News coverage about surprising Jersey Shore fish spotted w eDNA

National Fisherman May 14, 2020 Genetic markers reveal Brazilian cownose rays, Gulf kingfish in New Jersey waters Kirk Moore

Agencia EFE (via El Diario, Spain) El analísis de ADN medioambiental detecta migraciones de especies marinas

Prensa Latina, Cuba Descubren nuevos patrones de migración de especies marinas tropicales

Globedia, Spain Detectan migraciones de especies marinas gracias al ADN medioambiental

Revista Planeta, Brazil  Arraia típica do Brasil está chegando perto da costa de Nova York

DIVE Magazine, UK DNA Traces Prove To Be Useful Tool in Understanding Fish Populations

New PHE paper about surprising species found off New Jersey

Front. Mar. Sci., 05 May 2020 |

Improved Environmental DNA Reference Library Detects Overlooked Marine Fishes in New Jersey, United States

Mark Y. Stoeckle*, Mithun Das Mishu and Zachary Charlop-Powers

  • Program for the Human Environment, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY, United States

An accurate, comprehensive reference sequence library maximizes information gained from environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding of marine fishes. Here, we used a regional checklist and early results from an ongoing eDNA time series to target mid-Atlantic U.S. coastal fishes lacking reference sequences. We obtained 60 specimens representing 31 species from NOAA trawl surveys and institutional collections, and analyzed 12S and COI barcode regions, the latter to confirm specimen identification. Combined with existing GenBank accessions, the enhanced 12S dataset covered most (74%) of 341 fishes on New Jersey State checklist including 95% of those categorized abundant or common. For eDNA time series, we collected water samples approximately twice monthly for 24 months at an ocean and a bay site in New Jersey. Metabarcoding was performed using separate 12S primer sets targeting bony and cartilaginous fishes. Bioinformatic analysis of Illumina MiSeq fastq files with the augmented library yielded exact matches for 90% of the 104 fish amplicon sequence variants generated from field samples. Newly obtained reference sequences revealed two southern U.S. species as relatively common warm season migrants: Gulf kingfish (Menticirrhus littoralis) and Brazilian cownose ray (Rhinoptera brasiliensis). A beach wrack specimen corroborated the local presence of Brazilian cownose ray. Our results highlight the value of strengthening reference libraries and demonstrate that eDNA can help detect range shifts including those of species overlooked by traditional surveys.

2010s verbal Time Machine

Jesse evokes the decade just ended with a verbal time machine.

2010s Time Machine


The kombucha cheeseball airballed flyover states.

A flashmob of microbiomes pinged frenemies with fake news about emojis.

Bestie truthers in gender dysphoria friended crunchy snowflakes with selfies.

Muggles on staycation clickbaited eco grief with chai latte before Brexit.

Digerati on hoverboards vaped Bibimbop while cloud computing their carbon credits.

Locavore hashtags unfriended ringtones.

Bling ransomware exfoliated the deep state over net neutrality.

Sriracha fitbits f-bombed safe spaces with froyo in go-cups.

Uber & Lyft doxx’d bougie Anthropocene woo-woo.

The worstest guac onboarded vegan qubits.

Buzzy connectomes face-palmed oppo memes.

Unplugged vulture capitalists binge-watched paywalls.

Micro-aggressions woke the Alt-right in airplane mode.

Anti-vax traumatology misgendered #MeToo.

Sounds like a plan.  OMG LOL fuhgeddaboudit.

Jesse H. Ausubel 8 May 2020

PHE during COVID-19: IQOE, COVID game, deep carbon science

We all continue healthy and working long hours and hard, though mostly from our homes. We are catching up on lots of writing and editing but also trying to seize immediate, unique opportunities.

For example, COVID-19 may have created the reduction of additions of human noise that we dreamed about for the International Quiet Ocean Experiment. IQOE welcomes ideas about how the present quieting of the world economy may advance research in marine sound.  High-quality observations of the ocean soundscape, as well as possibly related behavior of marine life during this period, may offer unique opportunities of exceptional value.

Resuming our interest in Serious Games, we are also please to encourage a team at the Indian Institute of Technology in Tirupati that is developing SurviveCovid-19 — A Game for Improving Awareness of Social Distancing and Health Measures for Covid-19 Pandemic

Jesse has also written a foreword for Simon Mitton’s forthcoming history of deep carbon science, From Crust to Core, to be published by Cambridge U. Press.

New genus and species of Bryozoan named for Jesse Ausubel

Dating back to the Ordovician period about 450 million years ago, Bryozoa are small aquatic invertebrates with exoskeletons that typically sieve food particles out of the water with a crown of tentacles.  The individual zooids live in colonies forming fans, bushes, and sheets.  

Haeckel Bryozoa.jpg
“Bryozoa”, from Ernst Haeckel‘s Kunstformen der Natur, 1904

Dennis P. Gordon, distinguished taxonomist at New Zealand’s National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, has described “New Hippothoidae (Bryozoa) from Australasia” in the journal Zootaxa. 

Dennis and Jesse Ausubel worked together in the Census of Marine Life 2000-2010.  Dennis has named a new genus of Hippothoidae Bryozoans the Jessethoa and the first species Jessethoa ausubeli.

Jessethoa ausubeli, ovicellate zooid, scalebar: 0.1 millimeter, photographed with scanning electron microscope; collected about 60 m deep NE of Spirits Bay, North Island, New Zealand

This brings the total of described hippothoid genera to nine (plus two fossil) and species to 83 recent (plus 15 fossil).

The Jessethoa page in the World Registry of Marine Species

The Jessethoa ausubeli page in the World Registry of Marine Species

On behalf of the entire Census of Marine Life, Jesse is greatly honored to be permanently associated with this fascinating taxon.  Thank, Dennis Gordon!