Tag » Plankton

Zooplankton Come in Wild Colors and Shapes
May 19, 2016

Zooplankton Come in Wild Colors and Shapes

TINY ZOOPLANKTON, often juvenile fish, feed on their plantlike cousins, the phytoplankton, at the base of the vast marine food web. Photos from the Cowen Lab show them in their wild and whimsical colorfulness, common names from top left:  sea butterfly, blue button jellyfish, lookdown, armored searobin, octopus and surgeon-fish. (Photos: Cedric Guigand)     […]


March 17, 2016

All good things …

Lessons learned off the Oregon coast

We arrived at the dock at Newport Wednesday evening, unloaded our gear from the ship — including all the samples collected on the cruise — and brought it back to OSU. Angel White and her team are packing up most of their instruments and supplies, and shipping them to Hawaii, where they have another research […]


March 17, 2016

Making it all work: the crew

Science is a team sport. Everyone plays a part.

Wednesday is the last day of the cruise – we are zig-zagging back along the coast and will head back to Newport tonight. I am finally getting the hang of walking and living on a continuously rocking boat, including being shuttled across the lab on a rolling office chair when there’s a big swell. I’ve […]


March 17, 2016

Sleeping, showering and working on the ship

Brace yourself and hold on.

There were many firsts for me Monday and Tuesday. On Monday night, I slept for the first time on the ship while it was moving. Laying in my top bunk, swaying side to side, I could hear the water moving and waves hitting the side of the boat. The motion of the ship rocked me […]


March 16, 2016

A rough ride down the Oregon coast

Down to the Umpqua Hydrographic Line

When you plan a research cruise in the winter in Oregon, there’s a good chance the weather will change your plans. That’s what happened to us this weekend. We were finally able to get back out on the ocean on Monday afternoon and we drove south to the Umpqua Hydrographic line – a seven-hour trip. […]


March 16, 2016

Waiting for the weather to clear

On Sunday afternoon, we headed back to Newport. The scientists and crew were closely watching the weather to see when we will be able to head back on the water. The down time gives Goni and his team some time to filter water samples that were collected from the Newport Hydrographic Line on Friday. The […]


Packing up and heading out
March 11, 2016

Packing up and heading out

After a one-day delay due to bad weather, we finally headed out of Corvallis on Thursday afternoon. With the sun shining, we loaded the gear into Miguel’s truck and headed for the coast. On the way to Newport, where the R/V Oceanus is docked, we stopped to take water samples from the Alsea River and […]


Embarking on a research cruise
March 10, 2016

Embarking on a research cruise

Where rivers meet in the sea

Tonight I will fly to Oregon to meet up with scientists from Oregon State University and embark on my first research cruise. I will be an observer aboard the R/V Oceanus, a mid-sized research vessel owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by OSU. We will be out on the ship for a week, traveling […]


Oceanic Oscillation
April 13, 2015

Oceanic Oscillation

Observing the secret lives of jellyfish

Jessica Luo and Kelly Robinson are jelly lovers — not the jellies you smear on your toast but the ones that float in the ocean, their bell-shaped bodies pulsing like slow-motion heartbeats in the currents of the sea. “I’m just blown away by the beauty and diversity of the jellies,” says Luo, a Ph.D. student […]


Adrift in a Sea of Data
April 3, 2015

Adrift in a Sea of Data

Stunning images of rare zooplankton garner worldwide citizen input

  THEY FLOAT IN THE OCEAN BY THE BILLIONS, these wandering animals whose Greek name means “drifter.” Most are smaller than a pinpoint, their adaptive peculiarities (whip-like propellers, bug-like antennae, hair-like fringes for foraging on algae) visible only under a microscope. Others can be seen with the naked eye, ranging in size from a pencil […]


High Beams
January 24, 2014

High Beams

Electron microscopes light up the world of the small

For a place that takes pictures with what amounts to controlled bursts of lightning, the lab is quiet, almost hushed. Standing in the entrance to Oregon State University’s Electron Microscopy Facility (EMF), you might hear researchers’ soft voices as they discuss the best way to see pollen on a bee’s tongue or to look at […]


Illuminating Plankton
January 23, 2014

Illuminating Plankton

Consuelo Carbonell-Moore has made it her life’s work to document the diversity of one of the ocean’s most abundant life forms: dinoflagellates, a type of plankton. These organisms are no mere bystanders in marine ecosystems. Some produce life-giving oxygen. Others influence the formation of coral reefs. In coastal waters, they can bloom as “red tides” […]


Forms from the Sea
October 9, 2012

Forms from the Sea

Oregon artists reveal hidden worlds in plankton science

During a Pacific Ocean research cruise, Angel White peers into her microscope. The ship rides gentle swells and sways side to side. In her field of view, organisms the size of dust motes rise and fall through their own watery world. “It can be disorienting and enthralling at the same time. The microbes are dying […]


Winter Storms Lead to Spring Bloom
February 1, 2011

Winter Storms Lead to Spring Bloom

New hypothesis supported by satellites and waterborne sensors

If you separate predators from their prey, you get more prey. Now that simple relationship has been used to explain one of the most important annual events in the ocean: the North Atlantic spring phytoplankton bloom. Since the 19th century, oceanographers have sought to explain its origins and have settled on the wintertime mixing of […]