Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all the critters wearing green under the sea!
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.
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 »
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
by Jackie Lindsey, Vertebrate Ecology Lab
When Jacques-Yves Cousteau gave the world its first video footage of the ocean in color, he named this documentary The Silent World. Perhaps as a result, most of us think of the ocean as a quiet refuge, punctuated by occasional humpback whale songs or clicks from a passing pod of dolphins. In recent years, scientists have dipped microphones into the water and discovered that this could not be further from the truth. Read the rest of this entry »
Next semester, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories will welcome a new faculty member: Dr. Birgitte I. McDonald. She is replacing Director Jim Harvey as the new head of the Vertebrate Ecology Lab. Gitte agreed to answer a few questions about herself in advance of her much-anticipated arrival! Read the rest of this entry »
Some of you may have been following the blog way back in March, when the “Baja class” traveled to the Gulf of California for two weeks in the field (as a refresher, you can check out the previous posts here and here). Jackie promised some photos and stories from the trip, so I’m going to highlight my particular research project down there and toss in a few of my own photos (better late than never, right?)!
Panoramic view from our campsite on the beach at Bahia de Concepcion, our second of three overnight stops in Mexico on the way down to El Pardito.
It was just announced a couple months ago that researchers in New Zealand found a specimen of the hydroid Protulophila that was previously believed to be extinct for 4 million years. Before this discovery, these organisms had only been found in fossil records in the Middle East and Europe, some of which dated back 170 million years.
Awesome discovery, right? But to take a step back now, what exactly is a hydroid?