News archive – 2016


MBARI hosts workshop on ocean observatories

Over 40 ocean technologists attended a workshop at MBARI to review the state of performance of engineering infrastructure of ocean observatories and science sensors.
One of MBARI's wavegliders conducting a mission in Monterey Bay.

The challenges of sending equipment out to sea

During a recent mission, MBARI's Wave Glider Tiny ran into some problems. When MBARI engineers went to sea to recover the Wave Glider, they discovered major damage to the fiberglass hull, mast, and solar panels.

L'Oreal Women in Science Fellowship awarded

MBARI Postdoctoral Fellow Anela Choy, who studies the impacts of plastic debris on ocean food webs, has been selected as one of five recipients of the L'Oreal Women in Science Fellowship for 2016.

MBARI receives award at Oceans 2016 conference

This week, the Oceanic Engineering Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) presented MBARI with an award for the Institute's "consistent presence and efforts towards the goals of the society to advance ocean research for the science and technology community."
MBARI Adjunct Victoria Orphan, 2016 MacArthur Fellow. Photo courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

MBARI Adjunct Victoria Orphan receives “genius grant”

MBARI Adjunct Victoria Orphan has been named a 2016 MacArthur Fellow, in recognition of her work on microbial communities in extreme environments and their impact on the cycling of nutrients and energy through the oceans.
A Gonatus onyx squid (right) in the process of consuming another Gonatus onyx squid of the same size (left).

Cannibalism in the deep sea

Cannibalism is not so unusual in the deep sea, especially for squid, but until recently the diet of Gonatus squid was largely unknown. Remotely operated vehicle observations of these squid in their natural habitat have enabled scientists to learn a great deal more about their feeding behavior.
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Mission to the Great Lakes

MBARI’s Tethys long-range autonomous underwater vehicle recently travelled to one of the world’s largest freshwater ecosystems—the Great Lakes. This operation is a collaborative effort between MBARI and the Great Lakes Science Center, and is this vehicle’s first-ever freshwater deployment.

A profiling float becomes clear

Peering into the insides of a machine can be a useful way to learn about how it works. MBARI researchers Ken Johnson and Hans Jannasch created a transparent version of a profiling float, an instrument that makes biogeochemical measurements in the ocean, for educational purposes.
Jet engine on the seafloor of Monterey Bay

Researchers investigate jet engine found in Monterey Bay

In 2014, MBARI researchers discovered a jet engine on the floor of Monterey Bay. Since that time, MBARI Deputy Director of Marine Operations Chris Grech has been gathering clues as to how this engine arrived on the muddy seafloor of the bay.

Marine chemist Peter Brewer awarded Ewing prize

Last Thursday, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) awarded the prestigious Maurice Ewing Medal to MBARI marine chemist Peter Brewer. This medal is given annually to recognize “significant original contributions to the ocean sciences."
Prototype shark-cam tag

Researchers design new camera tag for white sharks

Each winter, large white sharks leave the California coast and swim halfway to Hawaii, congregating in an area known as the “White Shark Café.” By attaching a miniature video camera tag to a white shark’s fin, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) hope to collect video footage that shows—for the first time ever—exactly what the sharks are doing out there.
Research vessel Paragon at the dock during MBARI's 2016 Day of Science, Engineering, and Technology

Day of Engineering, Science, and Technology 2016

During MBARI’s annual Day of Engineering, Science, and Technology, the staff presented new research and development to the institute’s board of directors. Wide-ranging presentations and a “tools of the trade” walking tour comprised this year’s special day, which focused on the theme “extending our reach”.
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Alexandra Worden elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

MBARI Scientist Alexandra Worden has been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows of the Academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.

MBARI 2015 Annual Report published

This unusual hydrothermal vent is one of many discoveries from a Gulf of California expedition highlighted in the 2015 Annual Report. The publication also features several science and engineering projects conducted close to home in Monterey Bay and includes a preview of some of the institute's emerging technologies.

MBARI’s machine shop welcomes a new five-axis milling machine

Five axes are better than three when it comes to milling parts for complex technology. Ray Thompson, MBARI’s machine shop supervisor, remarked that a 5-axis machine allows our scientists and engineers to “design around the technology”.
Engineers from the Schmidt Ocean Institute testing the ROV SuBastian in MBARI's test tank. Photo: SOI / Yuko Inatsuki

New ROV tests the waters at MBARI

Over the past week, a team of engineers from the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) have been testing their new remotely operated vehicle (ROV), SuBastian, in MBARI’s test tank.
Profiling float on transom of research vessel John Martin

Rescuing an open-ocean float on a stormy day

About a week ago, MBARI marine chemists Hans Jannasch and Ken Johnson went on a little boat ride, chasing an open-ocean profiling float that was drifting in the California Current, about 100 miles offshore.

MBARI donates mill to high school robotics team

A large piece of surplus MBARI equipment will go a long way to helping some local students. In early March, MBARI donated a mill from its machine shop to nearby Monterey High School.

The impact of the Southern Ocean on climate

MBARI Scientist Ken Johnson and his Chemical Sensors Group are part of a large collaborative effort to place sensors in the Southern Ocean to monitor changing conditions. The video explains the technology used in this project.
Two sea cuccumbers feeding at Station M

Deep-sea feasts tied to sea cucumber population booms

The muddy abyssal plains are dark and cold and there’s usually not much for animals to eat. However, large pulses of food may reach the deep seafloor every decade or two. A recent paper shows that some sea cucumbers may experience huge population booms following these deep-sea “feasts.”
Xenoturbella profunda worm in the Gulf of California.

Deep-sea worms slither around the bottom of the animal tree of life

The deep sea is full of strange and little-known worms. A new paper coauthored by MBARI molecular biologist Robert Vrijenhoek describes four newly named species of worms in the genus Xenoturbella that have mouths, but no eyes, brains, stomachs, or anuses.

Signs of a turbidity event in Monterey Canyon

On Friday, January 15, an event on the floor of Monterey Canyon triggered two sediment transport event detectors. A few days later, a benthic event detector, originally deployed at a depth of 200 meters in the canyon, drifted ashore in Santa Cruz.
MBARI's new home page, as of January 11, 2016

MBARI launches redesigned website

MBARI has launched an entirely new version of our website, with expanded access to our data, technology, and research projects.
Engineer Brett Hobson and Research Specialist Chris Preston on their way to launch the AUV containing a new genomic sensor.

Successful launch of new genomic sensor

The new, smaller version of the Environmental Sample Processor made its debut flight in the payload of a long-range-autonomous underwater vehicle.

MBARI welcomes two new senior managers

In late 2015, MBARI hired Michael Kelly as Director of Marine Operations and Basilio Martinez as Chief Financial Officer. These individuals will replace senior MBARI staff who are retiring.