Marine Ecology

Lost Sea Creatures Wash Up on California Shores as Ocean Climate Shifts

April 17, 2019

"Five years ago, the Gulf of Alaska warmed to record temperatures, likely due to a sudden acceleration in the melting of Arctic sea ice. Usually a cold southern current flows along California. That year, the warm “blob” spread down the coast and, instead of blocking tropical species from moving north, it served as a balmy welcome to a variety of animals far from home."

Blending In: Ecology Graduate Student Grace Ha Investigates Camouflage in Seagrass Meadows

January 07, 2019

“We’re in a region with a Mediterranean climate and upwelling— what’s cool is that both of these are associated with high levels of biodiversity,” says Grace Ha, an ecology Ph.D. student. In upwelling zones, nutrient-rich waters from the deep ocean are transported to coastal regions, which makes them hotspots for biodiversity.

Read more at the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences

What’s In a Scientific Name? A Story.

October 29, 2018

A scientific name means more than just Linnaean nomenclature. Names go out into the world like buoys in the ocean, mere indicators of the stories and relationships weighted below them. Grace Ha writes about discovering a new marine species — and naming it.

Read more in Bay Nature

Discovering Curiosity: Eric Sanford Discusses How Marine Science and Sustainable Fisheries Go Hand in Hand

September 18, 2018

Outside Eric Sanford’s office window, foamy waters crash against rocky shores and open up to the expansive blue of the Pacific Ocean. Here, at the Bodega Marine Laboratory, Sanford and colleagues in his lab work to understand how ocean acidification is changing the ecology and evolution of the planet’s marine life.

Read more at the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences

Remembering Dr. Susan L. Williams

May 11, 2018

Dr. Susan Williams obituary was published in the Press Democrat, read it here.

A Memorial Fund has been established in her honor.  Any donations given in her name will be used to build an endowment to support graduate students working on coastal research that focuses on marine ecology.  Information on this Memorial Fund is available here.

Tracking Marine Life on the Edge of the Pacific

May 04, 2018

An embedded reporter describes research at Bodega Marine Laboratory during a time when the stakes are high for marine life in an era of climate change, and where scientists are weighing the impacts as warming oceans acidify.

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Northern California Divers Battle to Save Abalone - With a Giant Sea-Urchin Vacuum

April 05, 2018

Usually, the first weekend of April is when abalone divers pack up their wetsuits and fins and head off to campsites along the Sonoma and Mendocino coast. However, this year’s recreational abalone season is closed due to a population on the brink of collapse, so the diving community has rechanneled its efforts in a seemingly mad scheme to save the abalone, involving underwater vacuums, hookahs and purple sea urchins.

Seagrass in coral triangle grows better together

January 22, 2018

An experiment performed by UC Davis and Hasanuddin University scientists in the Indonesian Coral Triangle demonstrated one method of improving restoration outcomes. The results, published in the journal PNAS in November 2017, indicate that multiple seagrass species grown together are more successful and survive longer.

Read more at The California Aggie

Species richness accelerates marine ecosystem restoration in the Coral Triangle

October 24, 2017

Coral Triangle is a marine area located in the western Pacific Ocean with exceptional species diversity in coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangrove forests. Caring for these at-risk areas is crucial for preserving the numerous ecological functions and benefits these habitats provide. Dr. Susan Williams, Fulbright Specialist and UC Davis professor, has been working on improving seagrass meadow restoration in Indonesia. She found that by "planting mixtures of diverse seagrass species improves their overall survival and growth.” This is bodes well for future restoration efforts.

El Niño’s Gone, But Some Unusual Southern Visitors Remain on the North Coast

March 17, 2017

Investigating El Niño weather pattern and the effects it has on redistribution of species, BML research coordinator Jackie Sones and ecology professor Eric Sanford have discovered red pelagic crabs on the Californian Northern Coastline. Because they are usually found off Baja California, Sones and Sanford suggest that the finding is indicative of how strong the most recent El Nino was. 

To read the ful article published by BayNature click here.

These robots are helping answer a huge unknown about young marine life

November 02, 2016

Many mysteries remain about life under the sea, like what happens to marine creatures between life stages of larvae and adulthood. These tiny creatures are extremely hard to track in the open ocean, so one marine ecologist is using robots to mimic the larvae’s motions in order to determine what control they have over their own fate.

PBS News Hour

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