Skip to content
For WHOI personnel, vendors, and visitors: COVID-19 Guidelines

Research Highlight


Flipping the “genetic paradox of invasions”

A new study led by Carolyn Tepolt, an associate scientist of biology at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is investigating the adaptive mechanisms of the green crab along the west coast of North America, where it has shown extensive dispersal in the last decade despite minimal genetic diversity.

Read More

A recent reversal in the response of western Greenland’s ice caps to climate change

New collaborative research from the WHOI and five partner institutions published today in Nature Geoscience, reveals that during past periods glaciers and ice caps in coastal west Greenland experienced climate conditions much different than the interior of Greenland. Over the past 2,000 years, these ice caps endured periods of warming during which they grew larger rather than shrinking.

Read More

Sunlight can break down marine plastic into tens of thousands of chemical compounds, study finds

Sunlight was once thought to only fragment plastics in the marine environment into smaller particles that chemically resemble the original material and persist forever. However, scientists more recently have learned that sunlight also chemically transforms plastic into a suite of polymer-, dissolved-, and gas-phased products. Now, a new study finds that this chemical reaction can produce tens of thousands of water-soluble compounds, or formulas.

Read More

Some coral reefs are keeping pace with ocean warming

Some coral communities are becoming more heat tolerant as ocean temperatures rise, offering hope for corals in a changing climate. After a series of marine heatwaves hit the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) in the central Pacific Ocean, a new study finds the impact of heat stress on the coral communities lessened over time.

Read More

Surviving extreme heat

A team led by Anne Cohen, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, received $1.75M in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study how coral reefs survive extreme heat events caused by climate change. The multidisciplinary project taps into expertise across four WHOI departments to uncover the oceanographic and biological processes that enable corals to survive marine heatwaves.

Read More

WHOI advancing a seaweed solution to develop new kelp strains

A leader in ocean science, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is embarking on a study of how new seaweed strains could further enhance the burgeoning seaweed industry and offer solutions to some of the world’s pressing challenges. This research is funded in part by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with support from the Bezos Earth Fund.

Read More

What happens to marine life when oxygen is scarce?

A new study co-led by WHOI postdoctoral scholar Maggie Johnson looks closely at the changes occurring in both coral reef and microbial communities near Bocas del Toro during sudden hypoxic events, which occur when there is little to no oxygen in a given area of water.

Read More

Life at Rock Bottom

This digital photo essay brings you the forms, figures, and facts of life more than a mile and half deep

Read More

Maine’s having a lobster boom. A bust may be coming.

The waters off Maine’s coast are warming, and no one knows what that’s going to mean for the state’s half-billion-dollar-a-year lobster industry—the largest single-species fishery in North America. Some fear that continued warming could cause the lobster population to collapse. To understand what’s happening to the ecosystem of the Gulf of Maine, says Glen Gawarkiewicz, an oceanographer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in Massachusetts, you have to look beyond it—see how it’s affected by the atmosphere, ocean currents, and rivers that flow into it.

Read More

Critically Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales Getting Smaller, New Research Finds

A report out this week in Current Biology reveal that critically endangered North Atlantic right whales are up to three feet shorter than 40 years ago. This startling conclusion reinforces what scientists have suspected: even when entanglements do not lead directly to the death of North Atlantic right whales, they can have lasting effects on the imperiled population that may now number less than 400 animals. Further, females that are entangled while nursing produce smaller calves.

Read More

The ocean science-art connection

Some of the most complex insights in marine science are no match for the communicative power of art. Check out these five recent collaborations between ocean scientists and artists

Read More