Listen Up! Our grad students are doing some awesome outreach

Listen Up!

Brijonnay Madrigal is a student in the Vertebrate Ecology Lab who studies bioacoustics of Risso's Dolphins in the Monterey Bay.  To share her love and knowledge of the incredible sounds of marine mammals, Brijonnay has developed an outreach program in the Monterey Bay area. "Listen Up!" is an interactive program that teaches K-12 students about marine mammals, acoustics, sounds in the ocean, and conservation. The program has already reaches 10 elementary schools, 1 middle school, and 10 high schools in the area.

 

Alison Stimpert gives insight on government shutdown

January 11, 2019

MLML's Dr. Alison Stimpert talks about how the government shut down is affecting scientists in this NPR article.

Excerpt:

Alison Stimpert, a marine biologist with California State University, writes, "Even though I am continuing to work, many of my collaborators (USGS, NOAA) are furloughed and projects we are working on together cannot move forward." She says that means "project planning meetings are being delayed, as well as permit applications for upcoming work."
Stimpert studies bioacoustics — "acoustic behavior and effects of noise on marine species," she explains — in waters off of California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Alaska and Antarctica. She says that in some cases, the shutdown means she may have to reorganize some travel or wait to start a phase of research until collaborators can work. In other areas, it might have more serious implications: "We might miss an opportunity to deploy an instrument, which makes us miss collecting an entire season of data." And Stimpert says that if she or her collaborators have future federal funding delays, it could mean that "I can't purchase an instrument that I need, but might (and I am not alone in this) mean my other funding runs out and I can no longer fund my position, making me lose my benefits."

Sea Otter Savvy joins MLML as a research affiliate

Sea Otter Savvy joins the MLML family

We are proud to announce that Sea Otter Savvy is now officially a research affiliate of Moss Landing Marine Labs. The Sea Otter Savvy program strives to foster responsible behavior by users of the marine environment while they are viewing and recreating near sea otters. Sea Otter Savvy believes that most disturbance to sea otters is unintentional and motivated by lack of awareness. It is essential to understand the unique vulnerability and importance of sea otters in our ecosystem in order to prevent disturbance. With outreach and education, we hope to increase awareness of the importance of protecting sea otters as part of our coastal community, and inspire everyone sharing the coastal environment with sea otters to adopt responsible viewing guidelines and share them with others.

MLML Students Win National Geographic Competition

Blogging their way to an ROV

Moss Landing Marine Lab's very own Miya Pavlock-McAuliffe and Marcel Peliks entered a contest with National Geographic's Open Explorers S.E.E Initiative and they won a remotely operated vehicle from Open ROV (here are the specs). Over the past few months they've been blogging about their mission to discover the shallow areas of the Monterey Submarine Canyon via multibeam sonar and scientific instrumentation to learn about the geologic processes that shape the Monterey Bay and understand how the features themselves influence the vibrant Monterey Bay ecosystem. The blog takes you on the journey of two scientists going through trial and error to seek new information. Their blog can be read here, and make sure to follow it too!

Several researchers at MLML will have the opportunity to use this ROV for their studies. These two Geological Oceanographers aim to study massive submarine landslides, or mass gravity flows, that periodically occur at the edges of the canyon and have been shown to move sand, mud, and rocks miles into the deep. We aren't sure why they happen as they aren't linked to earthquakes or storms. They plan to use the ROV to survey the head of the canyon frequently, in order to observe if the timing of mass gravity flows in the canyon are connected to the longshore sediment transport system: do build ups in sediment moved from the beach to offshore cause these flows?

Of course these students owe a huge thank you Ivano Aiello for support throughout this process and to QPS for donating the software to process their preliminary multibeam data, without which none of this would've been possible.

MLML Research Faculty named Subject Editor of Harmful Algae

MLML's Holly Bowers named Subject Editor for the scientific journal Harmful Algae

Dr. Holly Bowers, a Research Faculty member at MLML, is now one of the Subject Editors for the scientific journal Harmful Algae. Holly is currently working on harmful algal blooms in coastal California in collaboration with Jason Smith at MLML, collaborators at MBARI and UCSC, and elsewhere.

Holly is excited to join the Editorial Board of Harmful Algae as a Subject Editor. This is her 20th year studying HABs (Harmful Algal Blooms) so she considers it an honor to be part of the third highest ranking publication among more than 100 marine and freshwater biology journals. She recently returned from the International Conference on HAB’s held in Nantes, France where she presented her work: “Diversity and toxicity of Pseudo-nitzschia species in Monterey Bay: Perspectives from targeted and adaptive sampling”. After the meeting, she thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Brittany region with no plans and no reservations!

MLML’s Holly Bowers is Using Exciting New Technology

MLML Researcher Holly Bowers is Using Exciting New Technology!

GenomeWeb recently published an article about Ubiquitome's newest portable qPCR platform.  Ubiquitome is commercializing a 16-well real-time PCR instrument that is aimed at personalizing the method and making it more accessible to researchers. Their new Liberty16 instrument is designed to be easily used in the field. MLML Research Faculty Holly Bowers recently won California Sea Grant funding from the Ocean Protection Council Proposition 84 to study toxic algae using the Liberty16.

"Bowers' new funding will allow her group to take the Liberty16 into the field, and do PCR 'boatside, or shoreside,' she said, to detect different algae species in the water and to support local stakeholders. Boatside, and even 'tankside' research is much like bedside genomics, in which a clinician runs a test right next to a patient, she said. 'This takes us, as algal scientists, into that realm of thinking.' "

To read more about how researchers are using this new technology you can read the full article here.