Posted July 2022

The Discovery Channel’s beloved “Shark Week” kicked off earlier this week on July 24, 2022. (Fun fact: The CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, BU alumnus David Zaslav (LAW’85), has just been named in this year’s Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People.). In spirit of this captivating and thrilling week, we’ve compiled a list of marine research initiatives that BU alumni, faculty, and staff have been a part of in recent years.

Marine biologist weighs in on Cape Cod’s great white shark sightings

From Martha’s Vineyard to the coasts of Maine, great white sharks are back and becoming increasingly common. Shark expert and BU alumnus Greg Skomal (GRS’06) attributes the increase in shark sightings to conservation, which have caused their numbers to multiply. Even though the sharks are on the rise, attacks from a great white are still highly unlikely.

BU marine researchers help discover several new ocean species, including a rare glass octopus

The elusive, transparent deep-sea cephalopod is just one of many discoveries BU marine scientists made on an expedition out to sea. Randi Rotjan, the BU marine biologist who led the expedition, says the team discovered around a dozen new species during their voyage. Watch the rarely seen footage of the glass octopus.

BU biology professor explains how New England Coral is withstanding climate change

While coral reefs across the globe are being threatened by increasing ocean temperatures, the northern star coral remains unbothered. BU professor and marine expert Randi Rotjan explains that unlike other coral, the northern star can stay alive without its symbiotic partners. Rotjan’s findings could have implications for coral reef conservation efforts around the world.

BU scientists develop portable carbon measuring devices to help fight climate change

Coastal ecosystems like marshes and wetlands are vastly understudied, and are incredibly efficient at absorbing carbon emissions. BU professor Wally Fulweiler and postdoctoral associate Amanda Vieillard (CAS’11, GRS’13) are developing portable sensors that measure carbon in order to make studying these coastal areas more accessible. By lowering the barrier to entry for climate research, they hope to increase humanity’s fight against climate change.

Want to know more about marine life research at BU? Follow along as marine science alumnae Allie Cole (CAS’21) documents her six-week journey at sea.

Watch Allie’s vlog

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