Ancient Whale Named After Scripps Scientists

Richard and Ken Norris honored with Norrisanima miocaena

An extinct species of whale was recently renamed in remembrance of the late Ken Norris and his son Richard (Dick) Norris, both influential scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. Norrisanima miocaena is newly described in the journal PierJ .

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Finding help predict the fate of coral reefs

Scientists find that corals rely more on hunting than previously thought

When it comes to feeding, corals have two options. Most of their nutrients come from microscopic algae living inside of them, but if those algae aren’t creating enough sustenance, corals can use their tentacles to grab and eat prey swimming nearby. Paper lead author Mike Fox – a postdoctoral scholar at WHOI who completed this research as a PhD student at Scripps – found that some corals rely more on hunting than scientists previously suspected.
The study published Tuesday, September 17, in the journal Functional Ecology.


CMBC Alumnus Receives First Walter Munk Scholar Award

Congratulations to Dr. Alfredo Giron, graduate under Dr. Octavio Aburto, received the newly created award that honors Walter Munk’s legacy.

From Left: Rick Spinrad (MTS President), Alfredo Giron, Mary Munk, Andy Clark (MTS Vice President of Research, Industry and Technology

The inaugural award was presented to Alfredo Giron at the OCEANS Conference in Marseille. Giron received his Ph.D. in March from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. After receiving the award, Giron presented his commemorative lecture, “The Risk of Oversimplification in Fisheries Management.” This lecture was the first in what will become the annual Commemorative Walter Munk Scholar Lecture Series, presented by the award recipient at the annual conference.




New Method of Communication in Crabs

Ghost crabs use structure in their stomach to communicate when agitated

Scientists have known that crabs use a leg-rubbing technique to communicate, as well as specialized ridges on the claws and arms that are rubbed together to produce noise. But when Jennifer Taylor, an assistant professor at CMBC and lead author of a  new study, heard the sounds of stridulation from her ghost crabs, neither their legs nor claws were moving.

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Sustainability in the Deep Water

In memory of  Roger Revelle, the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine created the Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture series featuring distinguished speakers on the themes of ocean science and public policy.

The 20th annual Revelle Commemorative Lecture “Sustainability in Deep Water: The challenges of climate change, human pressures, and biodiversity conservation.”  was delivered by Dr. Lisa A. Levin, CMBC Director Emeritus. The recorded lecture is now available on the Revelle lecture website.



CMBC Alumni attend the Annual Ocean Gala during Capitol Hill Ocean Week

CMBC Alumni attend Ocean Gala Award Ceremony

Dr. Nancy Knowlton, CMBC founding director, was awarded the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to coral research, science communication and marine science education.

Young professionals whose careers have been shaped by Dr. Knowlton’s efforts span the globe as leaders and influencers, shaping US ocean policy in the halls of Congress and conducting research that combines the natural and social sciences to inform decision making. Pictured here with Drs Jeremy Jackson and Nancy Knowlton are some CMBC alumni who attended the gala. Matt Mulrennan  Dr. Miriam Goldstein, Kim McIntyre, Dr. Ayana Johnson, and Shannon Yee.

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Our Daily Planet – Heroines of the Week:  Two Long Time Ocean Champions

California Sea Grant selects three CMBC alumni

NOAA Sea Grant has announced the finalists for the incoming class of the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellows. Four finalists nominated by California Sea Grant will begin placements in Washington D.C. in February 2020.  Three of these finalists are CMBC Alumni.

Congratulations to Jennifer Lee, Kaitlyn Lowder, and Kat Montgomery



This fall, the they will travel to Washington, D.C., to interview with several executive or legislative offices. Following placement, they will begin their fellowship in February 2020

Executive appointments for the 2019 Knauss fellows included placements throughout the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as with Department of the Interior, National Science Foundation, U.S. Navy, and other agencies. Legislative placements included the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (Minority), the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Majority), the Senate Commerce Committee (Majority and Minority), the House Committee on Natural Resources (Minority), and several placements in both majority and minority of offices.

Jennifer, Kaitlyn and Kat will join another 28 alumni who now work in Washington, D.C. Twenty Four of these alumni were Knauss Fellows.

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Congratulations to the MAS MBC class of 2019

On June 11, the twenty-five students in this year’s Master of Advanced Studies in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation presented their capstone reports.
  • Diving Local, Thinking Global: Can Dive Professionals Contribute to Climate Change Literacy?
  • When the Water Comes, Where Does the Money Go? An Economic Analysis of Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding in Long Beach, CA
  • Breathing Deep: Examining Shortfin Mako and Blue Shark Movements in Relation to the Southern California Bight oxygen minimum zone
  • Illegal fishing, seafood slavery, satellites, and international treaties: Tracking refrigerated cargo vessels to inform the FAO’s Agreement on Port State Measures
  • Key Conservation: Empowering Hope. A Mobile Platform for the Scientific Community to Engage in Global Conservation Solutions
  • Big Fish in a Small Plate: A Bigeye’s Journey Toward a Head-to-Tail Utilization in San Diego
  • And more! 

