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A California Chinook Salmon Jumps into a waterfall during spawning season
Geneticists Light Up Debate on Salmon Conservation
Splitting Chinook salmon into two groups based on their DNA could aid conservation efforts. But some researchers argue that this would be a misuse of the data.
Geneticists Light Up Debate on Salmon Conservation
Geneticists Light Up Debate on Salmon Conservation

Splitting Chinook salmon into two groups based on their DNA could aid conservation efforts. But some researchers argue that this would be a misuse of the data.

Splitting Chinook salmon into two groups based on their DNA could aid conservation efforts. But some researchers argue that this would be a misuse of the data.

marine ecology
Infographic comparing the fall and spring salmon runs
Infographic: An Incredible Journey
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Feb 1, 2023 | 1 min read
Chinook make their way up the Klamath River every year, but fewer and fewer arrive in the spring.
Timeline summarizing a series of petitions filed about the Chinook salmon
Timeline: An Extended Battle
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Feb 1, 2023 | 3 min read
Various concerned groups have been petitioning NOAA Fisheries to list spring-run Chinook salmon in Oregon and Northern California for over a decade.
Close-up shot of sea surface with small waves
The Constellation of Creatures Inhabiting the Ocean Surface
Amanda Heidt | Jan 2, 2023 | 10+ min read
The myriad species floating atop the world’s seas, called neuston, are mysterious and understudied, complicating efforts to clean up plastic pollution.
Illustration showing where neuston reside
Infographic: Neuston Drift Atop the World’s Oceans
Amanda Heidt | Jan 2, 2023 | 1 min read
The sea surface is home to a diverse group of animals adapted to life in the open ocean, but increasingly, they’re sharing that space with plastic debris.
group of people standing on rock outcropping with ocean in distance
Repeated El Niño Events Could Spark Big Ecological Shifts
Margaret Osborne | Sep 19, 2022 | 5 min read
Five major El Niño events per century could lead to fewer fishes that thrive in cold water and more terrestrial birds in eastern coastal ecosystems.
A small brown crustacean with white spots on it moving on a red branch.
Seaweed Has Its Own Matchmakers: Small Crustaceans
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Jul 28, 2022 | 3 min read
A species that transports the spermatia of red algae is the first known instance of an animal facilitating fertilization in this ancient photosynthetic lineage.
caged panels submerged underwater
How Rising Temperatures Affect Ocean Predation
Andy Carstens | Jun 9, 2022 | 3 min read
A study yields insights into how predator-prey dynamics may shift with climate change, but many questions remain.
A black and white photo of a man standing at a lab bench, holding up a glass jar
Reimagining Ecology, 1939
Lisa Winter | Apr 4, 2022 | 3 min read
Edward Ricketts built his laboratory just onshore from the swirling tidepools of Monterey Bay, California, an ideal backdrop against which he developed a new system for studying the ecology of any given habitat.
Seagrass underwater on a sandy seabed.
Seagrasses Continue to Emit Methane Decades After Death
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Feb 22, 2022 | 4 min read
Methane production, likely achieved by a diverse group of methanogenic archaea, occurs at similar rates in both alive and dead seagrasses, a study reports. The findings highlight the potential environmental impact of seagrasses declining globally.
Photo of Roxanne Beltran
Roxanne Beltran Dives into Seal Research
Lisa Winter | Jan 17, 2022 | 3 min read
This University of California, Santa Cruz, biologist is dedicated to her marine mammal research, as well as to making the field more diverse and equitable.
Photo of krill and plankton in the sea, macro detail
Fear Could Help Explain the Behavior of Animals in the Ocean
Catherine Offord | Jan 4, 2022 | 2 min read
Avoidance of predation is a driving force behind the daily movements of marine creatures across the food web, a study concludes.
microscope image of methaotrophs with black specks
Deep Sea Microbes Produce Graphite-like Carbon
Chloe Tenn | Nov 11, 2021 | 2 min read
The first evidence of biologically produced elemental carbon inspires more questions than answers.  
ABOVE: A pair of Labroides dimidiatus cleaner fish cleaning a puffer fish
Cleaner Fish Alter Behavior if Partners Can See Them “Cheating”
Chloe Tenn | Oct 7, 2021 | 4 min read
A study of feeding behavior suggests the fish feed differently in front of their partners—a behavioral feature also found in primates.
Chelonibia testudinaria barnacle on turtle shell
Some Barnacles Can Move Around to Improve Feeding Position
Chloe Tenn | Oct 6, 2021 | 7 min read
The Scientist spoke with marine biologist and barnacle researcher John Zardus about why turtle barnacles—previously thought to be immobile—in fact slowly travel. He thinks the answer is food.
sea snake swimming in blue water
Sea Snake “Attacks” Are Cases of Mistaken Identity: Study
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Aug 19, 2021 | 6 min read
The Scientist spoke to marine biologist Tim Lynch, who dusted off 25-year-old data from his PhD to figure out why olive sea snakes approach divers so often. He says the animals, especially the males, likely confuse people for potential mates.
Three researchers with headlamps on stand around a loggerhead turtle on the beach while a man covers the turtle's face with a gloved hand
Tiny Hitchhikers Reveal Turtles’ Movements and Foraging Ecology
Amanda Heidt | Jul 13, 2021 | 7 min read
Microscopic creatures called epibionts that live on sea turtles’ shells can help researchers understand their secretive lives.
man in motorboat by a pier with the sea surface covered in marine mucilage
Why Turkey’s Sea of Marmara Is Full of Marine Snot
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Jun 11, 2021 | 3 min read
Turkish officials are scrambling to clean up a massive, gooey plankton bloom that’s sliming the country’s ports and could suffocate the area’s marine ecosystems.
Restored Corals Spawn Hope for Reefs Worldwide
Hanna R. Koch, Erinn Muller, and Michael P. Crosby | Feb 1, 2021 | 10+ min read
Novel technologies establish a new paradigm for global coral reef restoration, with in situ spawning of mature, environmentally resilient corals in five years instead of decades.
Infographic: How to Accelerate the Growth of Restored Corals
Hanna R. Koch, Erinn Muller, and Michael P. Crosby | Feb 1, 2021 | 2 min read
Our novel technique involves planting several small fragments of slow-growing corals onto dead coral heads. The fragments eventually fuse, forming a large colony in a fraction of the time that it takes wild corals to build reefs.
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