Tag Archives: Prokaryotes

Ocean Deserts: it’s a hard life in the tropics, but not if you’re small

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Subtropical gyres are an extreme environment that covers approximately 30 % of the planet’s surface

Think of an extreme environment where life survives in the ocean. What springs to mind? The mind boggling pressures and eerie quiet of the deep-sea perhaps? Maybe the icy environments at the poles? Possibly even an estuary, where organisms are flung from one salinity extreme to the other on a daily basis. There is another extreme environment though, one which few of you probably even considered, one that covers about 30% of the planet and is currently expanding under the influence of climate change: large swirling systems of rotating currents that occur in the centre of oceans known as subtropical gyres.  Continue reading Ocean Deserts: it’s a hard life in the tropics, but not if you’re small

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It takes a special kind of person to be a phytoplankton ecologist

Within my first two years of undergrad, I’ve been lucky enough to participate in two research programs, at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City, North Carolina, and at UT’s Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas. Despite nearly 1000 miles separating the two places, there were several striking similarities. Between the charmingly goofy professors, the diverse group of undergrads (many of which are sometimes crammed into one small dorm room), and the laid back atmosphere of beach towns, I felt like I have a pretty good knowledge of what a typical marine science research extravaganza entailed, that is, until all of that was crammed onto a 135-foot boat. Continue reading It takes a special kind of person to be a phytoplankton ecologist