Adventure in the Capitol

Last week I was lucky enough to participate in the MIT Science Policy Initiative Congressional Visits Day! 

One of the meetings I led was with the Congressman from my district (MA-9), Representative Keating. It was a great honor to meet him, as I'd seen him the week before at the welcome ceremony for the R/V Armstrong!

 From left to right: Zane Markel, Scott Grindy, Ellie Bors, Representative Bill Keating.

From left to right: Zane Markel, Scott Grindy, Ellie Bors, Representative Bill Keating.

 Representative Keating delivers remarks at the welcome ceremony for the  R/V Armstrong , the newest member of WHOI's research fleet.

Representative Keating delivers remarks at the welcome ceremony for the R/V Armstrong, the newest member of WHOI's research fleet.

Invasive species management meets legal action

My first post as a non-resident fellow at the Sense and Sustainability blog is posted here

 The Port of Seattle, captured on a stunning summer day from a Washington State Ferry.  Ports like this one and hundreds of others like it in the US are susceptible to invasive species that arrive in the ballast water of cargo ships.     (Photo Credit: Ellie Bors)

The Port of Seattle, captured on a stunning summer day from a Washington State Ferry.  Ports like this one and hundreds of others like it in the US are susceptible to invasive species that arrive in the ballast water of cargo ships.   

(Photo Credit: Ellie Bors)

Enjoy!

Society for Women in Marine Science

On Saturday October 10th, the Society for Women in Marine Science will host our second annual symposium. This year it will be held at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The symposium will feature a plenary by Dr. Amy Bower of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a panel discussion by program managers in ocean science, a poster session, and oral presentations by prominent women scientists in the field.

Anyone is welcome to attend and young women scientists are encouraged to present a poster to showcase their research.  Information on the society can be found here.  And a link to registration is available here.

Hope to see you there!

Spoon-feeding marine predators

If you were like me as a small child, your mother or father may have had to spoon-feed you some unsavory foods from time to time... like broccoli!  Recently, I've received a few google alerts about lionfish in which divers are feeding predators lionfish straight off their spears.

For example, in this video, some wreck divers feed a decently sized shark a recently speared lionfish:

My first thought is: Wow!  I'd be terrified! 

My second thought is: Wow! Is this a good thing?  Obviously we want predators to eat lionfish (see post below), but is there a good way and a bad way to achieve this?  Do we want reef sharks to associate divers who are spearfishing with a free meal?  This reminds me of a debate when I lived in New Zealand about the relationship between shark diving operations chumming the water and paua (aka abalone) divers being investigated by sharks.

Is there a right way and wrong way to encourage predators to eat lionfish?

Invasion Genetics Symposium Available on YouTube!

Hi Friends-

I just discovered that the presentations from the Invasion Genetics Symposium I attended in the summer of 2014 are available on YouTube thanks to the generous folks at Molecular Ecology!  Be sure to check out some of the most compelling minds in Invasion Genetics on this educational playlist.  If you have time, be sure to check out Dr. Lee Anne Rollins talk about one of my favorite examples of rapid evolution during invasion: the Cane Toad.  Not all of the talks are up (yet?) but it's a great selection so far.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCpu20u_tNoXHkyp9Nd2s-A8cj2xeJ3BM

Enjoy!

-Ellie

Groupers Step Up to the Lionfish Challenge?

The first footage of a native grouper eating an invasive lionfish is making the rounds on social media.  One of the reasons people think lionfish have been so successful at invading is that they lack natural predators in their invaded range. This video is exciting because it may indicate that predators are starting to see lionfish as prey targets. Congrats (and thanks) to the divers who caught this on tape.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKLkQaMY8KQ&feature=youtu.be

Sea Ice in Woods Hole

All the science nerds are ecstatic about it: there's sea ice in Woods Hole! To share the experience, I'm posting a video from vimeo that's been circulating social media taken by a drone flying over the village.

I've also included a photo of three of my friends looking out to the large ice sheet in Buzzards Bay, MA. It's in the running for album cover if we ever start a band.

Enjoy!