Outreach & Press Highlights

Some of our favorites… 

Selected Highlights:

December 2023 – Randi is at sea onboard the Falkor(Too!) for the Octopus Odyssey(Too) Expedition in Costa Rica!

August 2023 – Rotjan Lab postdoc, Dr. Steve Auscavitch, is at sea again! Check out the highlights from his cruise:


July/August 2023: Rotjan Lab alums Abigail Grassick and Allie Cole are at SEA! Check out Allie’s most recent blog and  Abby’s most recent blog 


July 2023 – work led by the Rotjan Lab is featured in an article in PNAS Front Matter: “Are microplastics spreading infectious disease?”

May / June 2023 – Rotjan Lab alums Dr. Brian Kennedy and Giuliana Fillion are at-sea, onboard the Nautilus! Check out highlights from their cruise:


3-27-2023 TEDx Boston. Scaling conservation: Can we protect our oceans in time?

11-3-2022 Back Ashore: Microbes of the Deep featuring our very own Dr. Anna Gauthier

3-12-2021 Mammal immune proteins are “Blind” to deep-sea microbes. AAAS

3-12-2021 The deep ocean reveals surprising discovery about immunity. The Brink

3-12-2021 Many deep-sea microbes invisible to mammalian immune system. The Scientist.

2-8-2021 Pandemic lab tours! Speaking with BU Academy students is always a highlight of the year for our lab, and this year did not disappoint, even during COVID19. Thanks to much to Caroline Fleming, Cece Gerstenbacher, and Allie Cole for helping to demonstrate the kinds of work we do!

11-23-2020 Our very own Brian Kennedy (PhD Candidate) gave a talk entitled Protecting Earth’s Final Frontier to Ocean Protection Advocacy Kids, an organization founded by BU Alum Jeffrey Morgan (who is also an alum of BI 260!).

11-20-2020 The life side of science: 15 years of milestones, funding woes, and perseverance in long-term monitoring projects Nature Scientific Data – blog

11-19-2020 Special Plenary: Living with Bounty and Risk in Kiribati American Geographical Society: Geography 2050

10-26-2020 Scientists speak on water’s role in climate change, public health, and planetary science at Radcliffe Institute event. Harvard Crimson

8-26-2020 The technology solving the ocean’s greatest mysteries BBC Science Focus

7-30-2020 The Phoenix Islands Protected Area: The Greatest Ocean Conservation Story Ever Told MPA News

7-21-2020 Joe Biden’s $2 Trillion Climate Plan? BU Scientists Weigh In BU “The Brink”

3-17-2020 Marine Microplastics: Not a small problem, despite its name Envirobites Blog

2-25-2020 Less Than 20% of Deep-Sea Life Can Be Identified, Researchers Find Weather.com

2-24-2020 How this New England coral is weathering climate change BU “The Brink”

2-21-2020 Less than a fifth of deep-sea life is identifiable Hakai Magazine

1-27-2020 The quest for an animal model of coral health and disease Nature – Lab Animal 

10-18-19 Our very own Allie Cole is featured on BU “Brink” website with a really engaging Field Report vlog! Check out Allie’s awesome vlog and her trip “by the numbers” from her summer research trip in collaboration with SEA and WHOI.

8-28-19 The Unknown and the Unexplored: Insights Into the Pacific Deep-sea Following NOAA CAPSTONE Expeditions NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

8-23-19 How A Tough New England Coral May Help Its Tropical Cousins 90.9 WBUR

8-18-19 Randi Rotjan and Brian Kennedy just returned from a 10-day expedition to Kiribati funded by a National Geographic  / MIT Media Lab grant entitled “My Deep Sea, My Back Yard” to raise deep-sea awareness and build in-country deep sea science expertise. During their project, they spoke to the Kiribati Parliament, members of the Cabinet, and the Vice President of Kiribati. Additionally, they conducted awareness workshops with the Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Environment, Land, and Development, and worked with local community members to promote and support local community-based marine protected areas, reaching village elders and community leaders. While in-country, they also took time to communicate results of their research and activities directly to over 1,500 school children across 5 villages on the Tarawa Atoll. BU, MIT, and National Geographic partnered with the Government of Kiribati on this project as part of Kiribati’s commitment to the United Nations SDG14 goals, including ocean technology transfer, enhanced capacity, and increased ocean science and conservation. 

