Kalila Morsink

Kalila is an ocean and atmosphere nerd with a love of getting muddy, a compulsive habit of writing things down, and multiple pairs of science-themed socks. She wears these socks to work at the Ocean Portal, where she is an intern, and to school at Columbia University, where she studies earth science and nonfiction writing. In her writing and her life, Kalila gets very excited about communicating science to people, especially if it's climate science or has something to do with baby birds. When not writing, Kalila enjoys hiking, attempting to identify different kinds of rocks, and purchasing new pairs of science-themed socks. To date, she has held an osprey chick, touched a dolphin, and kissed a codfish, but she has yet to shake hands with an octopus. 

How Do Sea Lions Swim?

Sea lions generate thrust, or forward propulsion, by bringing their fore-flippers together in big sweeping motions called “claps.” When a sea lion “claps,” it stretches its flippers out to the sides and sweeps them down...

With Every Breath You Take, Thank the Ocean

Kelps are large, brown algae that grow along coasts around the world, especially in cooler regions. Credit: George Cathcart By Kalila Morsink When was the last time you thought about your breathing? Take a breath right now...

When Life Gives You Lionfish…

Jeweler Palovi Baezar with her first set of lionfish earrings, which she made in the summer of 2013. Credit: Phil Karp By Kalila Morsink It was the summer of 2013, and Phil Karp was staring at a dead lionfish. Earlier, he...

Weird, Wacky, Wonderful Sharks

Saw sharks and frilled sharks and ghost sharks, oh my! All sharks are pretty wild in one way or another—but these sharks might just be the wackiest of them all. With extendable jaws, poisonous flesh, and a dazzling array of...

Epaulette Shark

Meet the epaulette shark: the shark that can walk. Nocturnal predators who get their food from oxygen-deficient tidal pools, epaulette sharks have adapted to deal with shallow water and limited opportunities to breathe. They...

Prickly Dogfish

This shark might be called a dogfish, but the fuzzy-looking stuff on its body isn’t fur. Instead, it earned the moniker “prickly” for its highly textured, bristly skin. It also has a distinctive body shape, being especially...

Basking Shark

The basking shark is the second largest living fish, coming in behind the whale shark at a maximum length of about 30 feet (9 meters). Swimming along with its dorsal fin sticking up above the surface of the water, it can...

Ángeles Alvariño: Woman of Many Namesakes

An arrow-worm from the genus Spadella . Alvariño discovered and classified the species Spadella gaetanoi in 1978. Credit: Zatelmar, Wikimedia Commons By Kalila Morsink Latin names of species may seem boring—a litany of extra...

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 aren’t...

Teams of Robots Can Help Us Build 3D Maps of the Ocean

One of ten robots that examined an area of 800 cubic kilometers in northern Monterey Bay, over the course of 24 days, in 2006. Credit: Dr. Naomi Ehrich Leonard By Kalila Morsink One of the trickiest problems in marine...

Arrow-worm

An arrow-worm from the genus Spadella . Alvariño discovered and classified the species Spadella gaetanoi in 1978.

Fish Get Risky Around Oil

On coral reefs fish are important links in the food chain that sustains higher-order predators (including humans) and keeps everything in balance. Credit: Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble, Flickr By Kalila Morsink Whether you are...

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