Category Archives:

biology

Beneath the Broken Ice: Playing with Mud

biology, climate change, ecology, Life in the Lab, Natural Science, ScienceApril 18, 2012

Megumi Shimizu is a graduate student aboard the RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer to collect sediment samples near Antarctic Peninsula as a part of the LARISSA project. She is interested in microorganisms and biogeochemistry of marine sediments; how the metabolism of microorganisms interact with the surrounding environment and the chemical components in sediments. See her first […]

Beneath the Broken Ice: Megumi Shimizu on the 2012 LARISSA Campaign to the Antarctic Peninsula

biology, climate change, ecology, Natural Science, ScienceMarch 12, 2012

Megumi Shimizu is a graduate student studying microorganisms in marine sediment. She is currently on board the RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer exploring seafloor communities in a once ice-covered region beneath the Larsen Ice Shelf. Over the next month, she will be updating us from the field. I’m a PhD student interested in microorganisms and biogeochemistry […]

That sinking feeling: Hog lagoons, superbugs, and the proliferation of antibiotics in livestock

agriculture, biology, ecology, evolution, Natural Science, ScienceJanuary 2, 2012

The murky brown water was still, reflecting, perfectly, the drifting clouds above. Had I not known what it was, an acre-wide manmade pond almost a dozen feet deep filled to the brim with hog feces, I might be tempted to describe it as “beautiful”. Hog lagoons like this are a common sight in North Carolina, […]

Better Conservation through Cloning: this cock doesn’t crow

biology, Conservation, ecology, evolution, Natural Science, ScienceDecember 7, 2011

I awoke one morning early last spring to a noise I has been dreading for weeks, the first crow of a chicken that was not supposed to be a rooster. It took me several minutes to fully register what I was hearing. Rather that the classic cock-a-doodle-do we often associate with the rooster’s crow, the sound emanating from my […]

Bluefin Tuna, Big Game Hunters, and the Conservation Vortex

biology, Conservation, ecology, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceNovember 29, 2011

Why are we still killing Bluefin Tuna? This question has resonated through the ocean blogosphere recently, as various experts weigh the issues surrounding overfishing and wonder why, when we know how limited the Bluefin Tuna populations are, and how precipitously they’ve declined in the last decade, do they demand record-breaking prices able to support an industry […]

America’s lust for gigantic breasts leads to impotence: the population genetics of captive-reared turkeys

biology, Conservation, ecology, evolution, Natural Science, ScienceNovember 23, 2011

The noble turkey, a centerpiece of the American Thanksgiving supper. It looms large from its prominent position on the dining room table. The master of ceremonies – or, in my case, the guy who keeps slicing himself open with various sharp objects yet is inexplicably the one people call on when there’s knife-work needs doing […]

A slimehead by any other name should never be on your plate

biology, deep sea, ecology, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceOctober 26, 2011

Slimehead is not a word you would expect to find on the menu of a fancy restaurant. Like dolphin*, toothfish*, goosefish*, mudbug*, hog*, and gizzard fish*, slimeheads have undergone a bit re-branding over the last few decades to make their name as palatable as their fillets. Enter the Orange Roughy, a dull, uninspired name that […]

In sexual selection and thermoregulation, bigger is better, at least for fiddler crabs

biology, ecology, evolution, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceSeptember 21, 2011

Imagine yourself a fiddler crab. For this exercise, imagine yourself a male fiddler crab. Are you with me? Great. Check out your right claw, it’s a sleek, slender machine, perfect for picking through the sand as you sift out bacteria and other microorganisms for food. It also makes a handy shovel for digging nice deep […]

What killed this lemon shark? University of Miami scientists perform necropsy to solve this mystery

biology, Life in the Lab, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksAugust 15, 2011

Last week, volunteers monitoring a sea turtle nesting beach on Virginia Key came across a beached lemon shark. They called in scientists from the University of Miami’s RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation program, including myself . Dunlap program director Dr. Neil Hammerschlag decided to film the necropsy to use as an online teaching tool. The end […]

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