8-5-19 EIN Presswire New study shows migratory tuna species are spawning in Pacific Marine Protected Area 

7-30-19 World Economic Forum Tuna are spawning in marine protected areas

7-25-19 Phys.org Tuna are spawning in marine protected areas

7-11-19 Reddit “Ask Me Anything” 12-2pm ET

6-25-19 – National Geographic Plastic or Planet: These corals choose to eat plastic over food 

6-26-19 Müll in den Meeren: Koralle frisst am liebsten Mikroplastik

6-26-19 WBUR 90.9 BU Researchers find another threat for corals: plastics 

6-28-19 IFLScience Some coral are choosing to eat bits of plastic over brine shrimp eggs

6-29-19 Forbes Some corals prefer to eat microplastics

Die Polypen von Astrangia poculata nehmen kleine Kügelchen Mikroplastik (blau) auf.

2-27-19 – Jaskiel and Goss featured on the Association of American Universities homepage for their work on microplastics

2-25-19 – An amazing BU Research write-up on our recent paper in Marine Pollution Bulletin!

2-7-19 – Research On Tap explores relationship between coastal cities, water

11-26-18 Eco Magazine Cover: #DeepCoralsofPIPA


11-21-18 Forbes – My Deep Sea, My Backyard: Empowering Nations to Study the Deep

Q1/2018 ROV Planet, Deep sea exploration gives new insights and discoveries in the largest and deepest UNESCO World Heritage Site

6-25-18 Exploring by the seat of your pants (6 schools in Canada)

6-15-18 Skype with Cottage Lane Elementary School (New Jersey)

2-15-18 Cosmos – Drugs and plastics threatening ocean and human health

1-11-18 Harvard Gazette – For answers on coral conservation, she followed the fish

11-18-17 The Daily Free Press – BU professor dives to depths of Pacific to explore rare coral

11-8-17 Hydro International Magazine – Deep-sea Exploration Leads to New Insight and Discoveries in Pacific Ocean

10/15/17 – Schmidt Ocean Institute / Deep Corals of PIPA Video 1  Video 2  Video 3  Video 4

10-13-17 BU Research – Experts / Rise of the Reef Doctors

8-16-17 EcoRI News – New England’s Only Hard Coral Could Help Determine Extent of Microplastic Pollution


4-10-17 NPR Here and Now – Coral Bleaching Ravages Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

4-9-17 New Scientist – Mass bleaching hits Great Barrier Reef for second year in a row

4-17 Stories Under the Stars, Planet Tales. Charles Hayden Planetarium, Museum of Science, Boston 

3-27-17 ABC News Pacific Beat – New marine species discovered off Kiribati in ground-breaking exploration of untouched ocean floor

11/18/16 – Biodiversity for a Livable Climate – Secret Seas: A story of ocean wonder hidden below the oceans surface 

8-22-16 The Weather Channel – ‘Zombie’ Reef Once Thought Dead Comes Back to Life

8-18-16 NPR Here and Now – Once Dying And Bleached, A Pacific Coral Reef Is Blooming Again

8-15-16 New York Times Science Times cover – Giant Coral Reef in Protected Area Shows New Signs of Life

6/16/16 – New England Aquarium IMAX Lecture Series – PIPA Expedition 2016

9-10-15 The Boston Globe – Waiting for El Nino on a remote Pacific reef

11/4/2014 – BBC Earth – Hermit crab house swap video; click here for related blog post

1-6-13 The Boston Globe – Research takes scientist off the beaten path


8/23/12 – AAAS Cutting Edge: The Oceans – New discoveries in the world of corals with Randi Rotjan

4/17/11 – Thoughtcast – Coral reefs, hermit crabs, and tube worms

6/28/10- Simply Science: The Bleaching of Colorful Coral Reefs

4-26-10 Science Daily – Social networking helps hermit crabs find homes

3-22-10 New York Times Science Times cover – Are Aquariums Getting Too Lifelike?

Selected Highlights in Scientific Journals:

4-11-2018 Journal of Open Exploration – My Deep Sea, My Backyard

Nature News 2009 doi:10.1038/news.2009.1163 – Fish tanks ‘threaten Sunshine State sea creatures’

In brief, Nature Reviews Microbiology 2008 6:412 

Selected  Blogs:

4-17-2018 National Geographic OpenExplorers – Kiribati Open Exploration

10-2017 Schmidt Ocean Institute Deep Corals of PIPA Blog 

5-29-10 Nature.com – House of Wisdom – Deep Inside the Red Sea

Rotjan has written over 100 blog posts for the New England Aquarium, on their Global Explorers Blog