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Ocean & Earth Sciences

NSF funds undergraduate DNA and biodiversity research

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has received a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Through this award, undergraduates will use high-throughput DNA sequencing, phylogenetic methods and bioinformatics to study microbiomes and the identities and origins of Hawaiʻi’s endemic, native and introduced organisms. Mentorship will be provided by faculty from the UH Mānoa …

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Climate experts to help vulnerable coastal communities

The University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program (Hawaiʻi Sea Grant) formed its newest center of excellence to assist coastal communities throughout Hawaiʻi and the Pacific islands prepare for the impacts of both natural and human-induced coastal hazards. Hawaiʻi Sea Grant’s Center for Coastal and Climate Science and Resilience brings together world-renowned university scientists and outreach professionals with government and community partners to focus …

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Organism responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning could affect fisheries

New research published in Scientific Reports by scientists at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology suggests that ingestion of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense changes the energy balance and reproductive potential of a particular copepod, a small crustacean, in the North Atlantic that is key food source for young fishes, including many commercially important species. Alexandrium fundyense is a photosynthetic …

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Corals and humans share genes

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa scientists at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) have published new research showing that corals share many of the genes humans possess, especially those that can sense temperature and acidity, both of which are important to keeping both coral and humans healthy. The findings, published in the journal eLife, are the …

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Scientists discover world’s largest known sponge in Papahānaumokuākea MNM

Researchers in the summer of 2015 were surveying an ocean ridge in a marine conservation area off the shores of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and amid ordinary ocean floor fare — a bit of coral, some volcanic rock — they came across something surprising: they discovered what they say is the world’s largest known sponge. Roughly the size of a …

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UH Mānoa partners in National Microbiome Initiative

On May 13, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced a new National Microbiome Initiative (NMI), a coordinated effort to better understand microbiomes—communities of microorganisms that live on and in people, plants, soil, oceans and the atmosphere—and to develop tools to protect and restore healthy microbiome function. This initiative represents a combined federal agency investment of more …

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Fishing networks study may save sharks

Tuna fishers who network with their competition may be able to stop thousands of sharks a year from being accidentally captured and killed in the Pacific Ocean. Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa found if fishers communicated more with their rivals, it could lead …

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[VIDEO] Shark study helps explain higher incidence of encounters off Maui

Important research out of the University of Hawaiʻi is providing state leaders with critical information to better develop outreach and awareness efforts to minimize possibly dangerous encounters with tiger sharks. After a spike in shark bites off of Maui in 2012 and 2013, the State Department of Land and Natural Resources turned to the experts at the UH Mānoa Hawaiʻi …

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Board of Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research awarded

The 2016 Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research was awarded to Brian W. Bowen, Loïc Le Marchand and Kristin Pauker. The research medal is awarded by the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents in recognition of scholarly contributions that expand the boundaries of knowledge and enrich the lives of students and the community. Regents’ medal honorees Brian W. Bowen Research professor, …

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UH leads $20M research partnership to secure Hawaiʻi’s water future

Increasing population, changing land use practices and issues relating to climate change are contributing to growing concerns over water quality and quantity in Hawaiʻi. To help the state address this critical issue, the National Science Foundation has awarded $20 million to the University of Hawaiʻi to do a five-year, groundbreaking study of water sustainability issues through a collaboration called ʻIke …

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