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  • Toward Understanding Bacterial Ice Nucleation

    Lukas, Max; Schwidetzky, Ralph; Eufemio, Rosemary J.; Bonn, Mischa; Meister, Konrad (American Chemical Society, 2022-01-27)
    Bacterial ice nucleators (INs) are among the most effective ice nucleators known and are relevant for freezing processes in agriculture, the atmosphere, and the biosphere. Their ability to facilitate ice formation is due to specialized ice-nucleating proteins (INPs) anchored to the outer bacterial cell membrane, enabling the crystallization of water at temperatures up to −2 °C. In this Perspective, we highlight the importance of functional aggregation of INPs for the exceptionally high ice nucleation activity of bacterial ice nucleators. We emphasize that the bacterial cell membrane, as well as environmental conditions, is crucial for a precise functional INP aggregation. Interdisciplinary approaches combining high-throughput droplet freezing assays with advanced physicochemical tools and protein biochemistry are needed to link changes in protein structure or protein–water interactions with changes on the functional level.
  • Cryofouling avoidance in the Antarctic scallop Adamussium colbecki

    Wong, William S. Y.; Hauer, Lukas; Cziko, Paul A.; Meister, Konrad (Springer Nature, 2022-01-21)
    The presence of supercooled water in polar regions causes anchor ice to grow on submerged objects, generating costly problems for engineered materials and life-endangering risks for benthic communities. The factors driving underwater ice accretion are poorly understood, and passive prevention mechanisms remain unknown. Here we report that the Antarctic scallop Adamussium colbecki appears to remain ice-free in shallow Antarctic marine environments where underwater ice growth is prevalent. In contrast, scallops colonized by bush sponges in the same microhabitat grow ice and are removed from the population. Characterization of the Antarctic scallop shells revealed a hierarchical micro-ridge structure with sub-micron nano-ridges which promotes directed icing. This concentrates the formation of ice on the growth rings while leaving the regions in between free of ice, and appears to reduce ice-to-shell adhesion when compared to temperate species that do not possess highly ordered surface structures. The ability to control the formation of ice may enable passive underwater anti-icing protection, with the removal of ice possibly facilitated by ocean currents or scallop movements. We term this behavior cryofouling avoidance. We posit that the evolution of natural anti-icing structures is a key trait for the survival of Antarctic scallops in anchor ice zones.
  • Behavioral observations and stable isotopes reveal high individual variation and little seasonal variation in sea otter diets in Southeast Alaska

    LaRoche, Nicole; King, Sydney L.; Rogers, Matthew C.; Eckert, Ginny L.; Pearson, Heidi C. (Marine Ecology Progress Series, 2021-10-28)
    Two complementary approaches were used to assess year-round variation in the diet of sea otters Enhydra lutris around Prince of Wales Island (POW) in southern Southeast Alaska, a region characterized by mixed-bottom habitat. We observed sea otters foraging to determine diet composition during the spring and summer. Then, we obtained sea otter vibrissae, which record temporal foraging patterns as they grow, from subsistence hunters to identify year-round changes in sea otter diets via stable isotope analysis of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N). We compared the stable isotopes from sea otter vibrissae and sea otter prey items that were collected during spring, summer, and winter. Overall, year-round sea otter diet estimates from stable isotope signatures and visual observations from spring and summer were dominated by clams in terms of biomass, with butter clams Saxidomus gigantea the most common clam species seen during visual observations. Our results indicate that these sea otters, when considered together at a regional level around POW, do not exhibit shifts in the main prey source by season or location. However, sea otter diets identified by stable isotopes had a strong individual-level variation. Behavioral variation among individual sea otters may be a primary driving factor in diet composition. This study provides quantitative diet composition data for modeling predictions of invertebrate population estimates that may aid in the future management of shellfisheries and subsistence hunting and the development of co-management strategies for this protected species.
  • Examining the Role of Marine Mammals and Seabirds in Southeast Alaska’s Marine Ecosystem Dynamics

