Tag Archives: David Aldridge

Challenger 2012 (Selected keynote lectures): David Righton (CEFAS) – Fish behaving madly: How integrating oceanography and behaviour can help us think like a fish

The 15th Biennial Challenger Conference for Marine Science recently took place at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, on 3-6 September 2012. There were over 100 talks, 150 posters, a contentious debate on wind power, and a talk on how the UK can maintain its current research infrastructure. Over the next week or so Words in mOcean will be bringing you a recap of the best of the action, starting with four of the keynote lectures. Today’s recap is on the lecture given by David Righton, titled ‘Fish behaving madly: How integrating oceanography and behaviour can help us think like a fish’. Enjoy! Continue reading Challenger 2012 (Selected keynote lectures): David Righton (CEFAS) – Fish behaving madly: How integrating oceanography and behaviour can help us think like a fish

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Challenger 2012 (Selected keynote lectures): Jorge Sarmiento (Princeton University) – A biogeochemical paradigm shift

The 15th Biennial Challenger Conference for Marine Science recently took place at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, on 3-6 September 2012. There were over 100 talks, 150 posters, a contentious debate on wind power, and a talk on how the UK can maintain its current research infrastructure. Over the next week or so Words in mOcean will be bringing you a recap of the best of the action, starting with four of the keynote lectures. Today’s recap is on the lecture given by Jorge Sarmiento, titled ‘A biogeochemical paradigm shift’. Enjoy! Continue reading Challenger 2012 (Selected keynote lectures): Jorge Sarmiento (Princeton University) – A biogeochemical paradigm shift

One-man swimming research vessels set to save UK a fortune

Disclaimer: The following post may not be factually accurrate

Ben Fogle’s attempt to swim the Atlantic, in a wetsuit that will capture information about various aspects of the ocean, has reportedly given the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) an idea for their next round of budget cuts. In a world exclusive, head of NERC, Barry Bureaucracy, revealed to Words in mOcean that the new plans would see “oceanographers given the opportunity to form themselves into ‘one-man swimming research vessels’, freeing up millions of pounds for the Tory government to put directly into bankers’ pockets”. Under this proposal, NERC’s current fleet of research ships (RRS Discovery, James Cook, and James-Clark Ross) would be converted into luxury yachts and sold, at knock-down prices, to hedge-fund managers and Russian billionaires.

Continue reading One-man swimming research vessels set to save UK a fortune

Does phosphate thin foram shells?

The White Cliffs of Dover – like much of southern England, it’s made of calcifying plankton (via http://bit.ly/I90Fd5)

Whenever I look at the iconic White Cliffs of Dover I am reminded of an interesting fact: much of the south of England is made from plankton. Yes, the chalk (calcium carbonate) found here is predominantly composed of plankton – calcifying single-celled plankton to be precise– that sunk to the sea-floor tens of millions of years ago, was compressed to form chalk, and then uplifted into its present position. The two most abundant calcifying planktonic organisms forming this chalk are the coccolithophores, which form stunning blooms visible from space, and the foraminifera (‘forams’ to their friends). Continue reading Does phosphate thin foram shells?

Phytoplankton to the rescue: the promise offered by algal biofuels

‘Green’ fuel (via  http://bit.ly/yYubxE)

President Obama’s administration announced recently that as much as $14 million would be set aside to support the development of biofuels from algae. He was promptly mocked by some sections of the the US media and many of the Republican candidates. Serial ditcher of terminally ill wives, Newt Gingrich, proposed making T-shirts with the slogans, “You have Newt: Drill here, Drill Now, Pay Less. You have Obama: Have Algae, Pay More, Be Weird.” Continue reading Phytoplankton to the rescue: the promise offered by algal biofuels

The truth about the effects of climate change on Antarctica

Since the final climate change episode of ‘Frozen Planet’ aired this week I have encountered three attempts to discredit the science: one statement1 by Nigel Lawson and two articles2, 3 by Chrisopher Booker (the first of which accuses the BBC of presenting a one-sided argument, when if anything they made too much of an effort to be balanced – not once did they blame humans for the changes observed). In what I am sure is a pure coincidence, all of these retorts were commissioned by The Global Warming Policy Foundation. This registered ‘charity’ is a think tank, funded by secret donors, that claims to be:

Continue reading The truth about the effects of climate change on Antarctica

I’m a marine biologist, but…

…I wish that what I did sounded a bit less interesting.

Let me explain: I really do love what I do, but what I dread more than anything else is telling ‘non marine biologists’ about it. You see, there are (generally) only two responses that you get when you tell someone that you are a marine biologist:

This is what most of my friends think I do at work (from http://bit.ly/waMItn)

1) “So what the hell are you going to do with that?” often accompanied by a look of bemusement suggesting that you are currently in the process of throwing your life away

Or, and I think this is actually worse…

2) “Wow, so do you get to work with (swim with) sharks, dolphins, whales, turtles (etc.) then?”

Continue reading I’m a marine biologist, but…