Research Highlights


From Oceanus Magazine

Mission to the Twilight Zone

The urgent quest to explore one of Earth's hidden frontiers

To Track an Oil Spill

Robotic "bloodhound" to sniff for oil in ice-covered oceans

Tracking Unexploded Munitions

Long-buried ordnance lingers on U.S. coasts

Re-envisioning Underwater Imaging

Scientists can zoom into 3-D shipwrecks and seafloor landscapes

A Pioneering Vision

Aqua Incognita

The quest to establish outposts in the far reaches of the ocean

Thinking Global

Diving for Data

Ocean Gliders and Their Pilots Are Helping Scientists Understand the Sea

The Young Woman and the Sea

A conversation with WHOI mooring technician Meghan Donohue

Why Did the El Faro Sink?

Deep-sea vehicles locate data recorder on the seafloor

A New Tsunami-Warning System

Scientists devise way to relay sound signals under water

Communicating Under Sea Ice

Engineers use ocean channel to efficiently relay sound

All the Ocean's a Stage

First impressions of my first research cruise

To Track a Sea Turtle

Underwater vehicles follow tagged turtles in the wild

Whale-safe Fishing Gear

New buoy for lobster traps could prevent entanglements

How Would 'On-Call' Buoys Work?

Interactive featured in: "Whale-safe Fishing Gear"

Let There Be Laser Light

Laser spectroscopy could illuminate key environmental gases

Ocean Observatories System Is Up and Running

WHOI plays major role in creating 'transformative' national research effort

Seal Whiskers Inspire Marine Technology

By observing nature, biomimetic engineer designs new sensor

Epiphany Among the Manta Rays

Can we mobilize a navy of scuba divers as citizen scientists?


Exploring the secret life of endangered leatherback turtles

The Riddle of Rip Currents

Scientists investigate how and where these dire beach hazards occur

A Smarter Undersea Robot

Engineers seek to correct a curious deficiency

The Jetyak

WHOI engineers develop a new type of ocean robot

From Lab to Sea

New course gives students hands-on training in the field

High-tech Dives on an Ancient Wreck

Archaeologists return to Antikythera with advanced ocean technology

The Exosuit Comes Aboard

Cutting-edge diving apparatus gets first archaeological mission

A Drop in the Ocean

Scientist pioneered tracer to reveal hidden ocean flows

Alvin's Animals

Hundreds of previously unknown species have been discovered by the sub

Alvin's Fun Facts

Amazing, bizarre, and just plain interesting

Rebuilding Alvin: Chris German

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

At 50, Alvin Gets an Extreme Makeover

Same name, but dramatically upgraded submersible

Bringing Alvin Back on Board

Specially trained swimmers are key links between sub and ship

Rebuilding Alvin: Don Peters

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

Rebuilding Alvin: Durante & Skowronski

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

Rebuilding Alvin: Logan Driscoll

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

Rebuilding Alvin: Bruce Strickrott

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

Rebuilding Alvin: Rod Catanach

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

Rebuilding Alvin: Anthony Tarantino

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

Ready, Set, Dive

Video shows the daily dance to deploy Alvin into the ocean

Rebuilding Alvin: Jonathan Howland

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

Rebuilding Alvin: Phil Forte

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

Li'l Alvin

Diving enthusiast builds miniature version of famous sub

Rebuilding Alvin: Elder and Fournier

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

A War of Knowledge to Save Sharks

A graduate student battles to stop shark slaughters in Turkey

Swimming with Sharks

An underwater robot learns how to track great whites

Rebuilding Alvin: Al Suchy

A series on the people who upgraded the iconic sub

Rebuilding Alvin: Dutch Wegman

A series on the people who upgraded the iconic sub

Rebuilding Alvin: Patrick Hennessy

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

Rebuilding Alvin: Paul Keith

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

Rebuilding Alvin: Hugh Popenoe and Rob Lewis

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

Rebuilding Alvin: Phil Santos

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

Jeff McDonald

A series on the people who reassembled the iconic sub

Timothy Kling

A series on the people reassembling the iconic sub

Brian Pepin

A series on the people reassembling the iconic sub

Ben Pietro

A series on the people reassembling the iconic sub

Robert Waters

A series on the people reassembling the iconic sub

Geoffrey Ekblaw

A series on the people reassembling the iconic sub

The Synergy Project, Part II

More videos on collaborations among artists and scientists

The Synergy Project

A co-laboratory experiment among scientists and artists

Jefferson Grau

A series on the people reassembling the iconic sub

Deep-sea Vents Yield New Species

Scientists explore the Mid-Cayman Rise in the Caribbean

Shifting Tactics in Shifting Shoals

Enterprising scientist jury-rigs kayak into research vehicle

The Boy in the Alvin Sphere

Testing the sub's personnel sphere—then and now

In Search of the Pink and White Terraces

WHOI vehicles help find landmarks lost in 1886 eruption

Up From the Seafloor Came a Bubbling Brew

Scientists use a novel method to measure rate of Deepwater Horizon oil spewing into the Gulf

