News

27 June 2016
When you’re a firefly, finding “the one” can change the world. Literally. A new study by UCSB evolutionary biologists Todd Oakley and Emily Ellis demonstrates that for fireflies, octopuses and other animals that choose mates via bioluminescent courtship, sexual selection increases the number of...
16 June 2016
When it comes to coral reefs, there’s good news and bad news, according to one of the largest global studies of these imperiled habitats. While overfishing has led to coral reef degradation, it seems certain reef “bright spots” still manage to flourish. Researchers from 34 different universities...
14 June 2016
Halfway between Hawaii and American Samoa lies a group of small islands and inlets. Among them is Palmyra Atoll, an almost 5-square-mile ring of coral. The lagoons of Palmyra — part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument — provide sanctuary for a variety of mobile species including...
9 June 2016
Sometimes good fish go bad. But it’s not their fault. In a three-year effort to understand the effects of known stressors such as overfishing and nutrient pollution on coral reefs, scientists made a totally unexpected finding: A normally healthy interaction between fish and coral had turned deadly...
2 June 2016
Between April 20 and July 15, 2010, millions of barrels of crude oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico from a blown well beneath the Deepwater Horizon oil rig; it was the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history. Although the oil was undetectable in surface waters within a few weeks after the well was...
16 March 2016
Beyond the breakers, the ocean is like the Wild West. While not completely lawless, its vastness and remoteness make it hard to observe and more difficult to manage human activity. Recently developed technology may change that. A navigational safety aid called AIS (Automatic Ship Identification...
10 March 2016
Nature has its own economy, with trading as dynamic as that of any stock exchange. To cope with nutrient deficiencies in their respective habitats, certain plants, animals and fungi have evolved partnerships by which they can swap resources. However, according to a new study by UC Santa Barbara...
22 February 2016
With forests and farmland, mountains and desert and almost 900 miles of scenic coastline, California’s vast terrain is both dramatic and varied. The newly published “Ecosystems of California” (UC Press, 2016) provides a comprehensive synthesis of this biologically diverse state examining its myriad...
17 February 2016
They’re hungry, they’re growing and they may be headed this way. Several months ago, tens of thousands of cobia, a species of fish farmed as a high-quality food source, escaped from an aquaculture facility off the coast of Ecuador. Almost mature, the fish are making their way north at the rate of...
2 February 2016
An interdisciplinary group of researchers at UC Santa Barbara has taken strides in the development of an underwater adhesive that has the potential for a variety of biomedical and non-biological applications. Areas such as tissue repair, dental adhesives and other surface adhesion applications —...

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