More Scientists at work

The Ocean Blog

Dr. Valerie Paul is studying chemical defenses that may protect coral reefs from many species of herbivores that live on coral reefs. In this picture she is examining tropical seaweeds on...
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...
The ocean is so big that it can be easy to forget the microscopic beauty of the organisms that live within. Some of this beauty is documented by the Nikon Small World photomicrography competition ,...
Hidden beneath Arctic ice is a world few have ever seen. Take the icy plunge with a team of ice-loving scientists.
Ice divers Katrin Iken (left) and Elizabeth Siddon are about to descend through a hole in the Arctic ice and into the frigid world below.
Christian McDonald, the Scientific Diving Safety Officer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, tows a surface float at Millennium Atoll in the South Pacific.
With 1,400 named species of ribbon worms inhabiting every ecosystem on earth, seeking one out should be an easy proposition. But I quickly learned that it can be quite daunting when you’re looking...
Dr. Clyde Roper (top left), of the Smithsonian Institution, and scientists from NOAA and the Delaware Museum of Natural History dissect a giant squid specimen donated by NOAA. Everything we know...
Chilean and Smithsonian paleontologists study several fossil whale skeletons at Cerro Ballena, next to the Pan-American Highway in Atacama Region, Chile, in 2011. The fossils were discovered when the...
A reconstruction of a new fossil beluga relative, Bohaskaia monodontoides , described by Smithsonian scientists, is in the foreground. Its living relatives, the beluga and narwhal, are illustrated...
Hermit crabs, like this one collected in Moorea, usually protect their soft, vulnerable abdomens from predators by reusing empty snail shells. They are picky home owners and they will trade shells...
You are not alone if you don’t know what forams (short for foraminifera) are, so let’s start with the basics. Simply put, forams are single-celled organisms related to the familiar amoeba that...
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...
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...
The Arctic is one of the most remote and uncharted areas of the world. With all the amazing discoveries hidden in the ice and water, Arctic exploration is truly a new scientific frontier.
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,...
If you think only men can helm research vessels to get their hands dirty and study ocean currents, you're wrong. This short film follows the mostly-female scientists of the R/V Knorr research ship on...
Sponges are animals that eat tiny food particles as they pump water through their bodies. They are very common on Caribbean coral reefs, and come in all shapes, sizes and colors. There is great...
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