Get a glimpse into Becca's summer of diving with the Witman Lab in this article showcasing her research experience collecting data for her senior thesis on megafauna impacts in the Galápagos Islands. See what it takes to be a research diver and learn more about how Becca discovered her passion for marine biology. Stay tuned this year as Becca transforms video footage from 20 meters below the surface into her senior thesis.
Global Climate change is a strong and nuanced force impacting regions of the globe in vastly different ways. For the Galapagos Islands, a rare spot of ocean cooling, the impacts of climate change may offer the opportunity for a 'cool spot refuge.' Read the article in its entirety to see what the future may have in store for the Galapagos Islands, and how this vibrant ocean community is predicted to change in a changing ocean.
For this World Ocean's Day (June 08, 2021) the Witman Lab put together the first of an animation series explaining the El Nino Southern Oscillation and how it relates to Witman Lab research! Check it out!
Undergraduates Marisa Agarwal and Adelaide Dahl finished their senior thesis presentations and manuscripts last week! Marisa's work was titled Ecology of a Foundation Species: Black Corals in the Galapagos Marine Reserve and Addie's was called Investigating patterns and drivers of sessile invertebrate diversity in the Galapagos marine ecosystems. Both seniors defended their projects well and had some of the largest EEB Seminar turnouts for senior research projects! Congratulations to our Witman Lab seniors!
Jon Witman was recently named an Affiliate Fellow at Brown University's Institute at Brown for Environment and Society! As a faculty affiliate, Jon will be joining a team with diverse research interests that connect environmental studies to human impact, taking a multidisciplinary approach to subtidal marine ecology research. In joining IBES, the Witman lab is excited to increase engagement across both the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies departments. Read more here: IBES Welcomes Jon Witman as an IBES Affiliate Fellow
Maya Greenhill, a recent Brown University and Witman Lab graduate, just won an honorable mention for Best 15 Minute Talk at this year's virtual Western Society of Naturalists Meeting (WSN). Her talk, Resource Partitioning of an ecosystem engineer increases algal diversity and production, discusses results from her honors thesis research in the Galapagos Islands. Maya and fellow Witman lab alumnae Calvin Munson, Robert Lamb, and PI Jon Witman suggest a novel perspective for resource partitioning theory: they propose that increased resource partitioning does not always lead to resource depletion; conversely, partitioning in organisms that have a positive effect on their environment, such as ecosystem engineers, may increase resource availability, rates of resource renewal, and resource diversity. Find the link to the full program of this year's WSN talks here!
In an article published August 13th, 2020, Science Magazine describes how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an "anthropause" in a variety of systems around the planet. The paper (found here) mentions a current Witman Lab project that characterizes the effect of reduced tourism on marine community dynamics in the Galapagos Archipelago. Check it out!
Dr. Witman and collaborators from around the world were published in Nature Climate Change this past Monday, April 27th, 2020. Their paper, "Evolution of Galapagos in the Anthropocene", focuses on the increasing globalization of the Galapagos Archipelago and its role as a living laboratory that can be used to study human impact in conjunction with climate change. The paper can be found here -- check it out!
Later this month, both Dr. Witman and Dr. Lamb will be speaking at the Sprout CoWorking Art Galleries in Warren, Rhode Island. Their talks will focus on the health of the oceans and the role of consumers in protecting marine life, and we would love to see you all there! The presentations will be accompanied by a responsibly sourced seafood meal prepared by a local chef, a jazz concert, and art gallery exhibition. The gallery will be featuring artwork that focuses on the beauty and vulnerability of the oceans, and we are proud that the Witman Lab will be able to be a part of their mission to inspire public awareness and change!
Marisa has received an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award for her study, "Behavioral ecology of top predators in the Galapagos Marine Reserve." Maya has received a Voss Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Environmental Science and Communication, as well as an Explorers Club student grant for her study, "Niche complementarity and ecological function of damselfish in the Galapagos Marine Protected Area."
Both Maya and Marisa are also the recipients of Marine Conservation Scholarships from the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Congratulations!
Follow the Witman Lab's adventures, on land and at sea @witmanlab on Instagram and Twitter!