Author: dls00012

Flying Lab to Investigate Southern Ocean’s Appetite for Carbon

Marine Sciences faculty Dr. Heidi Dierssen and her postdoctoral researchers Dr. Shungudzemwoyo Garaba and Dr. Kaylan Randolph are involved in an interdisciplinary airborne mission of carbon dynamics in the Southern Ocean (the ORCAS mission).  Dr. Garaba is currently aboard the R/V Lawrence Gould stationed along the Antarctic Peninsula to provide ground truth measurements of the hyperspectral imagery from the NASA PRISM sensor.

ORCAS mission
Photo by Jonathan Bent

Professor Hans G. Dam Elected Fellow of Two Prestigious Scientific Associations – AAAS and ASLO

Hans DamHans G. Dam, a professor in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Connecticut, has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal Science.

Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. Fellows are those whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished. As part of the Biological Sciences Section, Dam was elected as an AAAS Fellow for “distinguished contributions to the field of biological oceanography, particularly plankton carbon cycling and zooplankton evolutionary ecology.”

Professor Dam was also elected to the inaugural class of fellows of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), the leading professional organization for researchers and educators in the field of aquatic science. Fellows are recognized for having achieved excellence in their contributions to ASLO and the aquatic sciences.

New AAAS Fellows will be recognized on Feb 13 during the 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The 2015 ASLO Fellows will be honored at the ASLO Meeting in Santa Fe in June 2016.

Professor Dam joined the Department of Marine Sciences in 1991. He is widely published in scholarly journals in oceanography, marine biology and evolution. His current research interests are mechanistic understanding of plankton adaptation to global change. Professor Dam was previously elected a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (2007) and the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences (2009).

Click here for the CLAS announcement:

Small But Mighty: The Astounding Genome of the Dinoflagellate

The dinoflagellates aren’t happy.

In good times, these tiny ocean creatures live free-floating in the ocean or symbiotically with corals, serving up—or as—lunch to a host of mollusks, tiny fish and coral species. Some of them make glowing waves at night because they are bioluminescent.

But when conditions are wrong dinoflagellates poison shellfish beds and cause coral reefs to die.

Read the complete UConn Today article by Kim Krieger here:

This article was also featured on NSF’s Science 360 News webpage:

2015 Taste, Touch, and Smell of Science

On Saturday, September 26, 2015, 14 Marine Sciences graduate students put on another successful installment of Taste, Touch, and Smell of Science marine science day camp.  The camp held annually is an entirely graduate-run program which serves local and under privileged middle school students ages 9-13.  The day’s activities included a trip on the Eviro Lab II, boat time donated by Project Oceanology, and several interactive activities put on by graduate students for a group of 19 middle schoolers.  A special thanks to Connecticut Sea Grant, Department of Marine Sciences, and Project Oceanology for making this fun-filled and educational day possible.

Photos by Gihong Park

Paper by Prof. Rob Mason and Emeritus Prof. Bill Fitzgerald achieves citation milestone

The Mason, Fitzgerald and Morel 1994 titled “The biogeochemical cycling of elemental mercury: Anthropogenic influences”, published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 58: 3191-3198  ( reached a milestone recently of more than 1000 citations. This paper provided a detailed examination of the influence of human activity on the global mercury cycle that is still relevant today. The paper was completed at the end of Rob’s PhD studies in the Department of Marine Sciences under Fitzgerald, and during his post-doc at MIT with Morel. The paper was based on a presentation made at a symposium “Topics in Global Geochemistry” in honor of Clair C. Patterson on 3–4 December 1993 in Pasadena, California, USA.