Photo of Edward Ricketts
Reimagining Ecology, 1939
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.
ABOVE: Monterey Public Library, California History Room Archives
Reimagining Ecology, 1939
Reimagining Ecology, 1939

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.

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.

ABOVE: Monterey Public Library, California History Room Archives

marine ecology

Seagrass underwater on a sandy seabed.
Seagrasses Continue to Emit Methane Decades After Death
Alejandra Manjarrez | Feb 22, 2022
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
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
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
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
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
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 | Aug 19, 2021
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
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 | Jun 11, 2021
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, Michael P. Crosby | Feb 1, 2021
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, Michael P. Crosby | Feb 1, 2021
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.
sharks, blue shark, Prionace glauca, overfishing, ocean deoxygenation, climate change
Climate Change Could Drive Sharks to Fishing Grounds: Study
Asher Jones | Jan 28, 2021
Blue sharks don't dive as deeply in low-oxygen waters—which become more prevalent as oceans warm—effectively pushing them into areas of high fishing pressure.
John Pearse and a group of other people on a rocky shore
Marine Biologist John Pearse Dies
Shawna Williams | Aug 18, 2020
The retired University of California, Santa Cruz, professor was known for his work on invertebrate reproduction, kelp ecology, and Antarctic marine life.
Global Ocean Circulation Is Speeding Up
Ruth Williams | Feb 5, 2020
The movements of water within the ocean basins has been increasing in speed over the last 20 years, a new study shows, conflicting with prior models of climate change.
Living Electrical Wires Plug into Worm Tubes for Stability
Nicoletta Lanese | Nov 1, 2019
Cable bacteria can live in stirred-up sediments by associating with structures built by Chaetopterus variopedatus.
Red Tides Under the Microscope
Bob Grant | Nov 1, 2019
Understanding the dinoflagellates that regularly wreak havoc on marine and nearshore ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico could help researchers mitigate the damage they cause.
Infographic: Plugged In
Nicoletta Lanese | Nov 1, 2019
How bacterial filaments ferry electrons through marine sediment
The sponge Mycale grandis overgrowing coral on the reef in K?ne?ohe Bay
Image of the Day: Cooperative Sponges
Nicoletta Lanese | Aug 15, 2019
Mycale grandis teams up with microbes housed inside it to gather nutrients.
African penguins Spheniscus demersus foraging hunting fish fisheries abundance ecology
Image of the Day: Fish Hunters
Chia-Yi Hou | Jun 3, 2019
Watch penguins hunting from their point of view.