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So long DSN, and thanks for all the fish!

Yesterday I officially stepped away from blogging at Deep Sea News.  The increasing family commitments of having two toddlers in the house effectively killed all available blogging time; I’m sure other new parents can relate!  Writing there was an absolute ball and I made great new friends and colleagues like Craig McClain, Miriam Goldstein, Rick McPherson and Holly Bik; here’s to you guys!  Going forward my outreach efforts will focus primarily on Twitter.  Find me there at @AlistairDove and @Wheres_Domino



My main blogging efforts are focused at these days, where I am lucky enough to blog alongside a wonderful team of people consisting of Dr. Craig McClain, Dr. Rick Macpherson, Dr. Holly Bik, Miriam Goldstein, Kevin Zelnio and Kim Martini.  I won’t be updating this blog very often, except perhaps when I have something burning a hole in my conscience which doesn’t fit the scope of DSN.  In the meantime, I am active on Twitter @para_sight and I also keep an eye on my friend @Wheres_Domino, an adventure seeking whale shark in the Gulf of Mexico.


ITTB - the caboose

Here’s the last part of my conversation with WREK scientist/DJs Pete Ludovice and Bill Hung. In this bit we’re talking about collaborations with Georgia Tech and the engineering of the aquarium.  Check out the rest of their archive here, and listen live on Wednesdays at 12 (details in the link).


ITTB episode 3 of 4

Here’s episode 3 of my conversation with WREK scientist/DJs Pete Ludovice and Bill Hung, for their show Inside the Black Box.  In this bit, we’re talking about how field and aquarium-based research inform each other.  See the rest of their archive here, and tune in on Wednesdays at 12 for a webcast dose of “science only funnier”


ITTB episode 2 of 4

Here’s episode two (of four) of my conversation with WREK scientist/DJs Pete Ludovice and Bill Hung. In this bit we’re talking about whale shark research in Mexico and the idea of conservation by payment for ecosystem services.  Check out the rest of their archive here, and listen live on Wednesdays at 12 (details in the link)


Inside the Black Box interview

Two weeks back I did an hour long radio interview with WREK 91.1, a public radio station out of Georgia Tech, for their science show Inside the Black Box, which is described by its hosts Pete Ludovice and Bill Hung as “Science, only funnier”.  Pete and Bill are both faculty members at Tech and also stand-up comedians. 

I am going to post the interview here in four more manageable parts over the next week or so.  Here’s Section 1, where we talk about how public aquariums came out of the naturalist movement of the Victorian era.

If you just can’t wait for the rest (and who could blame you, he says, sotto voce and without a hint of irony…), the whole interview with lead-ins and musical breaks is here.

While you’re at it, put a reminder on your calendar to listen to their live webcast each week on Wednesdays at 12.  They have sponsorship from NSF and do great work; I appreciate their permission to post the interview here.


Good news everyone! </Prof. Farnsworth>

I am excited to say that I will be joining the Deep Sea News network of marine science bloggers.  For those who are not familiar with DSN, they’ve been producing kick-butt marine science bloggy-type content since 2005 and are currently the most popular marine bio blog on the web and the only one listed in Google News.  Joining that community means I can work with some of the best mar-sci bloggers around and hopefully we all riff off each other to produce great content and host the sort of excellent discussions that I have always found so rewarding about blog audiences.  Its a sort of critical mass that’s much more manageable in a blog network than going solo.

I am going to hang onto this domain, because there will be times when I want to write about stuff that is not DSN material, so don’t drop this page from your feed reader just yet.

My first post is a general intro to the natural history of whale sharks and may be very familiar to folks who’ve followed this blog for a while.  Once its set up, I’ll post the link to RSS feed of my posts at DSN here.  But really, you should subscribe to ALL of DSN’s stuff, you can’t go wrong.


New DSN feed

For those of you like me who are hapless RSS junkies, here’s a link for my new feed at Deep Sea News and here’s the feed for ALL DSN content.  Go on, Google Reader beckons you, you know you want to…



Why's it always gotta be about poo?

After the outrageous popularity of a previous post here about a whale shark dookie so big you could see it from an aeroplane, now this YouTube video of a white shark telling some cage divers exactly what he thinks of their taste in SCUBA fashions:

At the risk of being labeled “Dr Shark Poo”,  I have a few quotes in this article discussing exactly what’s going on here.  In short, why is the poop yellow? (digestive and blood pigments) why are the fish eating it? (nom nom nom) and why study shark poo anyway? (a figurative treasure trove of physiological data). Roll over there and check out the rest of the article.


Science all a Twitter

Craig McClain at DeepSeaNews did a nice piece last summer about what Twitter is and why scientists should use it.  I bring it up because in this brief hiatus from active blogging, I’m still on Twitter and so are lots of other marine science folks, most of whom are talented and funny and taking full advantage of the short form Twitter provides.  I can be followed @para_sight, but you should also check out people like @DrCraigMc, @DrBondar, @sfriedscientist, @kzelnio, @DrChrisKellogg, @Dr_Bik, @edyong209, @oystersgarter, @BoraZ and @WhySharksMatter


A little quiet-time

Sorry for the lack of updates lately.  After the frenzy of activity in brazil, things have been a little hectic at work and there’s lots to do at home, so not much time for researching or writing right now.  It’ll pick back up again in the near future, but for now I need to focus on some other things.

In the meantime, you should check in on some of the other fine ocean and science blogging out there

Deep Sea News

Southern Fried Science


Ya Like Dags?


Carnival of the Blue

Not Exactly Rocket Science




At least you could do water changes with a teaspoon

With a grateful hat tip to DSN’s DrCraigMc via Twitter, I give you (well, really the Telegraph gives you)- TA DA! - the world’s smallest aquarium.  Click the link or the pic to see it in all its diminutive glory.

At just 10mls, you have to be *really* careful about overfeeding

Just for scale, the Ocean Voyager exhibit at Georgia Aquarium would hold 2.4 billion of those bad boys.  That means that aquariums effectively span 9 orders of magnitude in size.  We’ve come a long way, Anton Dohrn



Whale Sharks on Mother Nature Network

Our whale shark genome project is featured in this short video on Mother Nature Network this week.  It’s got some sound bites from the Georgia Aquarium president David Kimmel, as well as Emory University research scientist Ryan Weil and yours truly.


As promised, more of the Johnson Sea Link

When we were on the Abrolhos research cruise aboard the HBOI/CEPEMAR ship Seward Johnson recently, I posted a little clip of the outside of the sub.  In that post I promised better quality and longer clips when I got back to land.  So here, (in HD goodness if you want it) is long-time pilot Don Liberatore giving a neat history of the Johnson Sea Link 2 submersible.  What I find most interesting is his comment about how he got into being a sub pilot in the first place: sitting on the dock in the 70’s he and some buddies saw the HBOI ship pull into port with the original JSL1 or Clelia (not sure which) on the deck and he thought “how cool is that?”.  This comment is exactly what I meant in my recent post about the importance of Human Occupied Vehicles (HOVs), or submersibles, for inspiring people to careers in marine science.

The 500pixel column width here on the blog is a bit limiting; if you want to see it in HD, roll over to the YouTube channel and check it out