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“Robomussels” in the New York Times

Robomussel in mussel bed at Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA.

Robomussel in a mussel bed at Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA.

For several years, starting first at UC Santa Barbara around 1999/2000, and then in the mid 2000’s and early teens at Hopkins Marine Station, I would spend one or two low tides per year going out to the seashore and gluing fake plastic mussels into the middle of real mussel beds (as shown above). These ‘robomussels’ were originally created by Brian Helmuth (now of Northeastern University), … Continue Reading

Seastar wasting syndrome

2013 is turning out to be a bad year for seastars (starfish) along the west coast of North America. As documented by this UC Santa Cruz monitoring webpage, a wasting disease of unknown origin (possibly caused by bacteria or a virus) is causing seastars of several species to fall apart. The map provided by the monitoring group shows all of the places where affected seastars have been found. Seastars on the seashore and below the surface are being found with the disease.

I happened upon a Pisaster ochraceus in the mid-intertidal zone at Hopkins Marine Station today … Continue Reading

Pictures from Quoddy Head, Maine

Photo gallery from the Three Seas program trip to Lubec Maine. October 2010.