MERMAID, an open-source tech platform for marine scientists, is for the first time launching an interactive map that provides an insider’s view of the ecosystem data collected from coral reefs by field scientists around the world.Read more
Researchers have 3D printed coral-inspired structures that are capable of growing dense populations of microscopic algae. The work could lead to the development of compact, more efficient bioreactors for producing algae-based biofuels, as well as new techniques to repair and restore coral reefs.Read more
The coral-eating crown of thorns starfish that devastate tropical reefs can lie in wait as harmless young herbivores for more than six years while coral populations recover from previous attacks or coral bleaching, new research has shown.Read more
Soft corals at three sites in the U.S. Virgin Islands were able to recover from the destructive effects of nearly back-to-back Category 5 storms in 2017, but research by a UB marine ecologist puts that seemingly good news in the context of an ecosystem that is dramatically changing.
A study of East African coral reefs has uncovered an unfolding calamity for the region: plummeting fish populations due to overfishing, which in turn could produce widespread food insecurity.Read more
Imagine a device that could swiftly analyze microbes in oceans and other aquatic environments, revealing the health of these organisms – too tiny to be seen by the naked eye – and their response to threats to their ecosystems. Rutgers researchers have created just such a tool, a portable device that could be used to assess microbes, screen for antibiotic-resistant bacteria and analyze algae that live in coral reefs. Their work is published in the journal Scientific Reports.Read more
Microorganisms play important roles in the health and protection of coral reefs, yet exploring these connections can be difficult due to the lack of unspoiled reef systems throughout the global ocean. A collaborative study led by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Centro de Investigaciones Marinas – Universidad de La Habana (CIM-UH) compared seawater from 25 reefs in Cuba and the U.S. Florida Keys varying in human impact and protection, and found that those with higher microbial diversity and lower concentrations of nutrients and organic carbon—primarily caused by human activities—were markedly healthier.Read more
You’d think that losing 25 percent of your genes would be a big problem for survival. But not for red algae, including the seaweed used to wrap sushi. An ancestor of red algae lost about a quarter of its genes roughly one billion years ago, but the algae still became dominant in near-shore coastal areas around the world, according to Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Debashish Bhattacharya, who co-authored a study in the journal Nature Communications.Read more