The Essential Rhythm 1/23/22: The importance of grazers

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode describes a study where researchers discovered that grazing herbivores like limpets and periwinkles help stabilize intertidal community structure and thus provide resilience in the face of climate change.

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 1/9/22: How they stick

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode describes the misconception that animals physically suction themselves to rock surfaces in the intertidal zone, and discusses new research that demonstrates that organisms generate a mucus with temporary adhesive properties (aka reversible glue) to navigate life in a wave impacted 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 12/26/21: Limpets and their frenemies

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode discusses the local (to Maine) limpet Tectura testudinalis and its important ecological relationship with encrusting coralline algae.

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 12/12/21: Chitons: The Many Shell Bearers

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode discusses chitons, unusual molluscs similar to limpets that can be seen at low tide.

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 11/28/21: Bryozoans

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode describes bryozoans, colonial marine invertebrates commonly seen growing on kelp (among other places). Key characteristics of bryozoans are their calcareous modular exoskeletal features and the lophophore, a tentacular feeding structure that rings the mouth of each individual zooid.

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 11/14/21: Tunicates

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode introduces tunicates, which have both a solitary and colonial form. We discuss their feeding strategy (suspension feeding) and their basic anatomy, and note the differences between solitary and colonial tunicates.

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 10/21/21: Hydroids

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode describes a specific group of colonial animals, the hydroids (a class of the phylum Cnidaria). Characteristics of this group include stinging cells called cnidae and a complicated life history that includes asexual and sexual phases.

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 10/14/21: Colonial Animals

Producer/Host: Sarah O’Malley

This episode introduces the basics of marine invertebrate colonial animals, including the major groups which use the strategy, and how it differs from animals on land.

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.