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139 posts in In the News

‘The blob,’ food supply squeeze to blame for largest seabird die-off

When nearly 1 million common murres died at sea and washed ashore from California to Alaska in 2015 and 2016, it was unprecedented — both for murres, and across all bird species worldwide. Scientists from the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, the U.S. Geological Survey and others blame an unexpected squeeze on the ecosystem’s food supply, brought on by a severe and long-lasting marine heat wave known as “the blob.”

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SAFS Hosts SeaDoc Society Educator Workshop

The University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences recently hosted the SeaDoc Society and its Explore the Salish Sea Educator Workshop with the goal of working with King County-area teachers to meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) by incorporating local Salish Sea issues and topics into their classrooms.

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Resident orcas’ appetite likely reason for decline of big Chinook salmon

Each year orcas consume more than 2.5 million adult Chinook salmon along the West Coast. Except for the endangered southern resident population in Washington, all other fish-eating orca populations that live along the coast, called “residents,” are growing in number. The rise of resident killer whales, and their appetite for large Chinook salmon, is driving a decline of the big fish.

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For some corals, meals can come with a side of microplastics

A new experiment by the University of Washington has found that some corals are more likely to eat microplastics when they are consuming other food, yet microplastics alone are undesirable. Two coral species tested responded differently to the synthetic material, suggesting variations in how corals are adapting to life with microplastics. The study was published Dec. 3 in the journal Scientific Reports.

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Precision mapping with satellite, drone photos could help predict infections of a widespread tropical disease

A team led by the University of Washington and Stanford University has discovered clues in the environment that help identify transmission hotspots for schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease that is second only to malaria in its global health impact. The research, publishing the week of Oct. 28 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses rigorous field sampling and aerial images to precisely map communities that are at greatest risk for schistosomiasis.

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Piranha fish swap old teeth for new simultaneously

With the help of new technologies, a team led by the University of Washington has confirmed that piranhas — and their plant-eating cousins, pacus — do in fact lose and regrow all the teeth on one side of their face multiple times throughout their lives. How they do it may help explain why the fish go to such efforts to replace their teeth.

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