Polar bears rely heavily on sea ice to search for prey, and in Baffin Bay between Canada and Greenland, such ice-associated searching halts during ice-free months. However, since 1979, higher temperatures have resulted in the ice-free season in this region increasing by 12 days per decade in this region. Now, satellite-tags placed on 81 polar bears in Baffin Bay reveal that polar bears greatly reduced the area in which they forage between 1991-95 and 2009-15, by as much as 70% in summer.Read more
Alexandre N. Zerbini (PhD, 2006)
It all started on a warm morning in the summer on the beach in my home country of Brazil when I was about 10 years old. I went for a walk with my father and three brothers when we came across a dead dolphin. It was a franciscana (scientifically known as Pontoporia blainvillei), one of the smallest cetaceans, and a species endemic to the western South Atlantic Ocean.
Josh London (PhD, 2006)
The University of Washington seemed like an odd choice for a kid from Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, after a visit to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, I knew where I wanted to be. And, even though I was initially not accepted, the UW became home for nearly 15 years. And, Seattle has been home for 25 years.
As a freshman, I signed up for the wildlife science program in the College of Forest Resources.
Donna Hauser (BS, 2003; MS, 2006; PhD, 2016)
I grew up in Alaska, with wilderness always at my fingertips and primed to study marine biology from my first undergraduate days at UW. Yet the transition to Seattle’s urban environment was challenging until I found a home at SAFS, where professors knew your name, your classmates were your allies, and learning was by experience.
Amanda L. Bradford (MS, 2003; PhD, 2011)
I didn’t start off a “dolphin hugger,” as they say in the field of marine mammal science, but rather came to appreciate the unique anatomical, physiological, behavioral, and ecological adaptations of marine mammals while pursuing my BS in Marine Biology at Texas A&M University at Galveston. There, I had an incredible mentor, Dr. Bernd Würsig, who was both world-renowned in this field and extremely supportive of students.
A new study examines the overall environmental effects of eating different kinds of foods, comparing the energy required, greenhouse-gas emissions produced, release of nutrients harming water quality, and compounds causing acidification; and also looking at freshwater demands, and the use of pesticides and antibiotics. The review examined 148 life cycle analysis documents that cover the complete impacts of each food production source from start to finish.Read more
A new genetic analysis of Pacific cod has identified more than 6000 genetic markers, and demonstrates that their DNA diverges steadily with distance, which is termed “isolation by distance”. The results allow researchers to identify where Pacific cod are caught to within 220 km, even if the unknown Pacific cod come from a population that was not included in the original analysis.Read more
Sablefish is a highly valuable wild-caught fish on the west coast of North America that can also be easily cultured in aquaculture facilities. However, when reared at high densities in pens, disease outbreaks can be a problem, especially a bacteria that causes a disease named furunculosis. A new study examines the effectiveness of a vaccine developed by the company AquaTactics, to test whether this vaccine protects against furunculosis when injected into fish, or when the fish are immersed for one minute in a vaccine solution.Read more
Many scientific fields require long-term monitoring of regions using sensors that are fixed in place, such as weather stations or acoustic stations that monitor fish abundance. These sensors produce high-quality streams of data in time, but typically over a small proportion of the study area. A long-standing sampling design problem is calculating how many sensors should be deployed to accurately estimate amounts of monitored variables such as rainfall.Read more
A new analysis of DNA differences between populations of pink salmon in the North Pacific reveals some fascinating insights into how these populations first arose and how they are related. Pink salmon all come back to spawn exactly two years after their parents spawned, which means that pink salmon coming back in even years (2014, 2016, 2018, etc.) are distinct from those coming back in odd years (2013, 2015, 2017, etc.).Read more