    Rhodes-Reese, Melissa; Clay, David; Cunningham, Curry; Moriles-Miller, Janet; Reese, Cheryl; Roman, Joe; Warren, Joseph D.; Pearson, Heidi C. (Frontiers Research Foundation, 2021-12-22)
    Primary producers are the foundation of marine food webs and require reliable nutrient sources to maintain their important role with ecosystems. While marine mammals and seabirds can play critical roles in marine nutrient cycling, their contributions are often overlooked. The fjord systems of Southeast Alaska support a high diversity of marine mammals and seabirds in addition to some of the most valuable fisheries in the US. Nonetheless, there is still relatively little known about nutrient sources and fluxes in this region which is a critical component of fisheries management. The goal of our study was to advance knowledge of the role of mammals and seabirds in marine nutrient cycling and to understand how changing marine mammal and seabird populations may alter ecosystem dynamics. We analyzed nutrient levels in marine mammal scat, seabird guano, and seawater samples collected in Berners Bay, Southeast Alaska, to determine the influence of marine mammals and seabirds on nearshore nutrient concentrations. Utilizing qualitative network models (QNMs), we then examined how a simulated Berners Bay ecosystem would respond to an increase in marine mammals, seabirds, and nutrients. Researchers are increasingly utilizing QNMs as a first step in the development of ecosystem-based fisheries management plans as their adaptable nature is well suited to address rapidly changing climatic conditions. Our direct nutrient measurements and QNM results indicate that marine mammals and seabirds have the potential to provide substantial contributions to marine nutrient concentrations in the region and that these valuable ecosystem services should not be overlooked.
  • The Southeast Alaska Tribal Ocean Research (SEATOR) Partnership: Addressing Data Gaps in Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring and Shellfish Safety in Southeast Alaska

    Harley, John Robinson; Lanphier, Kari; Kennedy, Esther G.; Leighfield, Tod A.; Bidlack, Allison Lynn; Gribble, Matthew O.; Whitehead, Christopher (MDPI, 2020-06-19)
    Many communities in Southeast Alaska harvest shellfish such as mussels and clams as an important part of a subsistence or traditional diet. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) of phytoplankton such as Alexandrium spp. produce toxins that can accumulate in shellfish tissues to concentrations that can pose a hazard for human health. Since 2013, several tribal governments and communities have pooled resources to form the Southeast Alaska Tribal Ocean Research (SEATOR) network, with the goal of minimizing risks to seafood harvest and enhancing food security. SEATOR monitors toxin concentrations in shellfish and collects and consolidates data on environmental variables that may be important predictors of toxin levels such as sea surface temperature and salinity. Data from SEATOR are publicly available and are encouraged to be used for the development and testing of predictive algorithms that could improve seafood risk assessment in Southeast Alaska. To date, more than 1700 shellfish samples have been analyzed for paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) in more than 20 locations, with potentially lethal concentrations observed in blue mussels (Mytilus trossulus) and butter clams (Saxidomus gigantea). Concentrations of PSTs exhibit seasonality in some species, and observations of Alexandrium are correlated to sea surface temperature and salinity; however, concentrations above the threshold of concern have been found in all months, and substantial variation in concentrations of PSTs remain unexplained.
  • Meals in the melting-pot: Immigration and dietary change in diversifying cities

    Rule, Nicola Frances; Dring, Colin Charles; Thornton, Thomas F. (Elsevier, 2021-09-30)
    Changes in diets and food practices have implications for personal and planetary health. As these implications have become more apparent, dietary change interventions that seek to promote healthy and sustainable transitions have proliferated, and the processes and drivers of dietary change have come under increasing scrutiny. In particular, dietary acculturation has been recognised as a driver of dietary change in the context of immigration to expanding, cosmopolitan cities. However, research has largely focused on changes in the diets of immigrants and ethnic minorities. In contrast, this study contributes to our understanding of the process of dietary acculturation among the largest population groups in Vancouver, Canada — Chinese- and European-Canadians — in the context of the rapid diversification of the population and food environments in this city. This is done through the analysis of descriptive and contextualised interview and observational data, and a focus on social practices. These data show that food practices, particularly in cosmopolitan urban contexts, are constantly in flux, as diverse ethnic groups come into contact, and new generations develop their own hybrid food cultures. By demonstrating and theorising this process of dietary acculturation, this research offers insights how cultural interactions relate to dietary transitions. It presents an exploratory model for considering how food practices change through dietary acculturation, which is relevant to the design of interventions that aim to support healthier and more sustainable dietary transitions.
  • Limited Progress in Improving Gender and Geographic Representation in Coral Reef Science

