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From Whales to Microbes

WHOI scientist Amy Apprill studies a wide range of marine life—from microorganisms to whales. In recent years, she has studied bacteria living on the skin of humpback whales to gauge the whales’ overall health. She has used drones hovering above humpbacks' blowholes to collect bacteria in the breath they exhale. She has investigated the interactions between microbes and corals and mysterious role of a ubiquitous naturally produced chemical—superoxide—in coral bleaching. Last November, she co-led an unprecedented joint expedition with Cuban and American scientists to study one of the most pristine and unexplored coral reefs in the Caribbean—the Gardens of the Queens in Cuba. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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