CoML in the News

Census Investigators track small salmon from the Rockies to Alaska
  New miniaturized tagging technology is allowing Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking (POST) researchers to shed light on the movements of juvenile salmon over vast distances. Originating at the site of their release in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, two little smolt were tracked all the way out into the Pacific and North to Alaskan waters, a journey of almost 3,000 km. POST's results are also challenging the accepted science regarding the affect of hydroelectric dams on juvenile salmon mortality. This Census work is the subject of a new paper published today by POST scientists in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) online journal PLoS Biology. The associated press release, video, animation, and image gallery are available on the POST website.

Census Researcher Will Receive the 2009 TED Prize
  Census researcher Sylvia Earle, dubbed "Her Deepness" by the New York Times, will be awarded the 2009 TED Prize for her dedication to the global ocean and its marine life. With more than 6,000 hours underwater and four decades of exploration in, research on, and advocacy for the ocean realm, Dr. Earle's work is dedicated to educating the public on the importance of the world ocean both in our daily lives and the health of the planet. The prize is awarded annually in the spring at the Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) conference and, in addition to a monetary prize, grants the winner "One Wish to Change the World". Past winner E.O. Wilson's wish led to the creation the Encyclopedia of Life. Please join us in congratulating Syliva in this achievement and stay tuned for her "One Wish to Change the World".

For more information on the TED Prize visit link: TED Prize

Tuna birth certificates and sustaining ecosystem services: Two recent publications by Census researchers
 Recently published in Science, an article by TOPP Scientists addresses the connections between different populations of bluefin tuna in the Atlantic. Studying the chemical composition of otoliths (ear bones), from both juvenile and adult specimens in various locations, researchers were able to detect chemical signatures, which serve as a kind of "birth certificate," identifying where each fish was born. Their results suggest that Atlantic bluefin tuna populations migrate and mix with other populations during foraging periods but return to home waters to spawn. Click here to see the Abstract.

Another recent publication by Census investigators in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment is the result of the 2006 U.S. CoML Biodiversity Workshop. The paper discusses the links between ecosystem biodiversity and the essential functions of the ecosystem as well as how ecosystem health is essential in maintaining such services as fisheries, water quality, shoreline protection and recreation. Results suggest that while biodiversity may not be the only goal of ecosystem management, it can serve as an indicator when evaluating the impacts of human activity on ecosystem function. Click here to access the Abstract.

Census Explorers Find Hundreds of Undescribed Corals and Other Species
 While systematically exploring three well-known coral reef sites in Australian waters, CReefs researchers have encountered a treasure trove of new species. On recent expeditions to Lizard and Heron Islands on the Great Barrier Reef, and to Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia, CReefs researchers conducted the first systematic inventory of these sites with the goal of providing a baseline from which to gauge future change in these habitats. The CReefs team also deployed Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (AIMS), which will be recovered at a future date, and help scientists understand the patterns and rates of recolonization on these reefs. In addition to the multitude of undescribed species, researchers also encountered many strange and beautiful sea creatures including scores of amphipods, dozens of small crustacean species, parasitic isopods, soft corals and rare jellyfish, among others.

Browse the Image Gallery, view Video and read the full Press Release

Census Aids Students' Investigation of Mislabeled Fish
 Census Aids Students' Investigation of Mislabeled Fish Two New York City high school friends, curious about new DNA barcoding technology, discovered that fish at local stores and restaurants are commonly mislabeled and sold for far more than regular market price. Trinity School students Kate Stoeckle and Louisa collected 60 fish samples from 14 stores and restaurants in Upper Manhattan in New York City. The girls sent the samples to Canada's University of Guelph Biodiversity Institute of Ontario to obtain their genetic barcodes. A quarter (14 of 56) of the usable samples were mislabeled - in all cases as higher-priced or more-desirable fish species. In two cases, DNA barcode tests revealed that filleted fish sold as the popular Red Snapper (caught mostly off the southeast U.S. and in the Caribbean) was instead the endangered Acadian Redfish (which swims in the North Atlantic). The students' report marks the first marketplace application of the four-year-old DNA barcoding technology.

To read the news release:
To read media coverage:

Ocean Tracking Network Up and Running
 The first new line of the Ocean Tracking Network is operational. Between June 10 and June 23, dozens of Atlantic salmon tagged with tiny acoustic transmitters crossed the 22 km line of acoustic receivers, deployed by the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN), in the waters off of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Scientists hope that the network will provide some answers to what happens to the declining populations of Atlantic salmon once they reach the ocean. OTN was inspired by the success of the Pacific Shelf Tracking Project (POST), which it will sustain, and Census Senior Scientist Ron O'Dor has dubbed this line "POST East."

TOPP Sea Turtle Team Publishes in PLoS
 On July 15, 2008 the TOPP Sea Turtle Team presented an analysis of the largest multi-year satellite tracking data set for leatherback turtles in the Public Library of Science's (PLoS) Biology journal. Their results suggest that the turtles' migrations are shaped by strong ocean currents, which provides a biological rationale for the development of multi-scale conservation strategies that take into account this current-induced, cross-boundary movement and potential fisheries interactions. This work will provide current management programs with directions for future efforts. For more information please visit the PLoS Biology website.


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Census Conversations

CMarZ researcher Dr. Ahmet Kideys loves his work so much that he jokes that he would be willing to pay for what he sees and experiences. He studies the impact of invasive ctenophores on plankton and other major ecosystem groups in the Black and Caspian Seas.
To read more about Dr. Kidey's investigative work, visit Conversations.

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