The research behind the squid sex

February 14, 2009

ResearchBlogging.orgThough I’m thrilled that my ode to squid sex appeared in Slate, I only brought the funny to existing research. Since the format at Slate does not allow for citations, here they are.

The videos and the excellent sneaker male facts were from Dr. Lou Zeidberg’s research up at Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, CA. He’s a postdoc in the Gilly lab, and an expert on both market squid and the dread Humboldt squid. And he was really, really nice about a last minute Friday-night email from me saying “Um, I kinda linked to your lab webpage without thinking and um, your traffic might go up a lot, and um, you don’t get charged for bandwidth, right?”

The other scientific source of squidly passions was SIO’s own Dr. John McGowan. Dr. McGowan is best known for his Pacific plankton expertise, and until I wrote this piece I had no idea he was tooling around La Jolla Canyon on primitive SCUBA equipment in the 50s. Awesome.

Also thanks to fellow student and resident squid fiend Mike Navarro for his help in finding squid sex resources.


McGowan, J.A. 1954. Observation on the sexual behaviour and spawning of the squid Loligo opalescens at La Jolla, California. Californian Fish and Game 40: 47-54.

Zeidberg, Louis D. (2008). First observations of sneaker mating in the California market squid Doryteuthis opalescens (Cephalopoda: Myopsida) J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. 2 Biodiversity Records 5998.

The Oyster’s Garter Goes National

February 13, 2009

Check out Miriam’s first piece for

Ah, February, that special time of the year when love is in the air and the heart turns toward romance. Or, in the case of the Southern California population of the market squid, that special time of year when giant underwater orgies are followed by immediate death. Never mind the stress of Valentine’s Day gift shopping—what about the stress of fitting in the 20-tentacle tango before your inevitable demise?

Read the rest of “Motion in the Ocean” at Slate

The Oyster’s Garter: now with more hotness

February 9, 2009

The Oyster’s Garter has had a little bit of work done, and is now hotter than ever. Check out the shiny new banner, handcrafted by the extremely talented Irradiatus of Biochemicalsoul. (So happy to have met him at Science Online!) I’ve also changed the wordpress theme to a cleaner look. The exact nature of the oyster’s garter remains left to your imagination, where it belongs.

In conclusion, IRRADIATUS is teh r0x0r OMG XOXOXOXOXOXO! And Biochemicalsoul is a great blog and you should read it – check out his recent destruction of my dream commute via giant sloth.

Who wants to trade a banner for delicious baked goods?

January 26, 2009

After seeing Glendon’s and Irradiatus‘s fabulous bio-art and Jason’s adorable invertebrate pins at Science Online, and also admiring Deep Sea News’ shiny new banner, I have been overcome with jealousy. I want a banner, too! For the last year and a half, the Oyster’s Garter banners have been little crops of my underwater photos – BORING.  What’s the point of having a ludicrous name if you can’t have a ludicrous banner? We clearly need a be-gartered oyster mascot, but alas, I have no artistic or photoshop talent.

So I propose a trade. If someone out there wants to make an Oyster’s Garter banner, I will mail them their desired combination of homemade baked goods and goodies from the SIO/Birch Aquarium bookstore.

My only request is that the banner be a) awesome and b) family-friendly – no overly bawdy bivalves, please. Any takers?

Science Online: Now in Powerpoint!

January 21, 2009

[Update 1/22/09: By popular request, my presentation is now up on Slide Share and embedded below. Behold, the power of online science communication!]

Yesterday, I gave a presentation on Science Online ’09 to the SIO Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. I focused on three ways that scientists can use online communication (self-promotion, education, improving diversity) and ended with a quick overview of other neat online science tools.

You can download a PDF of the Powerpoint here. In order to minimize file size and eliminate copyright/privacy worries, I have removed all the photos. It looks pretty bland, but you can get the gist. Here is the presentation, as uploaded onto Slideshare.

Here are the links to demos interspersed throughout the talk:

My marine invertebrate video collection – example of low-commitment resource creation

Miss Baker’s Extreme Biology Class (high school class blog)
Example of Ning private social network (college biology class)
The Synapse – Ning network for biology educators – Compilation of blog entries about peer-reviewed research
Video podcasts on peer-reviewed research created by undergrads

Danielle Lee’s suggestions and list of minority-authored science blogs
Jonathan Tarr’s summary of the race in science discussion

Cool stuff
Open Lab Notebook – example 1, example 2
Journal of Visualized ExperimentsBlood Collection from a Horseshoe Crab
Example of SciVee Pubcast
Example of SciVee PosterCast

NOM NOM NOM: Digesting Science Online

January 19, 2009
Kevin has a crab hat. Your argument is invalid.

Kevin has a crab hat. Your argument is invalid.

I’m still gnawing Science Online ’09 into bite-size niblits – I’m presenting what I learned to the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation forum tomorrow, and I will post my Powerpoint when it’s done. In the meantime, I just want to say that my marine comrades are epically awesome in real life (and we DO need a spinoff conference!), it was great to meet new people to expand my blogular circle, Danielle Lee needs her own TV show, and OMG Sheril! Echinoderms SO did NOT win!

Many, many thanks to Bora and Anton for all their hard work!

And if David and James from CSI are out there: thanks for all the Bloody Marys on the plane, and here’s all the sea shanty lyrics and invertebrate sex you could possibly desire.

Off to Science Online 2009

January 15, 2009

Just in case you weren’t sure that I had enough geek cred, I am off to North Carolina for the Science Online 2009 conference. My official mission is to find ways to use online networking to increase diversity at SIO, and my unofficial mission is to schmooze & booze with my ocean (and terrestrial) blogging buddies.*

If you’re going, don’t forget that Kevin Z, Karen James, the Southern Fried Scientist and I will leading a sea shanty singalong Friday night! You don’t need to know any shanties or be able to sing – we’ll teach you and it’s all about the volume anyway. Plus, don’t you want to know where me noggy noggy shirt is? Or all the things to do with a drunken sailor early in the morning?

*Note that my favorite piezophilic trio, Deep Sea News, has left Discovery Networks and gone indie. Check out their snazzy new digs!


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