Tales from the Field in Antarctica: Post 3

May 18, 2015 by
In the field for their current work in Antarctica is adjunct professor, Dr. Valerie Loeb (right) with the team's blog writer, Jamie Sibley Yin.

In the field for their current work in Antarctica is adjunct professor, Dr. Valerie Loeb (right) with the team’s blog writer, Jamie Sibley Yin.

Dr. Valerie Loeb is an adjunct professor at Moss Landing Marine Labs. Currently, she functions as an independent Antarctic ecosystem research scientist collaborating with Jarrod Santora of UC Santa Cruz. In April, she headed out to sea with a new NSF funded project entitled “Pilot Study:   Addition of Biological Sampling to Drake Passage Transits of the ‘LM Gould'”.  The following are updates from the field by Jamie Sibley Yin who is in charge of communications.

The Third Entry by Jamie Sibley Yin

April 19th, 2015

Palmer Station and Ice Fish Project

A view of the Lawrence M. Gould (our ship) and Palmer Station.

A view of the Lawrence M. Gould (our ship) and Palmer Station.

When I woke up it was hard to believe we were in the same ocean as last night.  The water was glassy and glaciers cut with snow-capped black rock towered on either side of us.  We were due at Palmer Station in less than an hour.  Palmer was the final destination for some folks—but not us.  We were going with the ship, wherever she went.  Read the rest of this entry »

Tales from the Field in Antarctica: Post 2

May 4, 2015 by
In the field for their current work in Antarctica is adjunct professor, Dr. Valerie Loeb (right) with the team's blog writer, Jamie Sibley Yin.

In the field for their current work in Antarctica is adjunct professor, Dr. Valerie Loeb (right) with the team’s blog writer, Jamie Sibley Yin.

 

Dr. Valerie Loeb is an adjunct professor at Moss Landing Marine Labs. Currently, she functions as an independent Antarctic ecosystem research scientist collaborating with Jarrod Santora of UC Santa Cruz. In April, she headed out to sea with a new NSF funded project entitled “Pilot Study:   Addition of Biological Sampling to Drake Passage Transits of the ‘LM Gould'”.  The following are updates from the field by Jamie Sibley Yin who is in charge of communications.

 

 

 

The Second Entry by Jamie Sibley Yin

April 9th, 2015

Northern Drake Passage

 

Checking out one of the critters with the microscope.

Checking out one of the critters with the microscope.

Our first net tow scheduled for 2am was cancelled.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  I was nervous about sorting and identifying species of zooplankton I had never seen before, staying up late into the night, and working with no end in sight.  Read the rest of this entry »

How well do you know your Batoids?

April 20, 2015 by

When people think of sharks, they think of the majestic White (Carcharodon carcharias), the sleek Blue (Prionace glauca), or the fast Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus).

White shark; photo credit: Raul Touzon

White shark; photo credit: Raul Touzon

Blue Shark

Shortfin mako

 

What is a Ray?

However, many people do not know that sharks have other relatives. Elasmobranchs refers to fishes that have a cartilaginous skeleton, no swim bladders, and have five to seven gill slits. We will be focusing on the batoids, aka ‘flatsharks’. People might be familiar with the word ‘ray’, but what defines a ray? A ray is a flattened shark, with the gill slits only visible on the ventral side. Currently, there are six orders of elasmobranchs taxanomists have defined as batoids. They include: Pristiformes (Sawfishes), Rhiniformes (Wedgefishes), Rhinobatiformes (Guitarfishes), Torpediniformes (Electric Rays), Myliobatiformes (Stingrays), and the Rajiformes (Skates).

Here are what some of these batoids look like:

Dwarf sawfish (Pristis clavata)

Black Spotted Torpedo Ray (Torpedo fuscomaculata)

Shovelnose guitarfish (Rhinobatos productus)

Bowmouth guitarfish (Rhina ancylostoma)

Smoothnose wedgefish (Rhynchobatus laevis)

As you can see even these flat sharks are variable in morphology! If you are interested in how these orders are related in-depth, please check out the Tree of Life! We will go through all these different orders at a later time, but let’s focus on two orders: Myliobatiformes (Stingrays), and the Rajiformes (Skates). People often confuse these two groups, since they have similar body plans, but let’s take a closer look at their differences.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tales from the Field in Antarctica: Post 1

April 20, 2015 by
In the field for their current work in Antarctica is adjunct professor, Dr. Valerie Loeb (right) with the team's blog writer, Jamie Sibley Yin.

In the field for their current work in Antarctica is adjunct professor, Dr. Valerie Loeb (right) with the team’s blog writer, Jamie Sibley Yin.

Dr. Valerie Loeb is an adjunct professor at Moss Landing Marine Labs. Currently, she functions as an independent Antarctic ecosystem research scientist collaborating with Jarrod Santora of UC Santa Cruz. In April, she headed out to sea with a new NSF funded project entitled “Pilot Study:   Addition of Biological Sampling to Drake Passage Transits of the ‘LM Gould'”.  The following are updates from the field by Jamie Sibley Yin who is in charge of communications.

The First Entry by Jamie Sibley Yin

April 8th, 2015

My chair sways gently, a jackhammer-like sound comes from an undisclosed location, men with white beards and black wire rimmed glasses stare into their laptops.  Where am I? I’m somewhere in the Straits of Magellan, en route to Antarctica.

