Recent graduate, Christian Denney, publishes MLML thesis research

MLML recent graduate Christian Denney of the Fisheries and Conservation Biology Lab is first author on a recently published study based on his thesis research.  Ryan Fields and Dr. Richard Starr from MLML and Mary Gleason of The Nature Conservancy co-authored this study, titled: Development of New Methods for Quantifying Fish Density Using Underwater Stereo-video Tools.

MLML’s Ross Clark writes about marine heat waves in Santa Cruz Sentinel article

Ross Clark, director of MLML's Central Coast Wetlands Group, writes about the effects of marine heat waves on Northern California's kelp forest ecosystems for the Santa Cruz Sentinel.  Article includes quote from MLML's phycologist, Dr. Mike Graham.

Read the article here: Earth Matters: Invasion of the warm marine blob

Same Data, Different Visual Forms: Data Visualization for Scientific Discovery – January 25th, 2018

Zan Armstrong, Freelance Data Visualization Engineer
Moss Landing Marine Labs Seminar Series - January 25th, 2018

Hosted by the Phycology Lab

MLML Seminar Room, 4pm

Open to the public

Zan Armstrong is a data visualization engineer and designer. Her work includes creating custom visualizations, both static and interactive, for analysts and scientists to enable them to make new discoveries in their data. She is most interested by identifying what characteristics of the data might be most analytically/scientifically important, and finding ways to reveal those characteristics visually. Zan also enjoys finding other ways to see familiar data that reveals a different perspective or illustrating situations in which the "obvious" understanding of the data is misleading or masks some deeper truth.

 

 

 

 

Same Data, Different Visual Forms: Data Visualization for Scientific Discovery

Picking the visual form for a data visualization is a decision about what part of our data we care most about. Should we highlight outliers? Focus on the densest parts of the data? Ignore numbers under a certain threshold? Look at values or differences? The right form depends on what we believe is most important to see. Zan Armstrong will describe the thought process behind data-driven design decisions from her work and share her 5 top recommendations for making more effective visualizations for scientific discovery (including code snippets in R and/or Python).

Bombs and blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) — confirmation of rapid growth and longevity – February 1st, 2018

Allen Andrews, NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
Moss Landing Marine Labs Seminar Series - February 1st, 2018

Hosted by the Ichthyology Lab

MLML Seminar Room, 4pm

Open to the public

Allen Andrews joined the Life History Program of the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in 2009.  He came to Hawaii from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML) in California where he operated the Age and Longevity Research Laboratory for 12 years.  He earned a M.S. degree in Marine Science from MLML in 1997 and in 2009 he finished a Ph.D. in Ichthyology and Fisheries Science at Rhodes University, South Africa.  His dissertation presented validated age and growth of the Patagonian toothfish (Chilean sea bass) and orange roughy. 

His area of expertise involves age estimation and validation of fishes and invertebrates using growth zone counting and radiochemical techniques (i.e. lead-radium dating) and bomb radiocarbon dating.  Recent works involved bomb radiocarbon dating of several shark species, the endangered white abalone, hawksbill sea turtle, and fishes of Indo-Pacific regions.  Allen's work with the Life History Program at NOAA Fisheries began with applying these techniques to dating opakapaka (Hawaiian pink snapper), and has continued with applications to other fishes of the Hawaiian Archipelago, as well as national and international collaborations on fishes and corals of the Gulf of Mexico, Great Barrier Reef, and Mediterranean. As an Affiliate Faculty member of the Oceanogrpahy Department and the Marine Biology Graduate Program at University of Hawaii, Manoa, Allen has fostered research with students involving deep-sea fishes and tropical snappers. Other interests are with photography, astronomy, and world travel. For more information please visit: “astrofish.me

 

Bombs and blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) — confirmation of rapid growth

Longevity of blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) remains unresolved. Use of fin spines and sagittal otoliths for age reading has led to unconfirmed longevity estimates of close to 20 years.  Age validation has been elusive because large individuals are rare and a technique that can be applied to the structures that provide estimates of age was absent. Use of otolith chemical signatures has been limited by sagittal otoliths that are very small—whole otolith mass of adult blue marlin can reach 10 mg for the largest fish. Recent advances in the detection limits of radiocarbon (14C) with accelerator mass spectrometry—coupled with recently acquired knowledge of marine bomb 14C signals spanning the tropical Pacific Ocean—have led to an opportunity to age blue marlin from small amounts of otolith material. In this study, otoliths from a recently collected 1245 lb. (565 kg) female blue marlin at 146 inches (3.71 m) lower jaw fork length were analyzed for 14C. Using a series of deductions in the bomb 14C dating method the age of this “grander” blue marlin was confirmed.

How the Squid Lost Its Shell: An Adventure in Cephalopod Evolution and Science Communication – February 15th, 2018

Daana Staaf
Moss Landing Marine Labs Seminar Series - February 15th, 2018

Hosted by the Invertebrate Zoology and Molecular Ecology Lab

MLML Seminar Room, 4pm

Open to the public

Daana Staaf; Photo credit: R. Heywood

Danna Staaf fell in love with cephalopods at the age of ten. She began to keep them as pets in a home aquarium, learned to scuba dive in order to meet more of them in the wild, and eventually completed a Ph.D. on squid at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station. Her first book, Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods, was named one of the best science books of 2017 by NPR Science Friday. She lives in San Jose, California, and works as a freelance science writer and educator.

Resolving the Food Paradox in the Sea – March 15th, 2018

Dr. Kelly Benoit-Bird, MBARI
Moss Landing Marine Labs Seminar Series - March 15th, 2018

Hosted by the Vertebrate Ecology Lab

MLML Seminar Room, 4pm

Open to the public

Dr. Kelly Benoit-Bird is a Senior Scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. She received a B.S. in Aquatic Ecology from Brown University in 1998 and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa 2003. She spent a year as Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology before joining the faculty of Oregon State University in 2004 where she served was a professor of Oceanography until 2016. Kelly is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, and an IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society Distinguished Lecturer. She recently served on the Scientific Steering Committee for the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea Symposium on Marine Ecosystem Acoustics, as an organizer for the National Academy of Sciences Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium, and as Chief Scientist for an Office of Naval Research Basic Research Challenge. Her research explores the ecological role of spatial and temporal dynamics in pelagic marine ecosystems from the surface to the deep sea. Her collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to understanding ocean ecosystems combines acoustic technologies with other tools including optical sampling, animal tagging, and behavioral modeling. Her work is changing our understanding of how ocean animals including zooplankton, fish, squid, seabirds, and marine mammals make their living.

 

Resolving the Food Paradox in the Sea

The average concentrations of biota in the ocean are generally low, a critical problem for ocean consumers. When we examine the biology with new tools guided by the predators themselves, we find that instead of being relatively devoid of life, the ocean is peppered with narrow hot-spots of activity. From the surface ocean to the deep sea and animals ranging from plankton and fish to squid and whales, small patches of plenty have impacts on ecosystems disproportionate to their contribution to the total biomass. These small aggregations provide the key to solving experimentally demonstrated feeding paradoxes as well providing a mechanism for evolution in an apparently isotropic environment where there are no obvious barriers to gene flow, Hutchinson’s “Paradox of Plankton”.