Rachel Bay received a Sloan Foundation fellowship to fund research on the molecular mechanisms of thermal tolerance in corals, an increasingly critical physiological process as ocean temperatures shift and warming events occur.
“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.
Even after being severely damaged by blast fishing and coral mining, coral reefs can be rehabilitated over large scales using a relatively inexpensive technique, according to a study led by the University of California, Davis, in partnership with Mars Symbioscience.
In the early summer months, undergraduate Emily Meyers would rise before the sun, sometimes around 3 or 4 a.m. Keeping time by the ocean tides, she’d cart her research materials to eelgrass beds near the Bodega Marine Laboratory.
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.
Covering themselves in everything from algae to urchins, crabs know how to accessorize for safety. Sponge crabs use their back pair of legs “to hold an intact sponge over their body,” says Jay Stachowicz.
Meadow spittlebugs, once very abundant on plants along the California coastline, are declining rapidly or vanishing from their previous habitats, according to ecologists Richard Karban and Mikaela Huntzinger of UC Davis, co-authors of newly published research in the journal Ecology.
Researchers measured the physical traits and defenses of 351 butterfly fish species compared to feeding style. The fish fell into two broad groups: hunters and grazers. Hunters, with deeper bodies and bigger spines, left the reefs; grazers remained in the relative safety of the reefs.