Todd McLeish

Harbor Seals in Narragansett Bay

Seals have been visiting for decades, but scientists say there are still mysteries about these intriguing winter guests.

They “look a lot like fat dogs in a lot of ways, and they show a lot of the same kind of social behavior.”

Is Narragansett Bay Too Clean?

Fishermen complain that fussy bureaucrats have over-treated the bay and damaged their livelihood. Scientists say it's healthier than ever. Who's right?

“It’s Chernobyl out there,” says one fisherman.

On the Job With URI's Pest Patrol

These scientists are fighting unwanted insects – with more insects.

When Jean Williams discovered a blood-red beetle with long black antennae consuming the lilies in her Wakefield garden a decade ago, she recognized it at once as an invasive insect she had just learned about in a master gardener class. University of Rhode Island researchers had been on the lookout for the new invader, which until then had not been…

The Oceanographer Who Figured Out the Salty Brine Explosion

Arthur Spivack uses science to investigate the natural world.

When police and the bomb squad found no evidence to explain the cause of the mysterious explosion beneath the sand at Salty Brine State Beach a year ago this month, they turned to a quiet scientist at the University of Rhode Island. Arthur Spivack describes himself as an oceanography generalist who uses chemistry and physics to understand the big questions…

Where the Wild Things Are

What's the story behind the increased spottings of bobcats, bears and coyotes in Rhode Island?

The bright orange tackle box in the back of Charles Brown’s state-owned pickup truck is filled with all sorts of lures, none of which have anything to do with fishing. Instead, like the shelves in a chemistry lab, it contains small, colorful bottles of murky liquids emitting unappetizing aromas. With names like Cat-man-doo, Gusto and Cat Fancy, their contents are…