Conservation

All Eyes on ARG: Bodega Marine Lab’s Best-Kept Secret

What does it take to study the ocean? It’s a lot harder than you might think, considering most marine research happens in a lab instead of the ocean itself. Imagine you are starting a project at Bodega Marine Laboratory (BML) and given only two weeks with limited funding to set up your study and collect all of the data you need to answer your research question. Data collection is an enormous task, but have you ever thought about the time it takes to replicate ocean environments on land?

Ultrasounds for Abalone

The world’s abalone are threatened, endangered or otherwise vulnerable in nearly every corner of the planet. While captive breeding efforts are underway for some species, these giant sea snails are notoriously difficult to spawn. If only we could wave a magic wand to know when abalone are ready to reproduce, without even touching them. 

Sharp Decline in Basking Shark Sightings in California

About the size of a small school bus, the basking shark is the second largest fish in the ocean and is found in temperate and tropical waters across the globe. In the mid-1900s, basking sharks were observed by the thousands each year off California’s coast. Now they are rarely seen at all in this region, called the California Current Ecosystem, or CCE.

Critically endangered sea star not recovering in the wild, scientists point to the need for restoration efforts

New research documenting the population crash of the iconic sunflower sea star (Pycnopodia helianthoides), and complete absence of population recovery since the 2013 outbreak of the marine wildlife epidemic sea star wasting disease, was published today in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The study calls for new strategies for protecting species impacted by increasingly frequent marine epidemics associated with changing ocean conditions.

Survivors of Climate Driven Abalone Mass Mortality Exhibit Declines in Health and Reproduction Following Kelp Forest Collapse

Marine ecosystems are vulnerable to climate driven events such as marine heatwaves yet we have a poor understanding of whether they will collapse or recover. Kelp forests are known to be susceptible, and there has been a rise in sea urchin barrens around the world. When temperatures increase so do physiological demands while food resources decline, tightening metabolic constraints. In this case study, we examine red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) looking at sublethal impacts and their prospects for recovery within kelp forests that have shifted to sea urchin barrens.