Our very own Bryan Legare, with colleagues from Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, the Nature Conservancy and NOAA, used acoustic telemetry to track the presence, movements and habitat use of juvenile and young-of-the-year blacktip and lemon sharks in the US Virgin Islands. We are pleased to announce that Bryan has recently published a paper on this research, and it appears in the journal Environmental Biology of Fishes:
The blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) is a common coastal species in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. To examine the fine-scale movement ecology of this species in a Caribbean nursery, 17 neonate blacktip sharks were acoustically tagged in May, 2012 and tracked for one year in Coral Bay, St John, USVI. By quantifying linear movement and shifts in position from a fixed Inner harbor location, we identified a diel movement pattern where blacktip sharks spend daylight hours within core habitat of Inner Coral Harbor and move each night to the central and outer portions of the Bay, a linear shift of 174–934 m. When compared to standard home range calculations applied to the overall movement data, these nightly positions were outside of the 95% activity space and, therefore, undetected using traditional space utilization methods, despite their predictable daily occurrence. Cluster analysis and nonmetric multidimensional scaling indicated distinct movement periods and locations: daytime (sun up) within Inner Coral Harbor; nighttime (sun down) in the center of the Bay; and brief periods approximately six hours after sunset at the mouth of the Bay. This diel shift in habitat use is likely associated with nocturnal foraging because it coincides with similar shifts in potential prey species. Habitat and resource management that incorporates the blacktip shark movements described herein is critical to the protection of these vulnerable life stages. The findings of this paper advance the understanding of blacktip shark behavior and acoustic telemetry experimental design.
Follow the link below to read Bryan's paper (journal subscription required). To read more about Bryan Legare, check out his bio and CV in the People section of this blog.
We are also very excited to announce that our very own undergraduate research assistant - Bryan McCormack - will be presenting at the Northeast GSA, during the session chaired by Mark Borrelli. Bryan is a stellar up-and-coming coastal geologist and we could not be more proud of his efforts both at UMass as well as at the Center for Coastal Studies. Head over to the "People" section of this page to find out more about Bryan and his interests.
His talk begins at 10 AM and is titled "Measuring Elevation Changes from Overwash at Ballston Beach, Truro MA: System Evolution and Management Implications". It will be in the Emerald Ballroom I at the Doubletree in Burlington, VT. Well done Bryan!
To see more about the GSA conference, please see the previous blog post. We will post a blog post soon to highlight the great work that Bryan has done.
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Borrelli will be co-chairing a session titled "Current Research in Coastal and Marine Processes," at the Geological Society of America's meeting in Burlington, Vermont. The Session will be held on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018. He will co-chair the session with Bryan A. Oakley of Eastern Connecticut State University.
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Borrelli will be chairing a session at the sixth International Marine Debris Conference (we are also jealous that he's going to San Diego without us a day after a massive nor'easter).
The session is titled "Using Acoustic Data to Locate, Identify, Assess and/or Recover Derelict Fishing Gear in Myriad Habitats." For more information on the session, please see the link below for the conference:
The potential for high resolution side scan sonar to aid in the search for derelict fishing gear poses a boon for ecological as well as economic systems. Lost fishing gear is very costly to commercial fishermen, and lost traps can continue "ghost fishing" for years after they are lost. To read more about the involvement of PCCS in such work, visit the following link on NOAA's marine debris page:
Greetings! We are excited to be hosting a two day workshop at UMass Boston for the Northeast Regional Ocean Council! The workshop is being managed by the Habitat Classification and Ocean Mapping Subcommittee, and is titled Developing Habitat Maps in New England with CMECS. It is being held over two days at UMass Boston's University Hall, room 2330. The workshop begins at 8:30 am on Monday March 12th, and Tuesday March 13th.
Recently, Mark Borrelli was interviewed by NPR's "Living on Earth" podcast regarding the ongoing issue of bluff erosion in Nantucket's village of Siasconset. In the interview, he draws attention to the massive quantity of kinetic energy that waves contain as they crash against shores:
Follow the link below if you would like to read the transcript for this episode of Living on Earth.
A large nor'easter on January 4th dumped three things on Bostonians and other Massachusetts residents: 13 inches of snow; the highest tide recorded in Boston in nearly a century; and the fanciful word 'bombogenesis' into our vocabularies.
The storm that buried most of inland Massachusetts coincided with a high tide, only 2 days past the full moon. Storm surge was very high and flooding was an issue for many Cape towns. Read the Cape Cod Times' story on the flooding, which features quotes from Mark Borrelli, director of the seafloor mapping program at PCCS.
Below, you can listen to the WBUR news clip, featuring Mark's thoughts on coastal resilience and flooding.