The Department of Marine Sciences is excited to be well represented at Ocean Sciences 2020 in San Diego next week. With 22 presentations by faculty, students, and researchers and an exhibition booth, there are lots of ways to find out more about our research and opportunities in our department. See the full list of presentations below.
Former Marine Sciences graduate student, Dr. Maria Rosa, named as an Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education magazine (https://diverseeducation.com/2020-emerging-scholars/). For the past 19 years, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education has recognized an interdisciplinary group of minority scholars who represent the very best of the U.S. academy. Emerging Scholars are selected from hundreds of nominations, and those professors selected have distinguished themselves in their various academic disciplines and are actively working to make our society more equitable and just. This year, former Marine Sciences graduate student, Maria Rosa was one of fifteen professors nation-wide selected for the honor. Maria completed her PhD degree in 2016 (major advisor: Dr. J. Evan Ward), spent two years as a NSF-funded postdoctoral scholar at Stony Brook University (mentor: Dr. Dianna Padilla), and is currently the George and Carol Milne Assistant Professor of Biology at Connecticut College.
9 December 2019. During the COP25 summit in Madrid, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) released its latest comprehensive report titled “Ocean deoxygenation: everyone’s problem” that compiles the current evidence for the ongoing, man-made decline in the oceans oxygen levels. The 588 page, 11 chapter wake-up call to these detrimental changes was produced by leading experts in the field. UConn DMS faculty Baumann is one of the co-authors in chapter 6 “Multiple stressors – forces that combine to worsen deoxygenation and its effects”.
From the executive summary:
“The equilibrium state of the ocean-atmosphere system has been perturbed these last few decades with the ocean becoming a source of oxygen for the atmosphere even though its oxygen inventory is only ~0.6% of that of the atmosphere. Different analyses conclude that the global ocean oxygen content has decreased by 1-2% since the middle of the 20th century. Global warming is expected to have contributed to this decrease, directly because the solubility of oxygen in warmer waters decreases, and indirectly through changes in the physical and biogeochemical dynamics.”
Access to the full report:
Chapter 6. Multiple stressors – forces that combine to worsen deoxygenation and its effects (5.86 MB) https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/06%20DEOX.pdf
Researchers at UConn and U Vermont carry out experimental evolution studies to assess the scope for evolution of marine zooplankton under greenhouse (high temperature and high CO2) conditions. They explain their approach in a lay-audience video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrI2188-ejM&feature=youtu.be).
Professor Samantha Siedlecki was recently featured in UConn Today, a wide audience publication produced by the university’s Office of Communications. The article highlights her background and cutting-edge research projects.
21 November 2019. Members of the Evolutionary Fish Ecology lab (befel.marinesciences.uconn.edu) are excited to announce that Conservation Physiology has just published our ground-breaking research on the unusual, high sensitivity of Northern sand lance embryos to acidification and warming. Dr. Chris Murray, who recently graduated from UConn with his Ph.D. and now pursues his post-doctoral research at the University of Washington, is the lead author of this study, which was funded by a Northeast Regional SeaGrant project and conducted in collaboration with NOAA colleagues from Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
Our study suggests that organisms that develop slowly in offshore, temperate/subpolar habitats are likely most vulnerable to the combined effects of increasing temperature and acidification in the ocean.
Murray, C.S.*, Wiley, D., and Baumann, H. (2019) High sensitivity of a keystone forage fish to elevated CO2 and temperature. Conservation Physiology 7:1-12
The bi-annual week-long conference, International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP) was held in Krakow in Poland in September. During this conference academic researchers, consultants, policy makers and companies that specialize in mercury analytical instrumentation showcased recent developments in their specific areas. Graduate and undergraduate students and faculty from the Department of Marine Sciences (listed below) presented their findings on mercury in atmosphere and marine environment and enlarged their professional networks. The Distinguished Professor (emeritus) William Fitzgerald, who has pioneered the field of Marine Mercury in the Department of Marine Sciences here at UConn, was also among the attendees (seen on one of the photographs with his former student and current UConn faculty, Prof. Robert Mason).
Dr. Robert Mason, Professor
Dr. Zofia Baumann, Assistant Research Professor
Mackenzie Blanusa, Undergraduate
Gunnar Hansen, Ph.D student
Yipeng He, Ph.D student
Wesley Huffman, Ph.D student
Patricia Myer, Ph.D student
Work from Professor Hans Dam’s laboratory (https://marinesciences.uconn.edu/faculty/dam/) led by Ph.D. student, Matthew Sasaki (https://marinesciences.uconn.edu/students/sasaki/) shows that zooplankton vulnerability to warming depends on a complex interplay of population dispersion, local adaptation, and phenotypic plasticity. Thus predicting the fate of the oceanic biota to climate change is a multifaceted issue that requires careful integration of oceanography, ecology, and evolution.
The work (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/gcb.14811) is published in the prestigious journal Global Change Biology, and is also highlighted in a lay-audience article (https://today.uconn.edu/2019/09/ocean-dweller-ability-respond-warming-waters-location/?utm_source=listserv&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily&utm_content=uconn-today) in the online Magazine, UConn Today.