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The Ocean Blog

Smithsonian research assistant Anne Chamberlain and Marc Frischer from Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Savannah, Georgia, stride through thick mud covered by algal mats in a mangrove pond at...
Now that the Census of Marine Life is over, we’re checking in with some of its researchers to hear about their favorite expeditions, what they learned, and how the Census and its findings continue to...
Researchers use Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) like this one to study the diversity of coral reef organisms. They leave the structures underwater for about a year. Then they retrieve...
These brittlestars ( Ophiothela mirabilis ) are not where they belong. These animals, usually found in the Pacific Ocean, were first spotted in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil in 2000. And...
Watch as a team of wave chasers heads to Somoa where they search for an undersea river five kilometers beneath the ocean's surface. There they measured skyscraper-sized internal gravity waves, which...
My father once told me that the world is divided into two kinds of people: those who believe that the world is divided into two kinds of people and those who don’t. Wherever you come down on this...
Dr. Amy Baco-Taylor dives to deep-sea environments to study corals and the invertebrates that live in them. Learn how she became interested in deep-sea corals , and explore more in the multimedia...
The mauve stinger’s ( Pelagia noctiluca ) name in German means “night light,” referring to the jelly’s reddish coloring and its bioluminescence, the display of light by a living creature. Unlike a...
In 2009 Dr. Vecchione served as Chief Scientist on a six-week expedition to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge for the Census of Marine Life. He is shown here aboard the expedition ship, NOAA’s Henry B. Bigelow.
At the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, Dr. Wayne Sousa (right) studies how gaps in the canopy caused by lightning help mangrove forests regenerate. More about mangroves can be...
Ichthyologist John R. Paxton of the Australian Museum studies freshly caught lanternfishes. Paxton was on the team that solved the whalefish mystery .
Christian McDonald, the Scientific Diving Safety Officer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, tows a surface float at Millennium Atoll in the South Pacific.
Charles Potter (left) and Dr. James Mead of the Smithsonian perform a post-mortem examination on a goose-beaked whale specimen sent to them by colleagues at Portland State University.
The world beneath the Arctic ice is magical, but cold. Divers have to tolerate temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit (about -2° Celsius.) To stay warm they wear thermal undergarments and use special...
Dr. Stephen Cairns is a research zoologist and chair of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. His research focuses on the diversity,...
A scientist, Chris Reddy from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, collects oil-laden "sand patties" on a Louisiana beach two years after the oil spill. Watch a video of Chris Reddy talking about...
Often it's the tiniest organisms that do the most harm. One example is microscopic algae, which can grow rapidly to form harmful algal blooms . Such blooms (some are called "red tides") create...
Oceanographer and executive director of Oceana Europe , Xavier Pastor, led the Baltic Sea expedition. The crew covered more than 7,000 nautical miles and completed more than 130 dives to collect...
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