Pterotomics: The Molecular Machinery of Pteropods

Kevin Johnson searches for pteropods in the sample collected from a net tow. Photo Credit: Meghan Shea
Kevin Johnson searches for pteropods in the sample collected from a net tow. Photo Credit: Meghan Shea

The nighttime bongo tows (see The Scoop from the Zooplankton Nets) provide a wealth of organisms for the biologists aboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown to study.  From krill and crabs to copepods and pteropods, researchers aboard the Brown are interested in one unifying question: How will ocean acidification change the distribution and abundance of these organisms? Continue reading “Pterotomics: The Molecular Machinery of Pteropods”

Next stop, San Francisco!

Pier 15 at the Exploratorium; NOAA seawater chemistry monitoring buoy in the foreground. Photo: Mary Miller
Pier 15 at the Exploratorium; NOAA seawater chemistry monitoring buoy in the foreground. Photo: Mary Miller

The NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown will be making a mid-cruise pit stop tomorrow in San Francisco! We’ll spend just under 24 hours tied up at Pier 15, right outside the Exploratorium science museum’s Fisher Bay Observatory. Continue reading “Next stop, San Francisco!”

Creatures of the night

After a week to observe the ocean and put our nets in the water at various times, we have seen quite a different community of creatures at night than we do during the day. Granted it is trickier to see things like dolphins and whales at night, so those observations are expected to change. Continue reading “Creatures of the night”

Pteropod Experiments in a Mobile Laboratory

It all starts with the idea, a hypothesis really, that we are interested to know about the system of our investigation. The subjects of our investigation are pelagic calcifiers called pteropods (also sometimes called “sea butterflies”), that are put in an experimental setup in which we control a variety of different physical and chemical conditions. Continue reading “Pteropod Experiments in a Mobile Laboratory”

Carbonate: The Building Block of Marine Life

Seashells use calcium carbonate to build their shells. Photo Credit: Melissa Ward

Next time you are walking along a beach, pay attention to how many unique types of shells you see: scallops, gastropods (snails), oysters, pteropods, and many other marine organisms rely on shells for protection and housing. Just as humans build our homes from brick and wood, these marine organisms build their homes out of a chemical compound called calcium carbonate. Continue reading “Carbonate: The Building Block of Marine Life”