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“The Hypoxic Reef” and a small-town coincidence

Oceanus has recently published an article highlighting our studies of the effects of hypoxia on corals. This work is led by former WHOI postdoc Maggie Johnson, and current postdoc Yaamini Venkataraman is contributing to the bioinformatic analyses. If you are interested in this work, you might also this article by Maggie and collaborators and my…

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UV and Weathered Oil are [more than] double trouble for ‘Stella

[this post was written by Cory Berger] In a paper recently published in Marine Environmental Research, we characterized the transcriptomic response of our favorite sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, to weathered oil and/or UV radiation. You can find the paper here. Nematostella, like other coastal organisms, is vulnerable to oil spills, and because it lives in…

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A day in the life of a copepod

(modified from a Facebook post by Amy Maas Oct. 15 2021) In May of 2019 #zoopgroup headed out to sea to try to figure out the daily cycle of a copepods metabolism. A bunch of my beloved people came along for the trip including Ann Tarrant from @whoi.ocean @amnopanic , @bee.widner and it was my…

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Conflicted about #NSFfunded

Don’t get me wrong…I love NSF, love getting funded by NSF, and think it’s important for scientists and the public to understand the important role that NSF plays in our society. “The NSF funds research and education in science and engineering, through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. The Foundation accounts for about 20 percent of…

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Under Pressure

At risk of jinxing myself (and perhaps dating myself with an A-Team reference), “I love it when a plan comes together!” For years I’ve been trying to understand the nuts and bolts of copepod dormancy. Calanus finmarchicus and some other copepods are very abundant planktonic animals that are an important source of food for fishes,…

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Neighborhood watch (plankton style)

I’ve been snooping around in our zooplankton “neighborhood.” I’m really interested in how planktonic animals use dormancy to adapt to variable environments. Some copepods, like Acartia tonsa modify their reproductive strategy depending on environmental conditions. Acartia moms can either produce eggs that are ready to hatch, or they can produce dormant eggs. This decision is…

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A Lovely Surprise

I almost never get interesting mail at work. It’s 99% bills, credit card statements and junky catalogs. With the Covid-19 pandemic ongoing, I am grateful for the hours I’m able to spend in the lab, but sometimes it seems a little grim. This week, I found a large nondescript envelope waiting for me. I had…

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Rhincalanus resources

(Featured image on main blog page: Rhincalanus gigas, by Miram Gleiber) We recently produced of a high-quality transcriptome for the Antarctic copepod Rhincalanus gigas and described changes in gene expression during the transition between the last juvenile stage and adult female stage. The work is available here: Berger CA, Steinberg DK, Copley NJ, and Tarrant…

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Why should we care about contaminated copepods?

The short answer: Copepods are a critical link in marine food webs, and oil exposure may affect their overwintering success and the timing of their emergence. If these effects are severe, there might not be enough copepods around in the spring for the fish to eat. For a more detailed answer, check out this beautiful…

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