Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Subaqua Donk

DJ Mungo Munroe (son of famed Marine Biologist Dr. Alvin Monroe) will be playing his first Subaqua Donk show on his whistle stop world tour this month. The show, the first of it's kind in the world will be held at the Shelter in Shanghai. All profits from the tour will be donated to the Dr. Kazuhiro Kanazawa Foundation.
Special guest on the night will be Dr. Alvin Munroe, Blackout Crew and the sirenfish.
Hope to see you there.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Sea-through fish.. badoomshik!

This is crazy, at first I thought it was just cos I was really really stoned (I'd been smoking mad weed all day with my son Mungo) but then I realised that it actually exists and has just been discovered.

Mungo and I tripping the light fantastic early today.

It's a fish with a transparent head, like how crazy is that. Far out man!
Not only that, the Barreleye as it's known, can see the future and emit it's findings via sonar. The only problem being that it can see just 5 seconds into the future and only has a 5 second memory.

Dr Alvin Munroe, signing off for now.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Shape shifting coral

Researchers writing in the open access CSMB Evolutionary Biology study have used genetic markers to examine coral groupings and investigate how these markers relate to alterations in shape, in the process discovering that our inaccurate picture of coral species is compromising our ability to conserve coral reefs.

The coral studied so far has shown under the right conditions it can morph into almost any shape. Some corals found are exhibiting on the fly bizarre shape shifting, morphing from corally lumps into fish, horses, wheel barrows, giraffes, Boeing 747's, shoe laces and other miscellaneous items

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

An Evolved Form Of Jellyfish Takes Over City Water Supply

Last week, CSMB received several water samples from Holdrege, Nebraska's water and sanitation department, alleging that their city's water supply has been contaminated with jellyfish. After assuring us that it was not a hoax, our esteemed resident professor, Dr. Heng Nan Kan (who recently won a Nobel for discovering green jellyfish petroleum), tested the samples and confirmed that they were indeed tainted with what seems to be a highly evolved species of Hydromedusaes (athecate hydroids: order of the Hydrozoza).
Dr. Nan Kan was extremely perturbed by this new discovery of jellyfish. While freshwater jellyfish are well known and documented, this new hybrid-species has developed a gastrodermal lining of the gastrovascular cavity which allows it to digest highly toxic impurities and enables it to adapt and survive in unfathomable environments such as sewer and industrial waste.

"The il mangiatore umano della merda (Holdrege Jellyfish) is the one of the few aquatic organism that has completely adapted itself to co-exist in the human world," states Dr. Heng Nan Kan. "They are the equivalent of the modern day cockroach."

Highly transparent and hard to see unless closely examined, the Holdrege Jellyfish resembles no physical difference to its cousins, the Hydromedusae. They usually grow no larger than a nickel in size and can obtain a variety of shapes. This also explains why they have not been found until recently.

After talking at length with the Holdrege city council, CSMB was told that an incident that involved a 10 year old boy at Washington Elementary led to the discovery of the Holdrege Jellyfish infestation. According to council woman, Lisza Pat McHunt, the little boy was drinking from the water fountain when he felt a stingy sensation on his tongue and throat. Thinking that it was the cause of the Burts bee lip balm that he ate (the school administrators were aware of this behavior and noted that it happens frequently), Roger Lipskin didn't think much of it until his tongue started to swell uncontrollably. "Thankfully, our math/gym teacher, Mr. Smith got stung by a jellyfish while vacationing in Hawaii. He saw Roger's symptoms and knew right off the bat that it was caused by a jellyfish sting," says Principle Falcon. "Roger was lucky that he received the correct diagnoses in time."

Currently, the city of Holdrege has issued a death risk alert and has been distributing cases of Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Diet Coke Lime/ Lemon twist, and Sprite in the town centre. "We are urging our residents to refrain from any water intake or bathing," says Mayor Towers, "Thanks to the good folks at Coca-Cola, we will be supplied with carbonated refreshments until we can provide our citizens with safe drinking water."

Early this morning, Dr. Heng Nan Kan and his brother Dr. Tai Nan Kan left for Holdrege in a joint effort with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab to study more about the Holdrege Jellyfish. The city council also hopes that these scientists will find a solution to their jellyfish predicament. More information about their progress will be posted early next week.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I Have Been Shipwrecked

Hello this is my first blog post on CSMB, it is in fact my first blog post ever. My name is Dr Alvin Monroe and up until Thursday of last week I have been shipwrecked on an island in the Pacific Ocean for 5 months.

Dr Alvin Monroe seen here with a spotted hump-back whale June 2005

I was up until last year the head of Aquanautic Research in the field of squid dam technology at the Chelsea School of Marine Biology. I was rescued last week thanks in part to the tireless petitioning of the RM coast guards by my esteemed colleagues and supporters to whom I owe a massive debt of thanks.
This is my story.
Last August I was involved in a research trip that was being conducted in the Pacific Ocean. Along with 9 other colleagues, including noted Marine Biologist and CSMB fellow Dr. Samuel Jacobs and Indian celebrity marine life expert Gurvinder Patel, I was researching a large squid damn that was dangerously close to rupture. All of a sudden five nights into the voyage we hit a terrible storm, a storm that would eventually sink our boat and kill three of the crew.