    Ahmadia, Gabby N.; Cheng, Samantha H.; Andradi-Brown, Dominic A.; Baez, Stacy K.; Barnes, Megan D.; Bennett, Nathan J.; Campbell, Stuart J.; Darling, Emily S.; Estradivari; Gill, David; et al. (Frontiers in Marine Science, 2021-09-29)
    Despite increasing recognition of the need for more diverse and equitable representation in the sciences, it is unclear whether measurable progress has been made. Here, we examine trends in authorship in coral reef science from 1,677 articles published over the past 16 years (2003–2018) and find that while representation of authors that are women (from 18 to 33%) and from non-OECD nations (from 4 to 13%) have increased over time, progress is slow in achieving more equitable representation. For example, at the current rate, it would take over two decades for female representation to reach 50%. Given that there are more coral reef non-OECD countries, at the current rate, truly equitable representation of non-OECD countries would take even longer. OECD nations also continue to dominate authorship contributions in coral reef science (89%), in research conducted in both OECD (63%) and non-OECD nations (68%). We identify systemic issues that remain prevalent in coral reef science (i.e., parachute science, gender bias) that likely contribute to observed trends. We provide recommendations to address systemic biases in research to foster a more inclusive global science community. Adoption of these recommendations will lead to more creative, innovative, and impactful scientific approaches urgently needed for coral reefs and contribute to environmental justice efforts.
  • Mathematical Modeling and Simulation with MATLAB

    Buzby, Megan; Lee, Sheldon (2021)
    This textbook attempts to provide you with an overview of the commonly used basic mathematical models, as well as a wide range of applications. It offers a perspective that brings you back to the modeling process and the assumptions that go into it.
  • Conditions for staggering and delaying outplantings of the kelps Saccharina latissima and Alaria marginata for mariculture

    Raymond, Amy E. T.; Stekoll, Michael S. (Wiley, 2021-08-02)
    We describe a method for production of kelp using meiospore seeding creating flexibility for extended storage time prior to outplanting. One bottleneck to expansion of the kelp farming industry is the lack of flexibility in timing of seeded twine production, which is dependent on the fertility of wild sporophytes. We tested methods to slow gametophyte growth and reproduction of early life stages by manipulating temperature of the kelp Saccharina latissima. Reducing temperature from 12 C to 4 C reduced gametophyte size, sporophyte size, egg production, and sporophyte production and subsequently was the best candidate condition for storage experiments of seeded twine. Next, we examined how storage of Alaria marginata and S. latissima seeded twine at 4 C under differing nutrient concentrations affected the viability of sporelings after being moved into optimal growth conditions. Seeded twine storage at 4 C with no alteration to culturing media showed no negative effects in sporophyte density and sporophyte length for both species. This method for seeded twine storage, “cold banking,” allowed seeded twine storage for at least an additional 36 days compared to standard methods, with a total of 56 days spent in the hatchery providing opportunity for outplanting timing and staggering to enhance aquaculture efficiency.
  • Sediment redistribution beneath the terminus of an advancing glacier, Taku Glacier (T’aakú Kwáan Sít’i), Alaska.

    Zechmann, Jenna M.; Truffer, Martin; Motyka, R. J.; Amundson, Jason M.; Larsen, Christopher F.; la (Cambridge University Press, 2020-12-23)
    The recently-advancing Taku Glacier is excavating subglacial sediments at high rates over multidecadal timescales. However, sediment redistribution over shorter timescales remains unquantified. We use a variety of methods to study subglacial and proglacial sediment redistribution on decadal, seasonal, and daily timescales to gain insight into sub- and proglacial landscape formation. Both excavation and deposition were observed from 2003 to 2015 (2.8 ± 0.9ma−1 to +2.9 ± 0.9ma−1). The observed patterns imply that a subglacial conduit has occupied the same site over the past decade. Outwash fans on the subaerial end moraine experience fluvial sediment reworking almost year-round, with net sediment gain in winter and net sediment loss in summer, and an overall mass gain between 2005 and 2015.We estimate that tens of meters of sediment still underlie the glacier terminus, sediments which can be remobilized during future activity. However, imminent retreat from the proglacial moraine will limit its sediment supply, leaving the moraine vulnerable to erosion by bordering rivers. Retreat into an over-deepened basin will leave the glacier vulnerable to increased frontal ablation and accelerating retreat.
  • Climate-Mediated Changes to Linked Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems across the Northeast Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest Margin

