News 2015

September 08, 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded an $800,000 Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant to UC Santa Barbara’s Roger Nisbet. He will use the funding to develop a model to better understand biological and ecological consequences of exposure to metals, nanoparticles and certain flame retardants in industrial and consumer products. Such materials could pose a threat to human and environmental health.

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August 20, 2015

A new general consumer-resource model spans the mathematics of a century’s worth of food web models and provides a common foundation for new food webs

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June 05, 2015

Over the last few days, the waters off the Santa Barbara coast have turned a striking shade of turquoise. The mystery behind this unusual color change is a type of chalk-producing phytoplanktonic organism called a coccolithophore.

But what makes these otherwise invisible life forms suddenly visible? It’s their sudden abundance. When coccolithophores are numerous, they turn the ocean surface turquoise-white and can easily be seen via satellite.

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May 20, 2015

The octopus has a unique ability. It can change the color, pattern and even texture of its skin not only for purposes of camouflage but also as a means of communication. The most intelligent, most mobile and largest of all mollusks, these cephalopods use their almost humanlike eyes to send signals to pigmented organs in their skin called chromatophores, which expand and contract to alter their appearance.

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April 14, 2015

The common hippopotamus can spend up to 16 hours a day immersed in rivers and lakes. Lumbering out of the water at night, these herbivores graze on tropical grasses and consume 80 to 100 pounds in one meal.

By daybreak, having eaten their fill, they return to their daytime resting area to rest, digest and, eventually, eliminate. This natural process results in millions of tons of hippo dung entering Africa’s aquatic ecosystems every year.

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March 30, 2015

At UC Santa Barbara, the high-tech research greenhouses are more sophisticated than many smart homes. Temperature and lighting are automated to create and maintain specific environmental conditions researchers need for experimental work. For example, when the temperature rises, the sensors in the thermostat signal shade cloths to close in order to modify the amount of sunlight coming into the greenhouse.

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January 21, 2015

Craig Carlson, chair of UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology (EEMB), has received the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award from the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO). This is the second major award for Carlson, who was honored with the inaugural American Geophysical Union’s Ocean Sciences Early Career Award in 2002.

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January 15, 2015
UC Santa Barbara marine scientists lead a global review of the past and future of wildlife in the oceans. Drs. Douglas McCauley and Robert Warner of UCSB's Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology (EEMB) compare patterns of terrestrial and marine animal loss in order to place human effects on marine fauna in perspective and to elucidate ways to navigate towards recovery. They find marine fauna to be in much better condition than terrestrial fauna, presenting a valuable opportunity for us to chart a better future for our oceans.
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