Shifting Sands and Bacteria on the Beach

Does ever-moving sand transport microbes along with it?

Four Men. Twelve Hours. One Crucial Sample.

In a tense overnight mission, scientists grab oil from the deep

A Plume of Chemicals from Deepwater Horizon

Some hydrocarbons from the oil spill lingered in the depths

From Pac-Man to the Seafloor

Graduate student seeks ways to build a better robot

Engineer Par Excellence: Donald Koelsch

A pioneer who helped revolutionize seagoing seismic instruments

The Music of Sound

Audio slideshow: WHOI researcher mixes work and pleasure

The Icebot

A video documents expedition to use robots under Arctic ice

Will More Acidic Oceans Be Noisier?

Acousticians quiet warnings that sounds will travel farther

A Titanic Tale

A former Alvin pilot recalls his 1986 dives on the shipwreck

A Robot Is Resurrected at Sea

Engineers rebuild damaged deep-sea vehicle and complete mission

R.I.P.  A.B.E

The pioneering Autonomous Benthic Explorer is lost at sea

A Robot Starts to Make Decisions on its Own

Scientists give more autonomy to autonomous underwater vehicles

The Squid, the Whale, and the Grad Student

A young scientist deciphers meaning embedded in sonar signals

The Mysterious Movements of Deep-Sea Larvae

How do the tiny progeny of seafloor animals disperse through the ocean?

Shipwrecks Offer Clues to Ancient Cultures

Modern deep-sea vehicles expand vistas to see into the past

Buoys Help Avert Whale-Ship Collisions

Specially engineered mooring system detects whales and warns ships

Turning a Toy into a Scientific Tool

Engineer exploits model airplane hobby to invent flying research camera

Floating Without Imploding

A conversation with WHOI engineer Don Peters

Let There Be Light in the Dark Depths

A conversation with WHOI engineer Jonathan Howland

Armed and Dexterous

A conversation with WHOI engineer Matt Heintz

2,000 Batteries Under the Sea

A conversation with WHOI engineer Daniel Gomez-Ibanez

Nereus Soars to the Ocean's Deepest Trench

New hybrid deep-sea vehicle descends 6.8 miles in the Challenger Deep

Miles Under the Sea, Hanging on by Hair-Thin Fiber

A conversation with WHOI engineer Andy Bowen

Jason Meets the Carnivorous Sea Squirt

Expedition to the Tasman Fracture finds unknown species

A Deep-sea Chemical-Sniffing Bloodhound

WHOI engineer develops a small, tough mass spectrometer to work in the ocean

The Turtle and the Robot

An old sea turtle teaches a young engineer about swimming

A Tag Fit for a Porpoise

Grad students surmount big hurdles to build a device for a small marine mammal

Building the Next-Generation Alvin Submersible

Plan offers a roadmap to extend sub's diving capacity to reach 98 percent of the seafloor

Historical Formulas Sealed Behind a Wall

... and other news around the WHOI campus

Deeply Submerged Volcanoes Blow Their Tops

Telltale rocks reveal evidence of a phenomenon scientists thought was impossible

Researchers Successfully Forecast 2008 Red Tide

New tool provides early warning of harmful algal bloom along New England coast

Pilot Whales the 'Cheetahs of the Deep Sea'

Researchers reveal first glimpse of whales' high-speed, deep-diving hunts for squid

Can't Bring Deep-sea Samples Up? Send a Lab Down.

Engineers develop instruments to analyze materials that only exist in the depths

DNA in Shipwrecked Jars Reveals Clues to Ancient World

New tool offers a way to find out what past civilizations were shipping and trading

Arctic Voyage Tests New Robots for Ice-covered Oceans

Putting untethered vehicles under the ice cap is one thing. Getting them back is another.

