All posts by Sam Georgian

Pollution in the deep sea – are any habitats safe from human disturbance?

Feature Pic: A discarded aluminum can sits deep in the Channel Islands. Photo: MARE and NOAA   We’re all too familiar with the horrible images of once pristine beaches that are now covered with trash, threatening a wide array of charismatic animals including sea turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals. What about our ocean’s most remote … Continue reading Pollution in the deep sea – are any habitats safe from human disturbance?

Deep But Not Deserted – Exploring Deep-Sea Ecosystems Off the California Coast

Feature Pic: A yellowtail rockfish swims past a pink landscape dominated by strawberry anemones and hydrocorals on Cordell Bank. Photo: MARE and NOAA In July 2018, Marine Conservation Institute staff scientist Samuel Georgian stepped on board the NOAA research vessel Bell M. Shimada, beginning a two-week expedition to explore deep-water coral and sponge habitats off … Continue reading Deep But Not Deserted – Exploring Deep-Sea Ecosystems Off the California Coast

Status Watch: How Well Are Coral Reefs Protected Around the World?

Tropical coral reefs are some of the most diverse and productive ecosystems on our planet. Often called the ‘rainforests’ of our oceans, coral reefs host incredible levels of biodiversity and provide important ecosystem services that many organisms – including humans – rely on. Globally, coral reefs cover less than 0.1% of our seafloor, but provide … Continue reading Status Watch: How Well Are Coral Reefs Protected Around the World?

Expedition Planning 101 – How Models Can Help Guide Deep-Sea Exploration

In May 2018, a joint Marine Conservation Institute and Marine Applied Research and Exploration (MARE) expedition will probe the deep seafloor within the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to an astonishing diversity of cold-water corals and sponges that build crucial habitat for a large number of fish and invertebrate species (e.g., … Continue reading Expedition Planning 101 – How Models Can Help Guide Deep-Sea Exploration

Needle in a haystack: identifying vulnerable marine ecosystems in the deep sea

Seamounts are underwater mountains rising thousands of feet from the bottom of the ocean. Due to their size and shape, seamounts exert a strong influence on local currents that results in nutrient enrichment and increased food supply. As a result, these massive features are often highly productive ‘oases’ in the deep sea, supporting a large … Continue reading Needle in a haystack: identifying vulnerable marine ecosystems in the deep sea

The Hunt for a Super Coral: Can Cold-Water Corals Adapt to Ocean Acidification?

When most people think of a coral reef they are imagining a sunny tropical beach, but many coral species are actually found in the dark, cold waters of the deep sea1. These corals, commonly known as cold-water corals due to their preference for low temperatures, form beautiful ecosystems that are teeming with life. One of … Continue reading The Hunt for a Super Coral: Can Cold-Water Corals Adapt to Ocean Acidification?

A Tale of Two Cold-Water Coral Reefs

Human industrial and agricultural activity has released massive quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) into our atmosphere, with significant effects on our climate and oceans. About one-third of this atmospheric CO2 is absorbed by our oceans1, where it chemically interacts with seawater to reduce its pH – a scale that measures how acidic (lower pH values) … Continue reading A Tale of Two Cold-Water Coral Reefs

Seamounts: oases of biodiversity in California’s deep waters

Beneath the deep waters off the coast of California exist submarine mountains that rise thousands of feet off the seafloor and harbor an incredible diversity of marine life. These underwater mountains are known as seamounts, classically defined as seafloor features that are taller than 1,000 m (3,300 feet), have steep sides and are roughly circular … Continue reading Seamounts: oases of biodiversity in California’s deep waters