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Featured Researcher: Heidi Sosik


Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

The twilight zone is a part of the ocean 660 to 3,300 feet below the surface, where little sunlight can reach. It is deep and dark and cold, and the pressures there are enormous. Despite these challenging conditions, the twilight zone teems with life that helps support the ocean’s food web and is intertwined with Earth’s climate. Some countries are gearing up to exploit twilight zone fisheries, with unknown impacts for marine ecosystems and global climate. Scientists and engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are poised to explore and investigate this hidden frontier.

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Long-term Study Focuses on New England Ocean

Long-term Study Focuses on New England Ocean

The National Science Foundation has created a new Long Term Ecological Research site off the New England coast to increase understanding of an area of the ocean known for its abundant marine life and productive commercial fisheries.

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Building an Automated Underwater Microscope

Building an Automated Underwater Microscope

A conversation with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution biologist Heidi Sosik about her work studying phytoplankton ecology in the coastal ocean and the new instrument, the Imaging FlowCytobot, that she and biologist Rob Olson developed. Sosik describes the importance of phytoplankton to the food web and ecology of the coastal ocean, and how this new instrument, which will be deployed this summer, represents a breakthrough in year-round monitoring of coastal phytoplankton communities.

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Shedding Light on Light in the Ocean

Shedding Light on Light in the Ocean

Light in the ocean is like light in no other place on Earth. It is a world that is visibly different from our familiar terrestrial world, and one that marine animals, plants, and microbes are adapted to in extraordinary ways. Light behaves very differently when it moves from air into water. It moves through the expansive depths of an ocean that is devoid of solid surfaces. These and other factors combine to create an environment that has no equivalent on land.

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