Happy as a (Newly Discovered) Clam

Want to find something on the seafloor? Engineer Tom Crook's your man.

Robot Paints Stunning Map of Deep-sea Volcano

Sonar images reveal submerged Pacific Ocean volcano in glorious detail

Put the D-tag on the Manatee

Digital device is enlisted to help prevent boat collisions with endangered species

A 3-D Underwater Soundscape

A large-scale experiment sheds light on sound in the coastal ocean

The Deepest Divers

D-tags give scientists in-depth records of whales in the depths

A Ridge Too Slow?

WHOI team collaborates on Chinese discovery expedition in Indian Ocean

Young Pup Teaches an Old Robot New Tricks

MIT/WHOI graduate student improves the Autonomous Benthic Explorer's ability to hunt for seafloor vents

Listening for Telltale Echoes from Fish

Sound waves resonating off swim bladders offer a new way to count fish

Gone Fish Assessing

Undersea robot swims over rocky road where trawls dare not go

Jason Versus the Volcano

Undersea robot provides a rare close-up view of a deep-sea eruption

Ocean Microscope Reveals Surprising Abundance of Life

Widespread bacterial colonies may play crucial role in ocean ecosystem

New Hybrid Deep-sea Vehicle Is Christened Nereus

Unique underwater vehicle is named in nationwide student contest

A Laser Light in the Ocean Depths

Graduate student works to adapt laser technology to detect chemicals on the seafloor

Building a Computer Model to Forecast Red Tides

A variety of variables goes into the mathematical mix that simulates harmful algal blooms

ABE—The Autonomous Benthic Explorer

WHOI's deep-diving vehicle makes Wired magazine's robotic hall of fame

New Sonar Method Offers Window into Squid Nurseries

Technique provides a way to monitor the health of squid fisheries

Dust Busters for the Oceans

A new instrument seeks answers that are blowing in the wind

Going Wireless in the Deep Blue

Deploying instruments to monitor the ocean is one thing. Getting daily reports from them is another.

Action, Camera ... Lights

New deep-sea “light post” illuminates the ocean's perpetual night

Scientists Find a New Twist in How Squids Swim

In real life, squids behave differently than they do in theory

An Experiment to Dye For

Researchers trace movement of water using airborne laser

Double Duty for Ensign/Student Allison Berg

First recipient of Pittenger Fellowship pursues a degree in oceanography while serving her country

Meet the Class of 2005-2007

Who are the Navy officers who study at MIT/WHOI?

At the River's End

WHOI scientists explore the complex dynamics in estuaries

Alvin's Pilots

A tight-knit group with the 'right stuff' to guide a submersible on the seafloor

What Is the Alvin Training Program Like?

A conversation with former Alvin pilot Anthony Tarantino

Red Tide—Gone for Now, But Back Next Year?

WHOI researchers extend investigations of the Alexandrium bloom of 2005 and look for signs of future trouble

Seeing Red in New England Waters

WHOI researchers detect a massive bloom of algae before it hits the coast

Risks and Remedies from the Sea

Scientists team up to study the ocean's effect on health


Navy-sponsored research spawns a new generation of underwater vehicles

Where Are Mines Hiding on the Seafloor?

New research reveals how waves, currents, and swirling sands can bury mines

The New Wave of Coastal Ocean Observing

Shore stations and seafloor nodes provide connections for long-term studies of coastal processes

Shaping the Beach, One Wave at a Time

New research is deciphering how currents, waves, and sands change our shorelines

Seeding the Seafloor with Observatories

Scientists extend their reach into the deep with pioneering undersea cable networks

New Coastal Observatory Is Born

Martha's Vineyard offers scientifically exciting site

Where the Surf Meets the Turf

Scientists explore coastal processes that affect beaches

Seafloor to Surface to Satellite to Shore

Moored buoys offer potential for continuous, real-time observations anywhere in the ocean

NEPTUNE: A Fiber-Optic 'Telescope' to Inner Space

The North East Pacific Time-integrated Undersea Networked Experiments (NEPTUNE) project aims to establish an extensive earth/ocean observatory

Putting H2O in the Ocean

The Hawaii-2 Observatory is the first long-term, mid-ocean seafloor observatory

ALISS in Wonderland

Imaging ambient light at deep-sea hydrothermal vents

"What a Year!"

WHOI's Deep Submergence Lab Brings Together Four Technologies to Serve Three Diverse Expeditions