News

7 November 2017
Invasive species can be hugely detrimental to marine ecosystems. Take Caulerpa taxifolia as an example. Dubbed “killer algae” because it crowds out other plants and animals as it colonizes an area with great monotypic stands of vegetation, C. taxifolia displaces rich marine habitats that support a...
2 November 2017
When 15 North Atlantic right whales turned up dead in U.S. and Canadian waters in the summer of 2017, it was declared an unprecedented mass mortality event. For a highly endangered species with slightly more than 500 animals remaining, the crisis signals a major shift in the population’s recovery...
24 October 2017
Virtual reality has nothing on nature. Just ask the UC Santa Barbara students who one recent day trekked to a forest before dawn to listen to a chorus of early birds. They had hiked into the woods for that very purpose as part of a field study course, tasked with identifying as many species as...
16 October 2017
The blue whale is the largest animal known ever to have existed — bigger even than dinosaurs — yet it is no match for a massive cargo ship. Ship strikes are estimated to kill over 80 endangered whales off the west coast of the United States each year, posing a major threat to their recovery. Risk...
19 September 2017
Steephead parrotfish (Chlorurus microrhinos) are picky eaters. In the central Pacific, however, they appear to have taken matters into their own hands — er, fins. A new study by UC Santa Barbara marine biologists shows for the first time that these large algae-eaters rotationally harvest their...
22 August 2017
Fewer trips to the dentist may be in your future, and you have mussels to thank. Inspired by the mechanisms mussels use to adhere to inhospitable surfaces, UC Santa Barbara researchers have developed a new type of dental composite that provides an extra layer of durability to treated teeth. The...
14 August 2017
When the Colorado-based oil company Venoco, Inc. — founded in Carpinteria, California, more than two decades ago — declared bankruptcy last spring and ceded its offshore lease, the state of California “inherited” 50-year-old Platform Holly off the coast of Santa Barbara. Now the state must decide...
14 August 2017
Native plants have a guardian angel in Susan Mazer. Her research as a botanist has furthered the conservation of some of the rarest plant species in California and has influenced the design of habitat restoration efforts. Mazer, a professor in UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Ecology, Evolution,...
4 August 2017
The health of dolphin populations worldwide depends on sustained access to robust food sources. A new report by UC Santa Barbara researchers and colleagues at UC San Diego and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration looks at three different dolphin species, studying what they eat and...
31 July 2017
For more than two decades, UC Santa Barbara biologist Roland Knapp has been working with mountain yellow-legged frogs in the Sierras. Based at the UCSB-managed Sierra Nevada Aquatic Reserach Laboratory, he has seen and studied drastic changes in frog populations, watching their numbers twindle from...

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