Welcome to the complete list of Everblue's research summaries and sustainability tips for the month of July. Keep reading through this blog to learn about LGBTQ+ representation in STEM, Shark Week fun, sea slugs, and more!
JULY 12: RESEARCH SUMMARY - REPRESENTATION MATTERS
In January 2021, two researchers investigated the experiences of people who work in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields and identify as part of the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and more) community. Their study found that in science careers, LGBTQ+ persons tend to experience more marginalization, harassment, and limited opportunities than their non-LGBTQ+ peers.
These negative experiences can also lead to LGBTQ+ persons leaving STEM fields at higher rates. When these skilled and experienced professionals leave, it’s a huge loss for science, especially due to the nature of science that we discussed in our last post: when you have a more diverse group of scientists, you get better science!
For these reasons, it’s so important that we address anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments in science and focus on supporting and uplifting LGBTQ+ individuals in STEM. Check out our next post for a tip on how to help support queer scientists!
RESEARCH // Systemic inequalities for LGBTQ professionals in STEM. Cech and Waidzunas. 2021. https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/3/eabe0933
PHOTO // Alex Kydd
JULY 13: SUSTAINABILITY TIP - QUEER IN STEM
In order to move towards the radical kind of ocean conservation we need in our lifetime, we’re going to need everyone involved, with all of our collective perspectives and ingenuity working to protect our seas. This, of course, means that we need to make space for everyone in research. Help us amplify members of the LGBTQ+ community by following @500queerscientists and reading their stories. You can also check out the organizations prideinstem.org and 500queerscientists.com to listen to discussions and find virtual events to attend to learn more. Diverse STEM communities produce better science and provide more equal opportunities for all!
JULY 29: RESEARCH SUMMARY - DOUBLE-THREAT
Of the 1,000+ species of chondrichthyes, a group of scientists explored how different ecological stressors (climate change and fishing) would impact 132 species of chondrichthyes in Australia. They found that the specific impacts of climate change and fishing varied by species, but the overall impact of both was consistent for all species.
Many species will have to relocate as their current habitat becomes too warm and too acidic due to ocean warming and ocean acidification. Also, if overfishing continues, multiple species are likely to go extinct. The combined impacts of both of these stressors are certainly concerning.
RESEARCH // Ecological vulnerability of the chondrichthyan fauna of southern Australia to the stressors of climate change, fishing and other anthropogenic hazards. Walker et al. 2021
JULY 30: SUSTAINABILITY TIP - NOT ALL FISHING GEAR IS CREATED EQUAL
One of the biggest threats to shark populations is overfishing. Sharks are slow to mature (some species take over 100 years to reach sexual maturity!) and only have a few young at a time, compared to lots of bony fish which release millions of eggs at a time. In this way, sharks are similar to humans - we invest a lot of energy and time into a small number of children so they have a good chance of survival. But when sharks are fished too fast, this doesn't give the populations enough time to fully reproduce and keep the populations healthy and full.
How can you help sharks from being overfished? By being a smart consumer! Many sharks are caught as bycatch, meaning they get unintentionally stuck in fishing gear. The amount of bycatch that is produced varies by gear type, so be on the lookout for seafood with the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) blue fish label! You can also check for seafood caught using pole-and-line. Longline fisheries and bottom trawling fisheries tend to have the most bycatch so try to avoid seafood caught using these methods.
SOURCES // Marine Stewardship Council: https://www.msc.org/en-us/
The Shark Trust: https://www.sharktrust.org/shark-reproduction