Marine Ecology

Uncovering the Ecological Network in Bodega Bay

Stepping out onto the rocky shore of Bodega Bay, you would quickly notice that the intertidal zone is teeming with life. From mussels and barnacles to crabs and anemones, hundreds of species occupy these rocky areas - experts Jackie Sones and Dr. Eric Sanford estimate that there are about 250 different species that make their homes in this rocky intertidal zone in Bodega Bay!

From Plant to Powder: An Eelgrass Odyssey

From Plant to Powder: An Eelgrass Odyssey

“They are so green!” Dr. Katie DuBois exclaimed as I held the fluorescent green test tube in my hand. The contents of this test tube may look like some vile concoction from a mad science lab, but they are in fact the remnants of a marine plant called eelgrass, Zostera marina

Southern California margin benthic foraminiferal assemblages record recent centennial-scale changes in oxygen minimum zone

Microfossil assemblages provide valuable records to investigate variability in continental margin biogeochemical cycles, including dynamics of the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). Analyses of modern assemblages across environmental gradients are necessary to understand relationships between assemblage characteristics and environmental factors... Read the full publication by Hannah Palmer, Tessa Hill, et al. in Biogeosciences

Spotlight On: Carina Fish

Exploring the Oceans

Corals are one of the most iconic images of the ocean, offering a spectacular scenery of vibrant, underwater castles for snorkelers and divers. But for marine biogeochemist ​Carina Fish​, these vacation spots aren’t just aesthetically pleasing. Corals are biological time capsules, making them a perfect toolset for Fish to utilize as she uncovers stories about the Earth’s past.

High variability of Blue Carbon storage in seagrass meadows at the estuary scale

By Aurora M. Ricart, Ph.D.

Seagrass meadows are considered important natural carbon sinks due to their capacity to store organic carbon (Corg) in sediments. However, the spatial heterogeneity of carbon storage in seagrass sediments needs to be better understood to improve the accuracy of Blue Carbon assessments, particularly when strong gradients are present. We performed an intensive coring study within a sub-tropical estuary to assess the spatial variability in sedimentary Corg associated with seagrasses, and to identify the key factors promoting this variability.

The Seagrass Microbiome Project: Bacteria, the Unseen Heroes?

Though bacteria often get a bad reputation, many organisms depend on them. Humans, for example, have gut bacteria that aid with digestion. Similarly, marine plants, like seagrass, host a collection of microorganisms potentially vital to their health. At UC Davis, researchers have created the Seagrass Microbiome Project to learn about these microbial inhabitants. Through the project, they are looking to see whether certain bacteria are fundamental to the plant’s survival.