Yan Jia, Qiang Sun, Prof. Michael Whitney, and Steven Deignan-Schmidt at the doctoral commencement ceremony. Steven Deignan-Schmidt was profiled for the CLAS Class of 2019: https://clas.uconn.edu/class-of-2019/#deignan-schmidt.
Gihong Park, Youngmi Shin, and Prof. James O’Donnell at the doctoral commencement ceremony.
Christopher Murray after the doctoral commencement ceremony.
Prof. Penny Vlahos and Allison Byrd after the master’s commencement ceremony.
Marine Sciences graduates and faculty at the Senior Recognition Ceremony at Avery Point on May 10, 2019.
In collaboration with Project Oceanology, the graduate students from Department of Marine Sciences hosted workshops for middle schoolers to teach them about marine sciences and research being done in the department. Students extracted DNA from strawberries and put it in necklaces for all to see. Another workshop had students identify plankton under microscopes.
Thanks to students from the McManus, Lin, and Dam Labs for organizing and running these activities, and inspiring the next generation of scientists.
On April 30th, four graduate students from the Marine Sciences Department traveled to UConn, Storrs to present their research at UConn’s 2nd Climate Research Symposium cohosted by the Geology and Marine Sciences departments. The students were Kelly McGarry (Ph.D student; top left), Halle Berger (Master’s student; top right), Sarah McCart (Master’s student; bottom left) and Alec Shub (Master’s student; bottom right). Everyone’s presentations were well received, and Sarah McCart even won the graduate student poster competition!
The event featured two keynote speakers; Professor Margaret Rubega of UConn, and Professor Tim Cronin of MIT. Professor Rubega talked about science communication and how the scientific community could better communicate their climate change research to non-scientists without using overbearing jargon and too many words. Professor Cronin gave a speech on his past research on the suppression of Arctic air formation with climate warming.
By Callie Concannon
A new website highlighting the Long Island Sound Habitat Mapping Initiative went live on Earth Day. The website provides information on the background and motivation for the mapping initiative, summaries of the field work conducted, interpretive story maps describing some of the results, links to data products and publications generated and multimedia links to images and video of at-sea operations that illustrate the beauty and complexity of the underwater habitats of the Sound.
Graduate students Sean Ryan and Halle Berger received Honourable Mention awards (top 10 graduate student presentations) for their presentations at the 2019 Benthic Ecology Meeting in St. John’s Newfoundland. Halle Berger, co-advised by Profs. Samantha Siedlecki and Catherine Matassa, was awarded for her interdisciplinary talk “Using regional oceanographic forecasts to assess the vulnerability of the Dungeness crab to climate change stressors.” Sean Ryan (advisor Catherine Matassa) was awarded for his poster “Induced herbivore resistance varies with latitude in the rockweed Fucus vesiculosus.” Sean and Halle were among ~180 student presenters at the meeting. Congratulations on your accomplishments, Halle and Sean!
The Lund lab recently published a paper in Earth and Planetary Science Letters on hydrothermal scavenging of trace metals at the East Pacific Rise. The results suggest that 230Th, a radionuclide commonly used to constrain sediment accumulation rates on the seafloor, is highly sensitive to changes in hydrothermal output, with important implications for the use of 230Th in paleoclimate and geochemical studies (https://davidlund.wixsite.com/averypointpaleo/page4).
21 March 2019. Marine Environmental Research just published a study about long-term ecological change in eastern Long Island Sound based on data collected by Project Oceanology! This non-profit ocean literacy organization has educated middle and high school students on boat trips to nearby estuarine sites for decades. For the first time, the digitization of these data allowed their quantitative evaluation, offering insights into the abiotic and biotic changes in nearshore waters of Eastern Long Island Sound.
- Citizen-science observations revealed rapid warming, acidification, and dissolved oxygen loss over the past 40 years in eastern Long Island Sound
- Otter trawl catches showed significant decreases in overall species diversity and richness
- Cold-water adapted species (American lobster, winter flounder) decreased, but warm-water adapted species (spider crabs) increased since 1997
Mentored by Professor Hans Dam and Ph.D. student Matthew Sasaki, Undergraduate students Sydney Hedberg and Kailin Richardson (participants in the UConn-Mystic Aquarium Research-Experience-for-Undergraduates Program, http://www.mysticaquarium.org/reu/) carried out experiments that yield important insights into how zooplankton respond to warming. The results of the work are now published in the journal Royal Society Open Science (https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.182115). The research shows that predicting the vulnerability of populations to global warming involves complex interactions between evolutionary adaptation, phenotypic plasticity, and sex (females rule !). The paper has two important implications. Surprisingly, tropical populations are more at risk because animals are already living near their thermal limits. In addition, because of the low survival of males, populations facing warming may be limited by the ability of males to fertilize females.
Photos by Hans Dam
More than 15 faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduates from the Department of Marine Sciences presented their research at last week’s ASLO (Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography) 2019 Aquatic Sciences Meeting in San Juan Puerto Rico. DMS presentations reflected the diversity of our faculty’s research disciplines and approaches, including coral reefs, plankton ecology and physiology, nitrogen cycling, microplastics, salt marshes, and ecosystem impacts of storm events.
Faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the Department of Marine Sciences participated in the 22nd annual Quahog Bowl held on UConn’s Avery Point campus. This year, sixteen high-school teams competed in the event which is a regional competition for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. Members of the Department served as science judges, science graders, score keepers, and in other capacities at the annual event. The competition was fierce, and in the end the team from Science and Technology Magnet School A (New London, CT) won by besting the team from Coginchaug Regional High School (Durham, CT). Overall, all teams had a fun and educational day.