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Natural Science

Scientists deploy satellite tags on rarely studied sawsharks for the first time

marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksMarch 23, 2017

An Australian research expedition has successfully deployed three satellite telemetry tags on sawsharks for the first time! These rarely-seen sharks have a toothy rostrum similar to a sawfish, but are true sharks while sawfish are rays. Sawshark rostrums also have sensory barbels, unlike the rostrums of sawfish. “This is actually a good example of convergent […]

Please don’t ride sharks, and other great tips from the new guide to responsible shark diving

Conservation, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksMarch 12, 2017

Shark wildlife tourism* is a growing marine industry with big implications for shark conservation. While there are many competing definitions, generally shark wildlife tourism refers to SCUBA dive operators who offer trips that guarantee that you’ll see sharks, often through the use of bait or chum to attract sharks to the divers. This has become a contentious […]

Rumors of the lesser electric ray’s demise have been greatly exaggerated

fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharks, UncategorizedFebruary 23, 2017

The lesser electric ray, a small sand-dwelling ray that lives from North Carolina to Brazil, has been considered one of the most endangered marine fish on Earth. A 2005 paper reported that 98% of these rays had been wiped out, a decline attributed to shrimp trawling bycatch. This paper resulted in these animals getting classified as IUCN Red List […]

Bonnethead sharks, one of the smallest hammerheads, may actually be more than one species

marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksJanuary 5, 2017

Bonnethead sharks, one of the smallest members of the hammerhead shark family Sphyrnidae, have a special place in my heart. For many years, the avatar I used for science communication efforts, including posts on this blog, was a picture of me with a bonnethead. These sharks, which can grow up to about 5 feet long, are found […]

When I talk about Climate Change, I don’t talk about science.

#SciComm, climate change, Conservation, Natural Science, ScienceJanuary 3, 2017

Climate Change is real. It’s happening now. And the best available data points to us as the cause. That the foundational science is settled is a point of unending frustration to scientists, science writers, and policy advocates who face continuous partisan push back, from whitewashing government websites to threatening scientists with legal repercussions for reporting […]

Fun Science FRIEDay – Harnessing Synthetic Biology to Fight Ocean Pollution

#OceanOptimism, Conservation, Environmentalism, Fun Science Friday, marine science, Natural Science, Science, toxicologyDecember 16, 2016

Plastics, more importantly microplastics, clog our oceans. This phenomena in the ocean has been likened to smog around cities. These plastic particles are dangerous because they can absorb toxins, subsequently be consumed by zooplankton and invertebrates, and bioaccumluate up the food web to fish that are consumed by humans. A study in Nature found that 25 percent […]

37 things I learned about shark ecology and conservation for my dissertation

Conservation, ecology, fisheries, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, policy, Science, sharks, Social Science, Underrepresented Issues in Marine Science and ConservationDecember 12, 2016

After a little more than 5 years of hard work, I’ve officially completed my Ph.D.! You can read my dissertation (“An Integrative and Interdisciplinary Approach to Shark Conservation: Policy Solutions, Ecosystem Role, and Stakeholder Attitudes”) online here in its entirety. In case there are some among you who don’t really want to read a 281 […]

Fun Science FRIEDay – Water to Wine? Close, CO2 to Alcohol (ethanol)

climate change, Fun Science Friday, Natural Science, Open Science, ScienceDecember 2, 2016

Science brings us many wonderful things (honestly if you enjoy the benefits of the modern era, go out and hug a scientist). One of humanities age old desires is the ability to convert something invaluable, or a nuisance, into something desirable. The old midas touch if you will. Recently some scientist stumbled onto the process of […]

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