Our lab haiku

From lab meeting this week led by Jennifer Hoey, we developed a “sciku“:

Genomes and climate
Changing across land, sea, sky.
Let’s discover why!

Becca’s research on Science Friday

Becca Selden teamed up with DataSpire’s Kristin Hunter-Thomson to develop an educational resource with Science Friday’s educational director Ariel Zych. The resource teaches 7-12th grade high school students to interpret the impacts of warming oceans on marine ecosystems. Lab members Katrina Catalano, and Lisa McManus provided valuable scientific review of the resource prior to its publication.

Check it out at:


The ocean is changing. As it changes, the ecosystem and the species within the ocean are impacted, sometimes in surprising ways. This is a story about how some of those changes—in temperature, where fish populations live, and the fishing communities that rely upon them—could play out along the Atlantic Coast in the next century. It’s also a story about making predictions and using evidence from data. Here’s how it’s going to work:

  1. Read a story from the docks of New England: What’s changing?
  2. Meet a scientist and think like one: How do we collect data on the oceans?
  3. Think like a fish: Use data to model changes in fish populations.
  4. Make predictions: Use your model to make predictions and inform the community

Tim Dencker’s visit!

Tim Spaanheden Dencker, a PhD Student out of the Technical University of Denmark’s National Institute of Aquatic Resources, just returned home to Denmark after more than three weeks visiting the Pinsky Lab! Tim had a chance to collaborate with members of the lab, and presented on his and others’ work at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources.

Catching clownfish

Diving is well underway here in the Philippines – we (Michelle, Joyce, and Allison) are back for another season studying metapopulation dynamics of reef fish. So far we’ve been visiting the northern sites in our study area in the Albuera municipality and have caught (and released) almost 200 clownfish. See the boat we’re using and the fish we’re looking for below!

Amphiprion clarkii, the yellowtail clownfish, with Heteractis crispa (the anemone). An anemone tag is visible above.

Pinsky Post-docs don’t stop

What do Pinsky post-docs do in hour 18 of a 36 hour trip? Work of course. Pictured here are half of our 2018 Philippines field work team hard at work in the Hong Kong airport while waiting for a connecting flight. This is only the first leg of our multi-leg journey to reach our study site in Leyte so stay tuned for more updates.

New article in PNAS

Just out last week, Malin has a Commentary in PNAS, “Throwing back the big ones saves a fishery from hot water.” In it, he explains why a recent paper by Arnault Le Bris on the Maine lobster fishery provides important insight into efforts to create climate-ready fisheries management. Practices like conserving the female lobsters and not catching the large lobsters have allowed the fishery to flourish as temperatures have warmed, and will likely continue helping the fishery into the future. Despite the overall good news for lobster and the way it has been managed in Maine, many of the stakeholders in Maine have not been as happy with the news (see Portland Press Herald articles here and here).

Pinsky Lab @ Conferences

Our lab members went to several conferences in early 2018!

Lisa and Malin are at the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, Oregon this week. They are both giving talks (Lisa: “Ecological implications of thermal stress and larval connectivity in the Coral Triangle”; Malin; “Climate, species distributions, and increasing species richness in North American marine communities”), and Malin is on a panel about engaging with decision-makers to navigate ocean change.

Portland, OR

Becca recently led a discussion, “Mechanisms and Outcomes of Predator-Prey Interactions: Scaling Across Space and Time”, at the Gordon Research Conference in Ventura, CA.

Gordon Research Conference, Ventura, CA

Emily attended the Andina workshop in Patagonia, in which the group discussed knowledge gaps and future directions in invasion biology and range expansion due to climate change.

View at Andina Workshop, Patagonia

Katrina attended the 150th annual American Society of Naturalists conference in January in Pacific Grove, CA, where she gave  a talk: “Going with the flow: connectivity in a variable ocean”.

View in Pacific Grove, CA

COMPASS Science Communication Workshop

Members of the Pinsky Lab helped to organize a COMPASS Science Communication Workshop for Rutgers grad students, researchers, and faculty. Participants were introduced to the “Message Box”, an organizational tool for communicating science, and had the opportunity to practice delivering an elevator pitch on their current work. The trainers included Nancy Baron (COMPASS), Kendra Pierre-Louis (New York Times), Maddy Sofia (NPR), David Malakoff (Science), John Upton (Climate Central), and Rick Weiss (SciLine), We had a great time!