    Bidlack, Allison Lynn; Bisbing, Sarah; Buma, Brian; Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Fellman, Jason B.; Floyd, William C.; Giesbrecht, Ian; Lally, Amritpal; Lertzman, Ken P.; Perakis, Steven S.; et al. (Oxford University Press on behalf of American Institute of Biological Sciences., 2021-02-10)
    Coastal margins are important areas of materials flux that link terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Consequently, climate-mediated changes to coastal terrestrial ecosystems and hydrologic regimes have high potential to influence nearshore ocean chemistry and food web dynamics. Research from tightly coupled, high-flux coastal ecosystems can advance understanding of terrestrial–marine links and climate sensitivities more generally. In the present article, we use the northeast Pacific coastal temperate rainforest as a model system to evaluate such links. We focus on key above- and belowground production and hydrological transport processes that control the land-to-ocean flow of materials and their influence on nearshore marine ecosystems. We evaluate how these connections may be altered by global climate change and we identify knowledge gaps in our understanding of the source, transport, and fate of terrestrial materials along this coastal margin. Finally, we propose five priority research themes in this region that are relevant for understanding coastal ecosystem links more broadly.
  • Ice Nucleation Activity of Perfluorinated Organic Acids.

    Schwidetzky, Ralph; Sun, Yuling; Fröhlich-Nowoisky, Janine; Kunert, Anna T; Bonn, Mischa; Meister, Konrad (ACS Publications, 2021-03-31)
    Perfluorinated acids (PFAs) are widely used synthetic chemical compounds, highly resistant to environmental degradation. The widespread PFA contamination in remote regions such as the High Arctic implies currently not understood long-range atmospheric transport pathways. Here, we report that perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) initiates heterogeneous ice nucleation at temperatures as high as −16 °C. In contrast, the eight-carbon octanoic acid, perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, and deprotonated PFOA showed poor ice nucleating capabilities. The ice nucleation ability of PFOA correlates with the formation of a PFOA monolayer at the air−water interface, suggesting a mechanism in which the aligned hydroxyl groups of the carboxylic acid moieties provide a lattice matching to ice. The ice nucleation capabilities of fluorinated compounds like PFOA might be relevant for cloud glaciation in the atmosphere and the removal of these persistent pollutants by wet deposition.
  • Disaccharide Residues are Required for Native Antifreeze Glycoprotein Activity.

    Sun, Yuling; Giubertoni, Giulia; Bakker, Huib J; Liu, Jie; Wagner, Manfred; Ng, David Y W; Devries, Arthur L; Meister, Konrad (ACS Publications, 2021-05-06)
    Antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) are able to bind to ice, halt its growth, and are the most potent inhibitors of ice recrystallization known. The structural basis for AFGP’s unique properties remains largely elusive. Here we determined the antifreeze activities of AFGP variants that we constructed by chemically modifying the hydroxyl groups of the disaccharide of natural AFGPs. Using nuclear magnetic resonance, two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy, and circular dichroism, the expected modifications were confirmed as well as their effect on AFGPs solution structure. We find that the presence of all the hydroxyls on the disaccharides is a requirement for the native AFGP hysteresis as well as the maximal inhibition of ice recrystallization. The saccharide hydroxyls are apparently as important as the acetyl group on the galactosamine, the α-linkage between the disaccharide and threonine, and the methyl groups on the threonine and alanine. We conclude that the use of hydrogen-bonding through the hydroxyl groups of the disaccharide and hydrophobic interactions through the polypeptide backbone are equally important in promoting the antifreeze activities observed in the native AFGPs. These important criteria should be considered when designing synthetic mimics.
  • The protandric life history of the Northern spot shrimp Pandalus platyceros: molecular insights and implications for fishery management.

