt dragons on Tatooine

Blogging, Conservation, Natural Science, Popular Culture, Science, Science Fiction

Author’s note: this post is part of the “Science of Tatooine” blog carnival. Though obviously about science fiction and not the real world, it includes real ecological theories,  and it uses some real peer-reviewed scientific papers as references. Whenever possible, I’ve linked to accessible copies of those papers and explainers of these ecological terms. Many […]

Beyond the Edge of the Plume: understanding environmental impacts of deep-sea mining

biology, Conservation, deep sea, Environmentalism, evolution, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceJuly 21, 2014

The mining of deep-sea hydrothermal vents for gold, copper, and other precious metals, is imminent. Over the last seven years I’ve worked with industry, academia, and international regulatory agencies to help craft guidelines for conducting environmental impact studies and assess the connectivity and resilience of deep-sea ecosystems. Deep-sea mining, particularly at hydrothermal vents, is a […]

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