Read the rest of this entry »

Marine and Green

March 17, 2015 by

By Jackie Lindsey, Vertebrate Ecology Lab

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all the critters wearing green under the sea!

Florida manatee (Photo by Keith Ramos, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Photo by Keith Ramos, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Read the rest of this entry »

To the End of the Earth (for Kelp!)

March 16, 2015 by

By Heather Kramp, Ichthyology Lab

Chile is dotted with volcanoes, and we

Puerto Montt is surrounded by farmland, volcanoes, and fjords, with the Andes looming the distance, making for amazing views on our flights in and out. Photo: Heather Fulton-Bennett

In early January of this year, I boarded a plane bound for Puerto Montt, Chile. It was my first time to South America and my first time crossing the equator. Though Chile is an amazing vacation destination, I was headed there for an even better purpose – research! Myself and five other MLML graduate students were fortunate to have the opportunity to take a ten-day intensive field course at the Universidad de Los Lagos in Puerto Montt. The course, Global Kelp Ecosystems, is taught every three years in partnership with MLML and the Universidad de Los Lagos. Five instructors co-teach the course, including Drs. Michael Graham and Scott Hamilton of MLML, Dr. Alejandro Bushman from the Universidad de Los Lagos, and Drs. Silvain Faugeron and Alejandro Pérez-Matus from the Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile. In addition to MLML students, four Chilean graduate students and one French graduate student studying in Chile also took the course.

The 2015 Global Kelp Systems class in Pucatrihue, Chile

The 2015 Global Kelp Systems class in Pucatrihue, Chile.

After a day-and-a-half of travel with an unbelievable amount of luggage (including dive gear) we all arrived in Chile. Read the rest of this entry »

Are you a Friend of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories?

March 4, 2015 by

It’s true that many people in the Monterey Bay area are “friends” of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in some way or another. Maybe they are alumni or maybe a current MLML student tutors their child. However, there is a Friends of MLML organization that has been around since 1994. This organization has been serving the lab by garnering support from the local community, fundraising for student scholarships, and connecting MLML to the community through outreach and events for more than 10 years.

Lucky winners of the student scholarships.

Lucky winners of the student scholarships.

What does it mean to be a Friend of MLML? Aside from the gratification of knowing your support is helping fuel student scholarships and general lab activities, there are also some great benefits!

For one, all Friends of MLML receive the MLML Wave magazine. The lab is constantly busy in novel scientific discoveries and events and there is always a lot going on. This is a great way to keep up

1_2014 August Cover

The latest issue of the Wave magazine

Friends of MLML are invited to attend exclusive Friends tours of the MLML facility lead by students, to get a firsthand look at our beautiful facility.

A student lead Tour through MLML

            A student led tour through MLML

Another perk of being a Friend of MLML is a mailed invitation to each of our Evening Community Lectures which feature local scientists eager to share their research with the general public. Previous topics have included saving trapped gray whales working with white sharks, and even voyages to Antarctica. These events are open to anyone wanting to learn and they are free for Friends of MLML. For those attending who are not Friends of MLML, the recommended donation is only $8.

2015_02_11 Bone Eating Worms flyer

A glimpse of the most recent Evening Community Lecture

Click here if you’re interested in becoming a Friend of MLML or email Friends@mlml.calstate.edu if you have any further questions.We hope to see you around!

Ichthyology, the R/V Point Sur, and McDonalds

February 22, 2015 by

There are few times that I would willingly wake up while it is still dark outside. The day of our ichthyology field trip aboard the R/V Point Sur was one of those days. Not only would it be my first time aboard the Point Sur, it would also be my last before its retirement after 28 years of service at Moss Landing Marine Labs. Suffice to say, I was pretty excited to have this opportunity.

The R/V Point Sur

Read the rest of this entry »

Do you know where your seafood comes from?

January 23, 2015 by

With oceans covering over 75% of Earth’s surface, nearly one billion people depend on seafood for sustenance. As more people continue to add seafood into their diets, our seafood resources are becoming depleted. Some seafood such as bluefin tuna are very valuable, resulting in unmanaged fisheries. To keep up with the demands and profits, products are purposely being mislabeled in hopes that the consumers will continue buying these products. Today, around 25 – 75% of the seafood we consume is mislabeled. This is an alarming issue, as seafood fraud encourages increased illegal fishing activities and impairs consumers right choices in seafood and can impact our health.

Seafood is an important source of food for many people, especially in Japan. Here is the famous Tsukiji Fish Market known for selling high quality bluefin tuna; photo credit to Japan-Guide

Read the rest of this entry »

SCUBA, it’s to dive for!

December 23, 2014 by

Imagine you are a scientist about to begin researching the density of a type of Redwood, Sequoia sempervirens. Let’s pretend you have already spent hours and hours doing the background research necessary and now you are tasked with collecting the data. You create a list of all the tools you’ll need; meter tape, data sheets, flagging tape etc, and now you’re ready to go into the field to sample. A quick drive up to northern California will put you right in the middle of the Redwood forest where you can easily collect your data. Now picture that your next project is to collect the density of blue rockfish, Sebastes mystinus. It sounds pretty similar to your previous study but with an added challenge; your site is underwater. This added challenge will require a completely different method to collect your data. You’ll need to actually see these rockfish in order to count them, but how?

Read the rest of this entry »


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