Category: Research Updates

When is a Spider not a Spider? | @mblwoodshole

Anoplodactylus sp., sea spiders (class Pycnogonida) caught in Vineyard Sound. Pycnogonids are marine arthropods, not actual spiders, and are found from the Caribbean to the Polar seas. A video posted by Marine Biological Laboratory (@mblwoodshole) on Sep 9, 2016 at 5:45pm PDT

Decrypting Cuttlefish Confrontation

Decrypting Cuttlefish Confrontation

By Raleigh McElvery Animal communication is more nuanced than one might think. During confrontation between members of the same species, some animals communicate different levels of aggressive intent through distinct behavioral displays, as outlined by a theory known as the “hierarchical signaling hypothesis.” This theory states that low-risk displays of aggression predict the performance of

Continue reading

The Plum Island Estuary: Studying how Marshes Respond to Sea-Level Rise | Science Nation

The Plum Island Estuary: Studying how Marshes Respond to Sea-Level Rise | Science Nation

Anne Giblin, interim director of the MBL Ecosystems Center, leads a team of researchers studying how Massachusetts salt marshes are holding up in the face of climate change, land-use changes and sea-level rise. Video produced by Science Nation/The National Science Foundation. Read more. Top image: Salt marsh hay (Spartina patens) at Plum Island Estuary in

Continue reading

Understanding diverse microbial communities: An interview with A. Murat Eren (Meren) | The Molecular Ecologist

Understanding diverse microbial communities: An interview with A. Murat Eren (Meren) | The Molecular Ecologist

Soon after A. Murat Eren (known as Meren) came to the MBL’s Bay Paul Center as a postdoctoral scientist in 2011, he began turning heads with his creative, computation-based approaches to visualizing and discovering microbial diversity. Today, Meren is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago, an MBL Fellow, and a faculty member in

Continue reading

Do hydra sleep? Grass Fellow searches for behavioral cycles in primitive nervous system

Do hydra sleep? Grass Fellow searches for behavioral cycles in primitive nervous system

By Raleigh McElvery Compared to the human brain, built from hundreds of billions of tightly clustered nerve cells, the hydra brain (or “nerve net”) can function with a mere 10,000 widely dispersed neurons. A relative of the jellyfish, this tiny, tubular and tentacled species (H. vulgaris) provides insight into the primitive organization of the nervous

Continue reading

Strengthening coastal food webs by counting the microbes too | Science Life

Strengthening coastal food webs by counting the microbes too | Science Life

Coastal ecologists from the MBL and the University of Chicago convened last fall to explore the “invisibles” in coastal food webs. How do plants and animals in the food chain interact with microbes in the environment, and how do those interactions affect the cycling of elements, such as nitrogen, through the coastal ecosystem? Read more

Continue reading

MBL friendly octopus eggs are hatching!

By Raleigh McElvery It may come as a surprise that an octopus could be the next “lab rat.” MBL research fellow Eric Edsinger is developing Octopus laqueus — also called the “friendly octopus” because it is less cannibalistic than other octopus species — as a possible genetic model for cephalopods. This requires culturing multiple generations

Continue reading