Wednesday October 19, 2022


Brad Seibel still remembers the headlines from 20 years ago that sounded like a B-rated sci-fi movie: “Invasion of the jumbo squid in Monterey Bay” and the like. He was a postdoctoral scholar at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) at the time.

It was anything but fiction. The voracious eaters, which historically live in more tropical latitudes, showed up off central California in record numbers—fattening their bellies with hake, rockfish, and other commercially important species to the dismay of local fisherman. Scientists figured their arrival had to do with a combination of climate change and overfishing, but the details were fuzzy.

Now a professor and marine physiology expert at the USF College of Marine Science, Seibel recently published a paper in Nature Climate Change that sheds light on those long-ago headlines. It connects the dots pertaining to animal metabolism that he’s collected over 20 years and seven research cruises in the Gulf of California, Mexico—and adds a new chapter to the story of how some animals may respond to the warming oceans.

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