If you missed the event, the recordings will be posted when they are available on the CMBC Youtube channel


French American Talks on Biodiversity

This public event is co-sponsored by CMBC and the Scientific Office of the French Embassy in the USA as part of their new FACT-B program (French Ameri-Can Climate Talks – Biodiversity). The public conference series aims to raise public awareness in France, the United States, and Canada, as well as reinforce exchanges between scientist and experts on biodiversity issues. This follows the IPBES release of the intergovernmental report of the state of knowledge related to biodiversity and ecosystem services.  The various media platforms report the finding that “one million spices are at risk of extinction.” 

Public presentation and panel discussion
Deep Ocean Biodiversity Challenges in the 21st Century
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Scripps Seaside Forum Auditorium


Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary, IPBES
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Jean-François Silvain, President,  Foundation for Research on Biodiversity
Douglas Bartlett, Professor, Marine Biology Research Division
Lisa Levin, Professor, Integrative Oceanography Division
Natalya Gallo, Post doctoral researcher, Moderator

CMBC Brown Bag – May 14

Speaker:  Adi Khen
Presents:  Science Communication Through Art: Drawing Inspiration from the Sea
12:30 – 1:30
4500 Hubbs Hall

Adi Khen is a 4th-year PhD student in Dr. Jennifer Smith’s lab at SIO. She is interested in coral reef ecology and she studies how benthic communities are responding to global climate change and associated thermal stress events, primarily using image analysis. However, in the past several years, Adi has also developed a strong passion for scientific illustration. She is a self-taught digital illustrator, with many of her drawings now published in journals, as figures or conceptual diagrams, or as logos for different organizations worldwide; as well as in professional talks, posters, and other educational or outreach products. Adi believes that science and art are interconnected and she plans to continue to integrate the two throughout her career. In this talk, she will share insights from her journey so far and express the importance of trying to communicate science more effectively through art.

Reducing methane emissions with seaweed

CMBC Brown Bag – April 23, 2019

Celebrate Earth Week at the CMBC Brown Bag
12:30 – 1:30
4500 Hubbs Hall
Speaker:  Laura Lilly, representing the SIO Sustainability group
Presents: The Science of Sustainable Surfing:  What goes into your surfboard, what happens when  you’re done with it, and how surfboards can help used as scientific platfomrs “

Panel of speakers:
– Dr. Phil Bresnahan, The Smartfin Project/Scripps – using surfers and surfboards as platforms for citizen science-based oceanographic data collection
– Dr. Stephen Mayfield, UCSD – Turning algae into everything from surfboards to flip-flops
– Kevin Whilden, Sustainable Surf – ECOBOARD certification, Foam to Waves, and other projects- Billy Burns, Rerip San Diego – upcycling used and broken boards into art and building materials

National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award acknowledges individuals who are making an exceptional impact on ocean science, conservation or policy. Dr. Nancy Knowlton will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to coral research, science communication, and marine science education.

Dr. Nancy Knowlton is currently the Sant Chair for Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and was the founding director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, she is a world-renowned coral reef biologist, dedicated educator and mentor, and masterful science communicator. Through her work, she is developing the next generation of ocean leaders, using the power of optimism to engage them in our ocean’s most pressing problems. Young professionals whose careers have been shaped by Dr. Knowlton’s efforts span the globe as leaders and influencers, shaping US ocean policy in the halls of Congress and conducting research that combines the natural and social sciences to inform decision making.

Nancy Knowlton is a rare example of a scientist, more like a Renaissance person: researcher, educator, author, communicator, entrepreneur, creative mind,” said Dr. Enric Sala, Explorer in Residence at National Geographic. “Her natural optimism is inspiring an entire generation of young scientists to focus on solutions instead of just dwelling on describing the problems. She inspired and continues to inspire all of us.”

The Award will be presented at the Ocean Gala in Washington D.C. on June 4th during Capital Hill Ocean Week.

CMBC Special Seminar – Wed. April 3

Responses of Coral Reefs to Global Warming

Distinguished Professor Terry Hughes is the Director of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, headquartered at James Cook University in Townsville. A recurrent theme in his studies is the application of new scientific knowledge towards improving management of marine environments, especially coral reefs. His publications focus on population dynamics, life histories, marine ecology, biogeography, and the responses of ecosystems to anthropogenic climate change.  In 2016, Terry was recognised by Nature magazine as one of Nature’s “Top Ten People Who Mattered This Year” for his leadership in responding to coral bleaching throughout the tropics in 2015/6, due to global warming. He has been awarded the International Society for Reef Studies’ Darwin Medal, and an Einstein Professorship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2018, Prince Albert II of Monaco presented him with the 2018 Climate Change Award, recognising his contribution to advancing understanding of the influence of rapid climate change on the world’s coral reefs.
4500 Hubbs Hall
2:30 p.m.

scripps oceanography uc san diego