Welcome to the May 2017 YMB Blog!

Hello YMB Members! We are still busy working behind the scenes planning the exclusive YMB Summit event for you, which will take place on 28th October 2017. So this month’s Blog brings you some brief marine biology news, a YMB Member Article by Jordan Havell and some interesting opportunities for you. I hope you will enjoy this month's reading.

And remember, we would love you to contribute to the content of this blog as much as possible. Please share your stories, reports, finds and photos with us. Sharing your photos, writing, art work comments or questions with us for use in future blog content and bulletins may earn you an exclusive MBA pin badge! (see picture) email to: ymb@mba.ac.uk or share with us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram

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Marine Biology News

Limpets are amazing! If you don’t yet agree with this statement, perhaps you will after reading this article. New research shows that limpets can repair their damaged shells with biological material so that they are as strong as the originals. Quite impressive, don't you think? 

From the small wonderful limpets, we travel to the other side of the world to focus on the mass stranding of pilot whales that happened in February of the coast of New Zealand. A huge rescue effort was rolled out to save as many animals as possible. Mass stranding events such as this are not uncommon, yet the reasons leading to whale strandings are still unclear. Better understanding of the behaviour and ecology of these magnificent animals, and the variables that influence them, is likely will help better understand these events.

In continuing with the subject of variables that influence life in the ocean, a new study on how wind and ocean currents transport floating marine debris is helping to explain how rubbish patches form. This mathematical model simulates the motion of small objects at the ocean surface and could be used to track shipwrecks, airplane debris, sea ice and pollution among the many practical applications according to the researchers, which consequently can inform the study of how these might impact the living organisms that inhabit these ‘hot spots’.

YMB Member Article: Marine Wildlife and my interest in it

Some of you may remember Jordan’s YMB Member Article from September 2016 about his work on “Stranded Mammals”. Since then, Jordan has kept busy at his local shore, and has an interesting story to share with you, hoping to inspired you to enjoy marine wildlife and its biodiversity.

My name is Jordan and I am 15 years old. My passion for marine wildlife continues apace. I now volunteer at Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve near Skegness a couple of times a month.

In February, over the two weeks with the strong easterly winds, some really interesting coastal finds have appeared including brown mussels, slipper limpets and orange striped anemones, all of which are alien species and can be recorded through the Marine Conservation Society. The first slipper limpet is recorded in the UK in Liverpool Bay in 1872.

Other finds included many stranded live starfish and sunstars, which I have helped return to the sea. I was fascinated to see the latter as having lived on the coast for several years, this was the first time they had washed up here - now I have seen quite a few. They had 13 arms and a lovely shade of red. Sunstars are classed as a subtidal species. This means they normally live in the area below the low water tide line which is submerged all the time. They are a species of the family Solasteridae – found over a wide geographical distribution. I live on the east coast by the North Sea, formally known as the German Ocean. These are wonderful to see and I have attached a photo of one for you to see.

From being both a local beach goer and a young marine enthusiast, there is just so much to see on the coastline-every day and every tide can bring something different, and so can weather conditions.

Last November I was awarded The David Robertson Youth Award for Coastal and Marine Recording and Information Sharing at The National Museum of Scotland by Earl Selbourne on behalf of The National Biodiversity Network.

Please feel free to follow my facebook page - Jordans stranded mammals campaign.

By Jordan Havell, YMB

Nominations have opened for the 2017 UK Awards for Biological Recording and Information Sharing!

Developed in 2015 by the National Biodiversity Network, the National Forum for Biological Recording and the Biological Records Centre, these annual Awards celebrate the individuals, the newcomers and the groups of people or organisations that are making outstanding contributions to biological recording and improving our understanding of the natural world in the UK.

There are six categories of awards this year:

  • Gilbert White Youth Award for terrestrial and freshwater wildlife
  • Gilbert White Adult Award for terrestrial and freshwater wildlife
  • David Robertson Youth Award for marine and coastal wildlife
  • David Robertson Adult Award for marine and coastal wildlife
  • Lynne Farrell Group Award for wildlife recording
  • Adult Newcomer Award

All too often the painstaking work that individual and groups of biological recorders undertake is not publically recognised.  So help us put that right, and nominate your unsung hero!

Nominating someone couldn’t be simpler, just fill in our short form explaining how your nominee is making an exceptional contribution in the world of UK biological recording.  You can even nominate yourself!

Nominations close on 31 July, so please don’t leave it too late….. Bit.ly/NBNawards

This year, the five short-listed nominees from each award category will be announced on 29 September, giving us the opportunity to recognise the achievements of more biological recorders than in previous years.

The winners will be announced at a special ceremony that is part of the National Biodiversity Network's annual conference in November.

Sharpham Bioblitz 9-10 June 2017

If you can, join our Ambios friends at Lower Sharpham Farm and become a wildlife explorer for the weekend. Bioblitz events are great fun and a wonderful way to learn about the natural environment. More details here.

YMB Summit

Just a reminder that the first YMB Summit is taking place on Saturday 28 October 2017.

We would love to see as many of you as possible join us for this 1-day taster event to experience what a career in marine biology might look like. We strongly encourage you to play an active role and want to hear from you about ideas to present at the event. Talk to your friends, family and teachers to help you decide on a great topic for a talk, poster or table top activity. And feel free to get in touch to discuss your ideas with the YMB Team. More details regarding registration will follow very very soon.

May 26, 2017 By elibas