    Levy, Tom; Tamone, Sherry L; Manor, Rivka; Bower, Esther D; Sagi, Amir (Nature, 2020-01-28)
    The Northern spot shrimp, Pandalus platyceros, a protandric hermaphrodite of commercial importance in North America, is the primary target species for shrimp fisheries within Southeast Alaska. Fishery data obtained from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game indicate that spot shrimp populations have been declining significantly over the past 25 years. We collected spot shrimps in Southeast Alaska and measured reproductive-related morphological, gonadal and molecular changes during the entire life history. The appendix masculina, a major sexual morphological indicator, is indicative of the reproductive phase of the animal, lengthening during maturation from juvenile to the male phase and then gradually shortening throughout the transitional stages until its complete disappearance upon transformation to a female. This morphological change occurs in parallel with the degeneration of testicular tissue in the ovotestis and enhanced ovarian vitellogenesis. Moreover, we obtained the entire mRNA sequence of the yolk protein precursor, vitellogenin, and monitored its transcript levels throughout the entire shrimp life-cycle. Vitellogenin transcript levels in the hepatopancreas increased in the early transitional stage until reaching a peak prior to extruding eggs. Such transcriptomic analyses, coupled with a comprehensive description of the gonad, external sex characters and timing of the reproductive life history of spot shrimps contribute to a better understanding of the hermaphroditic reproduction process in the cold Southeast Alaskan waters. This knowledge can contribute to a revision of current conservation efforts to maintain wild populations sustainable for both commercial and ecological considerations.
  • Tidal Echoes 2021

    Alexander, Rosemarie; Bannerman, Amy; Bergren, Erika; Bowman, Emily; Elliot, William; Florian, Steve; Goodman, Jessy; Kane, Jeremy; Kirsch, Geoff; Lamb, Jonas; et al. (University of Alaska Southeast, 2021)
    Tidal Echoes presents an annual showcase of writers and artists who share one thing in common: a life surrounded by the rainforests and waterways of Southeast Alaska.
  • Tidal Echoes 2003

    Holloway, Robin; Trincado, Andrea; Andree, Judy; Cohen, Greg; Easley, Alexis; Pentecost, Clarissa; Wall, Emily; McKenzie, Liz (University of Alaska Southeast, 2003)
    Tidal Echoes presents an annual showcase of writers and artists who share one thing in common: a life surrounded by the rainforests and waterways of Southeast Alaska.
  • Tidal Echoes 2020

    Ziegler, Callie; Bergren, Erika; Wall, Emily; Elliot, William; Bannerman, Amy; Trafton, Math; Alexander, Rosemarie; Maier, Kevin; Kane, Jeremy; Zacher, Liz (University of Alaska Southeast, 2020)
    Tidal Echoes presents an annual showcase of writers and artists who share one thing in common: a life surrounded by the rainforests and waterways of Southeast Alaska.
  • Tidal Echoes 2019

    Busby, India; Ziegler, Callie; Wall, Emily; Lamb, Jonas; Elliot, William; Bannerman, Amy; Trafton, Math; Landis, Rod; Alexander, Rosemarie; Neeland, Allison; et al. (University of Alaska Southeast, 2019)
    Tidal Echoes presents an annual showcase of writers and artists who share one thing in common: a life surrounded by the rainforests and waterways of Southeast Alaska.
  • Tidal Echoes 2018

    Rumfelt, Elizabeth; Busby, India; Wall, Emily; Lamb, Jonas; Elliot, William; Trafton, Math; Martin, Mary Catherine; Young, Karragh; Kane, Jeremy; Zacher, Liz; et al. (University of Alaska Southeast, 2018)
    Tidal Echoes presents an annual showcase of writers and artists who share one thing in common: a life surrounded by the rainforests and waterways of Southeast Alaska.
  • Tidal Echoes 2017

    Clark, Maranda; Rumfelt, Elizabeth; Wall, Emily; Lamb, Jonas; Elliot, William; Trafton, Math; Hayes, Ernestine; Chordas, Nina; Martin, Mary Catherine; Enge, Carrie; et al. (University of Alaska Southeast, 2017)
    The 2017 edition of Tidal Echoes presents an annual showcase of writers and artists who share one thing in common: a life surrounded by the rainforests and waterways of Southeast Alaska.

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