Smithsonian scientists

Bugs and Slugs: The Hidden Secret to Healthy Seagrasses

Neptune grass ( Posidonia oceanica ) is a slow-growing and long-lived seagrass native to the Mediterranean. Credit: Gaynor Rosier/Marine Photobank Slip into the water along a sheltered coast in nearly any part of the...

Why I Love Polychaetes

Credit: © 2008 K.J. Osborn Polychaete worms are not your average cringe-inducing, writhing worms. (Okay, maybe some are.) They are fascinating, varied, and a critical part of our ocean. The visual variety among the...
Nancy Knowlton speaking about the "Future of the Ocean"

The Future of the Ocean

Nancy Knowlton, the Sant Chair of Marine Science at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, asks "What is the likely future of our ancestral home?" The answer depend on what humans do now...
A submersible explores the deep reefs off of Curacao in the Caribbean.

Keeping Exploration Alive With Manned Submersibles

Video of Why are manned submersibles important? Smithsonian research zoologist Carole Baldwin answers the question "why are manned submersibles important?" The Ocean Portal was lucky enough to join the Deep Reef Observation Project team...

When Did Today’s Whales Get So Big?

More recently than you might think, say scientists who scoured the fossil record Two skulls belonging to extinct marine mammal herbivores used in the new study, both from the Smithsonian’s collections. Credit: A. Boersma...
A hippopotamus-like creature swims underwater

Flippers or Feet? An Extinct Mammal May Have Been Replaced By Today's Sea Cows

In the seagrass beds and kelp forests of the Oligocene-Miocene transition, nearly 32.5 to 10.5 million years ago, a four-legged, gnarly-toothed mammal roamed the Northern Pacific shores of what is now Japan, Canada and...

MarineGEO: A Global Research Network

The Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO), directed by the Smithsonian’s Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network (TMON), is the first long-term, worldwide research program to focus on understanding coastal marine life and its role in maintaining...

Living on the Edge: Mangroves

Mangroves are the biological buffers between land and sea. Without them, communities living along shorelines would be directly exposed to violent storm surge and erosion. Also crucial to fish communities, mangroves provide fertile nursery...

The Smithsonian Marine Collections

A behind the scenes look at the NMNH ocean-related collections and their importance to research and discovery.

Searching for Crustaceans in the Deep Sea

In this video Smithsonian research zoologist Dr. Martha Nizinski takes viewers with her as she searches for crustaceans in the deep sea . She's particularly interested in finding squat lobsters , which despite their...

Ocean Optimism Video - Linking Communities to Fisheries Science

Fish populations all over the world are declining due to overfishing and marine ecosystems, as well as communities that rely on those ecosystems, are impacted by the loss. BUT there is hope for fisheries...
Two nurse sharks hover over a baited cage

Shark Snapshot - Saving sharks with an underwater photoshoot

Tawny nurse sharks are common visitors to FinPrint's baited remote underwater videos (BRUVs). Here, two swim in the Ashmore Reef off the West Coast of Australia. Credit: Global FinPrint Sharks make headlines, but we...

Investigating Nutrient Pollution's Impact on Mangroves

At Carrie Bow Cay in Belize , Dr. Candy Feller explains her research on the effect of excess nutrients on mangrove swamps. Feller runs the Animal-Plant Interaction Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center...

Bringing the Western Flyer, and History, Back to Life

Video of Western Flyer: A New Chapter As a first year graduate student in marine biology, I shared a large office with other students. I normally did a good job of not disturbing them,...
A variety of jellyfish

It’s All in the (Jellyfish) Family

They may not all look the same, but cnidarians all have cells that are specially designed for stinging. Credit: Allen Collins, Smithsonian By Kalila Morsink With their huge number of venomous stinging cells, jellyfish...
The shell of a sea slug

A Microscopic Identity Crisis

Using DNA to identify larval species in the Gulf Stream When swimming in the water, the planktonic sea snail, Diacria trispinosa , flutters two wings much like a butterfly. When they retract their bodies...
Fish app

There’s an App for That: Using Phones to Help Make Fishing Sustainable

Video of Linking Communities to Fisheries Science By Emily Frost There’s an app for everything these days. Many of our modern-day problems can be matched with modern-day technology. So, when looking at the issue...

Oil’s Impact on Marine Invertebrates

In the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, what is the effect of oil on invertebrates like jellyfish, clams, crabs, sea stars, and plankton? The scope of the damage is more easily observed among...