Sea_Gil’s Blog

Hello! My name is Margaretmary Gilroy and this blog will be used to document my experience as an Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholar.

Before coming out here, I had a vague idea of what I would be during for the summer. I knew that I would be gathering information concerning the vulnerability of certain coastal species to climate change. This information would then be put into an extensive database (PICES) started by the EPA.

Now that I’ve spent a week actually working at the EPA station in Newport, I have a better understanding of what I will be doing during these upcoming weeks. I will be looking at how various species with calcium carbonate shells may respond to the problem of ocean acidification based on things such as shell composition and larval stages. I am excited to be a part of the project because this type of research is a fairly new undertaking and not much is known about how certain marine species will respond to ocean acidification, so it will be interesting to see what we discover through the information we are trying to capture for the database.

At work this past week, I spent most of my time reading over relevant literature in order to learn more about ocean acidification and bivalves, since I have not had much in-depth experience with either subject. I have a feeling when the summer is over, I will have become fairly versed in shellfish characteristics and the problems that arise from the ocean taking in more and more of the carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere. This upcoming week, I will be trained on how to input the information I gather into Excel spreadsheets so that it can be easily translated over into the database. I’m looking forward to doing some meaningful work for the EPA over the next couple months.

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5 thoughts on “Sea_Gil’s Blog

  1. All shells are not created equal. So how might shell composition or larval stage affect an organism’s response to ocean acidification?

  2. I’m still learning about these things myself, so I’ll try to answer this question as best as I can. From my reading so far, one of the main points I have gathered is that shells made with aragonite (rather than calcite, another polymorph of calcium carbonate) are more susceptible to the effects of ocean acidification. As for the larval stages, studies show that shells may be made from an amorphous form of calcium carbonate (meaning it’s not crystalline yet). The amorphous calcium carbonate is once again thought to be especially susceptible to acidifying seawater. Also the amount of time larvae spend in the water column while they develop may also be a factor in how larval stages are affected by ocean acidification.

  3. Awesome! Thank you for the additional insight! I’m sure there will be plenty more where that came from as the summer progresses.

  4. Hmm looking really interesting. I’m looking forward to the results after summer, because I think that acidification of the seas is underestimated problem, which could have big impact to humans in future.

  5. Awesome encounter. As a scuba diver, I love to read on your studies on how certain marine species will respond to ocean acidification. By the way I am Anthony fromSamsung UN65D8000 and I love your article very much

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