Gurvinder Patel

All I remember of that night was pelting rain, howling wind and a darkness the likes of which I have never before seen. I can remember clinging desperately on to the life boat as we were hurled around like a rag doll in the ferocious wash. The next morning the seas had calmed and the sun rose on a beautiful but desolate ocean. We drifted for 2 days and cautiously ate some supplies that were packed on the raft. On the morning of the 3rd day we spotted land, a medium sized island with white sand and lush green trees was approaching us on the horizon.

A desert island much like ours.

As soon as we hit the Island, Dr. Jacobs split us into two teams, one to survey the land and find food and one group to create shelter and start working on rescue plans.
We found food, plenty of it, the tastiest fruit and berries I ever ate but there was no meat to be found and fishing was proving trickier than expected. We distilled sea and rain water in stills made from coconut husks and created adequate shelter.
At first it seemed like paradise, of course I knew that we were lost and had little hope of rescue but I always kept my hopes up and my spirit high plus I like a nice deep tan. It was after the second month that things started to turn sour. With hopes of a rescue diminishing petty arguments and fighting erupted between the men. At this point I would like to say that what happened from here on out was caused by a desperate situation and until you have experienced such a situation you cannot hope to understand our plight. After a particularly viscous moment 2 of the men who had been fighting on a raised platform 30 meters from the beach both fell to their deaths in the ravine below. Starved for the taste of meat and slowly wasting away somebody suggested that we should not waste the meat of our colleagues and let them die in vain. I know now it sounds insane but when faced with such a predicament insanity takes on a whole new meaning. So we ate. I went to sleep that night feeling physically ill, repulsed at the creature I had become. I had vivid dreams of all manor of exotic human hors d'oeuvres.

An hors d'oeuvre from the wikipedia entry on hors d'oeuvres.

The next morning the mood in the camp had shifted drastically. For a start Dr. Jacobs had disappeared along with the life raft and morale was at an all time low.
We soldiered on day and night passing the time as best we could, longing for salvation. Finally after 5 months a boat was spotted on the horizon and we fired 2 flares into the evening sky. The flares illuminated the island in an eerie light but I was sure that the boat could not miss them. Four hours later we were safe aboard a US marine boat heading back to South America and to normal life.
Dr Jacobs has not been seen in months and his whereabouts are currently unknown. At this point he is missing presumed dead. Gurvinder Patel was one of the men who tragically perished on the island may he rest in peace.
I will be continuing my post at CSMB and hopefully blogging on lighter subject matter related to my course and marine biology in general.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

4th Triggerfish Death - Travel Warning.

At the CSMB offices this morning, we were all deeply saddened by news of the death of six year old Jeremy Ryan, who's mangled, ravaged body was found washed up on the coast of eastern Saudi Arabia in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The boy, son of famed Marine Biology educator Cris Ryan (currently working at the Smithsonian Marine Station), was vacationing with his family on the sunny beaches of Yanbu when he spotted a sparkle and flash of colour in the crystal clear waters. His curiosity soon lead to his tragic death, and before his parents could hear even a shout from his lips, he was attacked and killed by the beautiful yet deadly Clown Triggerfish.

Jeremy Ryan's (pictured left) death marks the fourth Triggerfish incident since 2007.

The Clown Triggerfish, mostly known by it's scientific name of Balistoides conspicillum (Bloch & Schneider, 1801), has a fantastic colouration, making this species instantly recognisable when seen. The eyes of this deceptively harmless fish are generally masked with a white or yellow stripe crossing over the snout, and the mouth of the Clown Triggerfish is bright yellow with a white line behind it.

CSMB wishes to issue a formal travel warning to those with plans to visit the vicinity of the Red Sea. There has been a marked rise in aggression in the Clown Triggerfish and related fish in the Trigger family, and studies are currently being conducted in a joint collaboration with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, and The American University in Cairo (AUC).

Our heartfelt sympathies and thoughts are with the Ryan family today.

'Life Underwater' a talk by Dr. Martin Wong

CSMB old boy Dr. Martin Wong will be giving a talk on Coral farming, the worlds first Humanquarium (an underwater space in which humans can breath freely and go about their daily business under the watchful glare of fascinated fish) and possible sub-aqua housing developments such as the "Aquafirma" project. The project has, until very recently, been completely top secret. Dr. Wong has been working on the project in Dubai for the past 5 years, slated for completion sometime in 2017, it has been revealed that Aquafirma will be a mixed use underwater development comprising housing, an 8 star hotel and a mega Casino.

The Talk will be part of the ongoing TED conference currently taking place in California this month. If you are at the TED conference then don't miss this fascinating talk, the rest of us will have to wait for the upcoming podcasts and youtube videos of the event.