52 posts in In the News

Inspired by Northern clingfish, researchers make a better suction cup

The finger-sized Northern clingfish employs one of the best suction cups in the world. A small disk on its belly can attach to wet, slimy, even rough surfaces and hold up to 230 times its own body weight. A University of Washington team inspired by the clingfish’s suction power set out to develop an artificial suction cup that borrows from nature’s design. Their prototype, described in a paper published Sept. 9 in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, actually performed better than the clingfish.

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Kīlauea lava fuels phytoplankton bloom in the North Pacific Ocean

A new study co-authored by University of Washington researchers examines the effects of molten lava that flowed into the ocean as the result of the eruption of Kilauea volcano in Hawai’i from April to August 2018.

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What motivates people to join — and stick with — citizen science projects?

One of the most established hands-on, outdoor citizen science projects is the University of Washington-based Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, COASST, which trains beachgoers along the West Coast, from California to Alaska, to monitor their local beach for dead birds. With about 4,500 participants in its 21-year history and roughly 800 active participants today, COASST’s long-term success is now the subject of scientific study in its own right. What makes people join citizen science projects, and what motivates people to stick with them over years?

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Deep submersible dives shed light on rarely explored coral reefs

Corals that live in the mesophotic zone

Just beyond where conventional scuba divers can go is an area of the ocean that still is largely unexplored. In waters this deep — about 100 to at least 500 feet below the surface — little to no light breaks through.

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Tiny fishes fuel life on coral reefs

Most bottom-dwelling fish try to avoid predation through hiding or camouflage. This colorful bluebelly blenny fish scans its surroundings with its head sticking out of its hole.

In a paper published May 23 in Science, a team of international researchers from Simon Fraser University, University of Washington and other institutions reveals that the iconic abundance of fishes on reefs is fueled by an unlikely source: tiny, bottom-dwelling reef fishes.

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Exploring Our Watery World at UW’s Aquatic Science Open House

On May 4th, the University of Washington held its second annual Aquatic Science Open House, inviting Seattle-area families, students, and teachers to explore the institution’s marine and freshwater science programs. The event was organized by the Students Explore Aquatic Sciences (SEAS) outreach group based in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS) and the Academic and Recreational Graduate Oceanographers (ARGO) outreach group based in the School of Oceanography. 

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Arsenic-breathing life discovered in the tropical Pacific Ocean

Image of California’s Mono Lake taken from the brown rocky shore

“We’ve known for a long time that there are very low levels of arsenic in the ocean,” said co-author Gabrielle Rocap, a UW professor of oceanography. “But the idea that organisms could be using arsenic to make a living — it’s a whole new metabolism for the open ocean.”

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José M. Guzmán receives UW Distinguished Teaching Award

José teaching in FSH 250: Marine Biology

José M. Guzmán, Acting Instructor within the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, is one of this year’s seven recipients of the University of Washington’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

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UW instructors get out of their comfort zone and adopt classroom technologies to enhance the student learning experience

Marine biology instructor José Guzmán flipped his classroom; upending the traditional way of teaching and learning, with instructors delivering lectures online so students can learn outside the classroom at their own pace and time. More interactive activities, such as tackling case studies, move into the classroom, allowing students to work together and with the instructor to solve problems. Video has become a key tool to deliver important material outside the classroom, which had been previously done in a lecture format.

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Tide Bites: A Unique Challenge: Marine Subtidal Ecology at UW Friday Harbor Labs

“Tide Bites” is the monthly newsletter of UW Friday Harbor Laboratories. This month, two of the instructors of the Marine Subtidal Ecology course Dive Officer Pema Kitaeff and Dr. Alex Lowe write about what it takes to be a scientific diver at the University of Washington. This course is currently scheduled to be offered in the summer of even years (the next offering will be summer 2020) at Friday Harbor Labs, and interested students are encouraged to contact the Marine Biology Adviser for more information.

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