More Scientists at work

Picture this: clear, warm water bathing spectacular coral reefs , clouds of fish, circling sharks, and 17 scientists intent on studying the pristine tropical marine ecosystems of the Southern Line...
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...
Smithsonian Zoologist Dr. Clyde Roper (rear) and museum specialist Mike Sweeney examine the mantle of a dead giant squid. Everything we know about giant squid comes from studying specimens found...
This is the world’s first unmanned, underwater robot—or “glider”—to cross an ocean basin, the pioneering Scarlet Knight . The robotic glider, also known as RU27, can dive to depths of 200 meters (660...
Marine biologist Mette Kaufman measures the temperature of a recently-drilled ice core . Variations in temperature at different points of the ice core provide information about the living conditions...
Dr. Martha Nizinski holds a specimen of a fan sponge ( Phakellia sp. ) collected at a deep-sea coral study site off the coast of South Carolina. Deep-sea corals and sponges provide structure for a...
The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place where “the deer and the antelope roam.” On land, we take it for granted that the plant-eating deer and antelope far...
A still from the film, Mysteries of the Deep , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
Scientists on the tiny island of Moorea, in the Pacific, are gathering one of every life form large enough to pick up with tweezers. They're on a quest to build a detailed catalog of the entire...
Dr. Mahmood Shivji explains how shark DNA is used as evidence to prosecute shark fin poachers . What is shark finning? Find out here .
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,...
Discovering new species is an exciting quest, right? Well, some parts are—but after you find a cool-looking organism that you think is a new species, there's a lot more to be done. You have to...
Recent Antarctic expeditions have documented climate-induced changes to emperor penguin habitats and impacts on how the penguins feed, breed, and raise their young.
Ice divers use a quadrat to study the density of creatures living on the underside of Arctic ice floes. A quadrat is a standardized square used to take sample measurements that allow researchers to...
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...
Diving can be a wild ride that evokes more than a little trepidation, especially in the Pacific Ocean's famously big, cold waves. Waves that are otherwise fun for my weekend surfing can turn a...
Alvin, a human occupied vehicle (HOV), returns to the ship after a deep ocean dive to a seamount .
Dr. Claude Payri, a researcher working on the Moorea Biocode Project , collects samples on the reef slope of Moorea, French Polynesia. More about the Island of Moorea can be found in our Scientists...
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