Protecting the ocean means lots of rigorous, mundane science.

deep sea, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceAugust 21, 20170

Bathymodiolus manusensis. Photo courtesy Nautilus Minerals.

I have a new paper out today: Population structure of Bathymodiolus manusensis, a deep-sea hydrothermal vent-dependent mussel from Manus Basin, Papua New Guinea.

We sampled two sites in Papua New Guinea where these deep-sea mussels aggregate and looked at their genes to determine if there was any population structure across this relatively small spatial scale (~40 km). We found one homogeneous population. We also looked at representatives from other ocean basins and determined that mussel populations within Manus Basin are younger than those in neighboring basins. This is a pattern we’ve observed in several other studies as well.

This is not, by any stretch, a ground-breaking, paradigm-shifting study. But studies like this, baseline, foundation-building studies, are absolutely essential for conservation biology.

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Unflappable Mola Molas, a Cousteau biopic, sharkcats, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: August 21, 2017

Monday Morning Salvage0

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

  • “Thirty years ago, I discovered a new world. I wanted to conquer it when I should have protected it. It’s not too late.” An uncompromising Jacques Cousteau biopic starring Lambert Wilson? Yes, please!

Jetsam (what we’re enjoying from around the web)
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Fun Science FRIEDay – Embryonic Gene Editing

biology, Ethical Debates, Fun Science Friday, Life Sciences, Natural ScienceAugust 18, 20170

The world we currently live in would have seemed like science fiction to humans in the not to distant past. Everyday more and advancements transform sci-fi dreams into reality. Most recently gene editing of human embryos has been birthed into the realm of possibility (cheesy pun intended!). In theory gene editing embryos could allow you to choose preferential traits in your soon to be human flesh-blob. That level of ability does not currently exist, but the latest developments in gene editing are still pretty astonishing.

Eggs before gene editing (left), and eggs after gene editing and already undergoing cell division (right)
(Photo credit: Ma et al. 2017)

In a recent study scientists took a human embryo and edited a dangerous mutation from the genes of that embryo; human reality, meet science fiction. Scientists at Oregon Health and Science University, with colleagues in California, China and South Korea, edited embryos, fixing a mutation that causes a common heart condition that can lead to sudden death later in life. The biggest hurdles were producing embryos in which all cells, not just some, were mutation-free, while also avoiding creating unwanted extra mutations during the process. The researchers found that when gene-editing components were introduced with sperm to the egg before fertilization, the success of the process was markedly different from previous approaches. If embryos with the repaired mutation were allowed to develop into babies, they would not only be disease-free but would also not transmit the disease to their descendants.

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There’s only one way to get these exclusive, limited-edition Jaunty Ocean Critter stickers!

Blogging0

Note: The following is a plug for my Patreon campaign. Funds raised in this campaign go towards keeping the Southern Fried Science servers running as well as research and development for Oceanography for Everyone


Behold the Unflappable Mola Mola!

Soon after the completion of Jacques Week 2017, I realized that I now had a collection of ocean animals wearing jaunty red cap doodles that were almost purpose made to be turned into stickers. So after a bit of research, a lot of redesigns, and a few test runs, the Jaunty Ocean Critter collection was born! Every month for the next year, I’m releasing a new, limited-edition run of Jaunty Ocean Critter stickers for your amusement, bemusement, and sea-musement. Die-cut on heavy vinyl, these stickers will hold up in the water, on your laptop, or attached to your favorite piece of oceanographic equipment.  (more…)

Listening for fish, glass sponges, and braking for whales: Thursday Afternoon Dredging: August 17, 2017

Thursday Afternoon DredgingAugust 17, 20170

 Cuttings (short and sweet): 

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Background information on our land-based shark fishing paper

fisheries, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharks, Social ScienceAugust 15, 20175

A photo used in this study showing a hammerhead shark taken completely out of the water. As with all photos used in this study, the angler’s privacy has been protecting by blurring out his face.

I have a new paper out on the conservation impacts of recreational shark fishing. The paper is called “fishing practices and representations of shark conservation issues among users of a land-based shark angling online forum,” and it is published in the journal Fisheries Research. If you don’t have institutional library access, you can read a copy of the paper here. The goal of this blog post is to provide background information on the study.

Journalists are free to quote or paraphrase information from this blog post. Additionally, I provide some suggested quotes below, and I am available for interviews about this paper (please contact me at WhySharksMatter at gmail).

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Flesh eating sea lice, illegal eel fishing, and whale graveyards: Thursday Afternoon Dredging: August 10th, 2017

Thursday Afternoon DredgingAugust 10, 20170

Cuttings (short and sweet):

One-eyed sea eagles, deep reefs, crispy jellyfish, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: August 7, 2017.

Monday Morning SalvageAugust 7, 20170

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

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Desert island discs – the marine conservation edition

Conservation, marine science, Open Science, Popular CultureAugust 4, 20170

In the UK, there is a famous and long-running radio show called Desert Island Discs. On this show celebrities are asked to imagine that they are marooned on a desert island, but they have rescued 10 discs (mp3s I suppose these days…) of songs that they have rescued from their sinking ship to keep them company on the desert island.

clipart credit: istock.com

My chum – marine mammal scientist and general ocean hero – Asha De Vos recently asked for a list of key papers in marine conservation that she could pass onto students working on marine conservation issues in Sri Lanka. So I decided to write up my top ten “desert island” marine conservation papers that I think have been influential, and that all marine conservation students should read.

So after much pondering, this is my list:

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Seals in the Thames, killing boto to catch catfish, and animal screams: Thursday Afternoon Dredging: August 3, 2017

Thursday Afternoon DredgingAugust 3, 20170

We’re back after a 3 week conference attendance break!

Cuttings (short and sweet):

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