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The Ocean Blog

A video of the Palauan primitive cave eel ( Protanguilla palau ) swimming in the Pacific off the Republic of Palau . Jiro Sakaue, a Japanese research diver, first discovered the new genus and species...
If you are a bird watcher you have probably heard of the Christmas Bird Count. The first one occurred on Christmas Day in 1900 at a variety of locations throughout North America, and it has since...
Dr. Ilka C. "Candy" Feller calls mangroves the 'nursery of the sea.' These important coastal habitats face many threats, including nutrient pollution from fertilizer runoff. That's the focus of much...
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill , ocean acidification, and the decline of fish stocks are just three of the topics that renowned ocean scientist, Dr. Jeremy Jackson discusses in this talk, recorded...
Smithsonian scientists and their colleagues are investigating important questions and issues related to mangrove ecosystems. • At the Smithsonian Marine Field Station on Carrie Bow Cay in Belize ,...
To people living in warm climates, all ice looks the same. But if you live day-in and day-out on sea ice, like the Inupiaq people of Alaska, you would find that there are many kinds of ice, all...
There are about 4 million specimens in the fish collection housed at the National Museum of Natural History . It is the largest of its kind in the world. Learn how these collections helped to solve...
An invasive strain of the plant Phragmites australis dominates this Chesapeake Bay wetland. The plant can easily grow up to 3 meters (9.8 feet) tall and alter coastal ecosystems. Scientists at the...
Dennis Whigham , a senior botanist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center , makes his quick pitch for why you should care about the wetland plant Phragmites australis . A European strain of...
These Smithsonian field stations enable scientists worldwide to conduct long-term studies on mangrove ecosystems from a range of latitudes. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured...
Dive into the Gulf of Mexico without getting wet! The Smithsonian has recently uploaded some of its marine collections from that region onto Google Earth's Ocean Layer . Now you can go where our...
Dr. Clyde Roper recounts the tale of his encounter with a giant squid specimen ( Architeuthis dux) that was found washed up on a Massachusetts beach in this excerpt from "Eyeball to Eyeball," an...
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...
This week at the Smithsonian Ocean Portal we embark on an experiment we're calling "Make Me Care." The concept is simple: we ask a renowned expert to tell us why we should care about his or her...
For three weeks, the research ship MV Chertan is home-base for the scientific team and will be transformed in a floating laboratory to study volcanic CO 2 seeps. Read more about how reef scientist...
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...
Dugongs , along with manatees , make up a group of marine mammals called sirenians or seacows . In the modern world, only one species of seacow is found in any one place in the world. However, the...
Monodontids, the group of whales that includes the belugas and narwhals swimming our ocean today, are emblematic symbols of the Arctic. However, their fossil record, although scarce, suggests that...
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