The Essential Rhythm 12/4/22: The Humble Barnacle

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode describes the results of DNA barcoding a barnacle, and explains the characteristics scientists use to classify barnacles as an arthropod, related to shrimp and lobsters.

About the host:
Sarah O’Malley is an ecologist, naturalist and science communicator passionate about deepening her listeners’ experiences with the natural world. She teaches biology and sustainability at Maine Maritime Academy and is currently collaborating on a guide book to the intertidal zone in the Gulf of Maine.

The Essential Rhythm 11/13/22: Lacy Crust Bryozoan

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode describes the familiar marine invertebrate Lacy Crust Bryozoan, explaining its colonial growth form and feeding structure, as well as its status as an introduced and potentially ecologically damaging marine species.

About the host:
Sarah O’Malley is an ecologist, naturalist and science communicator passionate about deepening her listeners’ experiences with the natural world. She teaches biology and sustainability at Maine Maritime Academy and is currently collaborating on a guide book to the intertidal zone in the Gulf of Maine.

The Essential Rhythm 10/23/22: DNA Barcoding

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode describes the process of DNA Barcoding: extracting DNA from a cell and using it to identify the species of the organism.

About the host:
Sarah O’Malley is an ecologist, naturalist and science communicator passionate about deepening her listeners’ experiences with the natural world. She teaches biology and sustainability at Maine Maritime Academy and is currently collaborating on a guide book to the intertidal zone in the Gulf of Maine.

The Essential Rhythm 9/25/22: Tiny Creatures in the Sand

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode describes some of the animals that make up the meiofauna on a sandy beach, tiny animals that live between grains of sand. Groups include nematodes (round worms), copepods (tiny crustaceans) and tardigrades (water bears).

About the host:
Sarah O’Malley is an ecologist, naturalist and science communicator passionate about deepening her listeners’ experiences with the natural world. She teaches biology and sustainability at Maine Maritime Academy and is currently collaborating on a guide book to the intertidal zone in the Gulf of Maine.

The Essential Rhythm 9/11/22: What lives on sand beaches?

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode introduces ‘interstitial space’, which is the space between grains of sand, as the primary habitat found on a sandy beach. This habitat is largely occupied by tiny animals known collectively as meiofauna, and they form an ecological connection between the macrofauna and microbial communities in benthic and beach environments.

About the host:
Sarah O’Malley is an ecologist, naturalist and science communicator passionate about deepening her listeners’ experiences with the natural world. She teaches biology and sustainability at Maine Maritime Academy and is currently collaborating on a guide book to the intertidal zone in the Gulf of Maine.

The Essential Rhythm 8/28/22: Southern Sandy Beaches

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode recounts walking the sandy beaches of Martha’s Vineyard and seeing slipper shells (Crepidula fornicata) as the primary herbivore in the ecosystem. Slipper shells are sessile, leading to the question of where they find places to settle in a dynamic sandy environment.

About the host:
Sarah O’Malley is an ecologist, naturalist and science communicator passionate about deepening her listeners’ experiences with the natural world. She teaches biology and sustainability at Maine Maritime Academy and is currently collaborating on a guide book to the intertidal zone in the Gulf of Maine.

The Essential Rhythm 8/14/22: A Field Trip to an Island

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode describes a recent trip to Machias Seal Island. The island hosts the largest population of nesting puffins on the coast of Maine. Elements of their land based breeding behavior include vocalizations and near constant motion, as well as feeding their young.

About the host:
Sarah O’Malley is an ecologist, naturalist and science communicator passionate about deepening her listeners’ experiences with the natural world. She teaches biology and sustainability at Maine Maritime Academy and is currently collaborating on a guide book to the intertidal zone in the Gulf of Maine.

The Essential Rhythm 8/7/22: Sand dollars are alive

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode is a public service announcement reminding beach goers that sand dollars are living creatures just like snails and mussels, and should be left at the beach! Attributes of living sand dollars are described (presence of minute spines, colored dark red or purple) to help beach combers discern living animals from empty shells acceptable for collecting.

About the host:
Sarah O’Malley is an ecologist, naturalist and science communicator passionate about deepening her listeners’ experiences with the natural world. She teaches biology and sustainability at Maine Maritime Academy and is currently collaborating on a guide book to the intertidal zone in the Gulf of Maine.