Kelly Lombardo Wins NSF CAREER Award

Assistant professor of marine sciences Kelly Lombardo was awarded $583,701 for her project, titled “The Response of Coastal Squall Line Dynamics to Climate Change.”

The project will quantify the impact of a changing climate on severe thunderstorms over the eastern U.S. coastal region. In particular, the work will emphasize squall lines, or lines of thunderstorms, which can account for a third of all severe weather over the coastal Northeast. The population density of the northeastern U.S. creates a condition for great societal impact from these severe storms. Based on global circulation models that project an increase in U.S. summertime severe storm activity, this work will combine existing climate scenario projections and mesoscale numerical modeling techniques.

In addition to the training of undergraduate and graduate students, Lombardo’s research includes a component of public outreach and education towards improved communications between scientists and the public regarding weather and climate.

Click here to read more:  https://today.uconn.edu/2018/06/eight-uconn-faculty-win-nsf-career-awards/

Kelly Lombardo

Scientists are using DNA to study ocean life and reveal the hidden diversity of zooplankton

  • copepod
    Copepod with eggs (blue) (Matt Wilson/Jay Clark, NOAA NMFS AFSC)
  • Norwegian Research Vessel
    Norwegian Research Vessel (Ann Bucklin, UConn)
  • MOC10 launch
    MOC10 launch (Peter H. Wiebe, WHOI)
  • MOC10 hauling in
    MOC10 Hauling in (Peter H. Wiebe, WHOI)
  • Zooplankton with Barcodes
    Zooplankton with Barcodes (Photo: R.R. Hopcroft, UAF)

Marine zooplankton are tiny animals, roughly the size of insects you might see on a summer day, that drift with ocean currents. Many of them are lovely, but except for scientists who study them, few people are aware that they are among the most numerous – and important – animals on Earth.

Click here to read the complete article by Professor Ann Bucklin: https://theconversation.com/scientists-are-using-dna-to-study-ocean-life-and-reveal-the-hidden-diversity-of-zooplankton-97815

 

UConn – Mystic Aquarium team-up for Marine Biology (MARN 3014)

One of the payoffs of the partnership that UConn Avery Point has with Mystic Aquarium and its Sea Research Foundation is courses that give students an opportunity to learn firsthand about potential jobs in the marine sciences and to conduct research at the famous aquarium. MARN 3014 is one of those classes.

Click here to read more: https://magazine.uconn.edu/2018/05/17/marine-biology-marn-3014/

Ann Bucklin-Tracy Romano
Ann Bucklin, left, and Tracy Romano stand near the Avery Point Lighthouse on March 27, 2018. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

PhD student Vena Haynes awarded 2018-2019 STEM Chateaubriand Fellowship

PhD student Vena Haynes has been awarded the 2018-2019 STEM Chateaubriand Fellowship supported by President Emmanuel Macron’s ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’ initiative. As a Chateaubriand Fellow, Vena will complete a portion of her dissertation research at the Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Environnement Marin (LEMAR) in Brest, France under the advisement of Dr. Ika Paul-Pont. Over 4 months, starting April 2019, she will investigate the interactive effects of UV radiation and titanium dioxide nanoparticles on the early life stages of the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas.

 

Vena Haynes

Climate Modeling Workshop

On May 3rd Marine Sciences and Geosciences hosted a joint Climate Modeling Symposium and Workshop at Avery Point.  The goals of the symposium and workshop were to build collaborations between individuals in Marine Sciences, Geosciences, and Geography who work on issues related to climate change and foster research and education on this important topic.

26 participants listened to seven faculty from three different departments speak about their current research.  After the talks, a discussion session allowed free exchange of questions and ideas regarding climate modeling and research.  The event ended with a mini-workshop and plans for future gatherings on the topic of climate change.

Climate Modeling Workshop

DNA methylation and “Arms Race” at the molecular level in dinoflagellates

Dr. Senjie Lin and colleagues in several countries published a discovery that DNA methylation, an immune like mechanism in unicellular organisms to silence expression of “invading” DNA, has been “hijacked” by a type of invading DNA (retroposon) in dinoflagellates and other eukaryotes. Recently published in Nature Communications, the work suggests that at least in the dinoflagellates, the acquired DNA methylation can potentially help the invading DNA to evade the immune like machinery of the cell. If proven, this will be an intriguing case of “arms race” at the molecular level.

Link to the publication: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-03724-9

Lin-Slide1

Unlocking the Genomic Mechanisms of the Atlantic Silverside

Hannes Baumann, an assistant professor in the University of Connecticut’s Department of Marine Sciences is the co-PI on a project which has received more than $325,000 from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative project to study this perplexing phenomenon with Nina Therkildsen, PI on this project and assistant professor of natural resources at Cornell University. The total funding for this project is $1.2 million over three years.

Baumann and Therkildsen’s project will begin by characterizing genome-wide patterns of differentiation in silverside fish populations. The silverside exhibits a remarkable degree of local adaptation for several traits including growth rates.

You can read the complete article by Anna Zarra Aldrich here: https://today.uconn.edu/school-stories/unlocking-genomic-mechanisms-atlantic-silverside/.

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Hannes Baumann and his research team sampling silversides with a beach seine in Mumford Cove, CT. (Chris Murray/UConn Photo)

ICES Service Award to Ann Bucklin

Ann Bucklin received an award for service from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Council, Science Committee, and Secretariat.

The Service Award was given in recognition of her leading role in the ICES community, including contributions to ICES as Chair of the Working Group on Integrated Morphological and Molecular Taxonomy (WGIMT, see http://www.ices.dk/community/groups/Pages/WGIMT.aspx and http://wgimt.net/) from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2017. Ann remains an active member of WGIMT and ICES!

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Annual 2017 meeting of ICES WGIMT in Bolougne-sur-mer, France. Photo P.H. Wiebe (WHOI).

Oceanography Graduate receives NASA New Investigator Award

Building off of her Ph.D. and postdoctoral research in Marine Sciences, Kaylan (Kate) Randolph, from the Dierssen COLORS Lab, was recently awarded a NASA New Investigator Program in Earth Sciences grant to characterize the hyperspectral reflectance of breaking waves with subsurface turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rates, and air entrainment as a function of physical forcing conditions. Kate (pictured on the R.V. Laurence Gould in Punta Arenas, Chile with collaborator Ale Cifuentes-Lorenzen) will be deploying above-water autonomous hyperspectral radiometers from the Air-Sea Interaction Tower at Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory (WHOI). These measurements will be paired with subsurface acoustical and optical instrumentation to tackle the physics behind ocean color. Kate’s ongoing efforts to study ocean surface physics also include active collaborations with Chris Zappa at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Ale Cifuentes-Lorenzen at UConn (pending NSF).

 

Randolph-Cifuentes-Lorenzen