On the first trip to study great white sharks in the wild off Guadalupe Island in 2013, the REMUS SharkCam team returned with an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) tattooed with bite marks and some of the most dramatic footage ever seen on Discovery Channel’s Shark Week: large great white sharks attacking the underwater robot, revealing previously unknown details about strategies sharks use to hunt and interact with their prey.Read More
An international research team led by archaeologists and technical experts from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and WHOI has discovered spectacular artifacts during its ongoing excavation of the famous ancient Antikythera Shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera in the Aegean Sea.Read More
Over his more than 40 years as a scientist at WHOI, William Watkins led the effort to collect and catalog the vocalizations made by marine mammals. Now, a team from WHOI has launched the online, open access William Watkins Marine Mammal Sound Database.Read More
One of the nation’s preeminent graduate programs in oceanography has achieved a major milestone: This year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Joint Program will confer its […]Read More
To help understand the ongoing changes in their slice of the ocean, a group of commerical fishermen in southern New England are now part of a fleet gathering much-needed climate data for scientists through a partnership with the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation (CFRF) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).Read More
WHOI scientists have found a potential path to better seasonal rainfall predictions. Their study shows a clear link between higher sea surface salinity levels in the North Atlantic Ocean and increased rainfall on land in the West African Sahel, the area between the Sahara Desert and the savannah in Sudan.Read More
Technology and vehicles developed and operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists and engineers were instrumental in assisting the NTSB in locating the voyage data recorder (VDR) of El Faro.Read More
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will assist the National Transportation Safety Board as it undertakes its second search April 18, 2016, for the vessel data recorder (VDR) of the sunken El Faro cargo ship.Read More
Steve Elgar, a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has been selected as a 2016 National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow (NSSEFF) by the Department of Defense.Read More
A research team studying biodiversity at the Hannibal Bank Seamount off the coast of Panama has captured unique video of thousands of red crabs swarming in low-oxygen waters just above the seafloor.Read More
On April 6, the research vessel Neil Armstrong was met by a jubilant crowd at the WHOI dock as it arrived to its home port for the first time, escorted by the WHOI coastal research vessel R/V Tioga, two Coast Guard boats and fireboats from neighboring towns.Read More
Scientists have long known methanol exists in the ocean, and that certain microbes love to snack on it, but they’ve been stymied by one key question: where does it come from? Researchers at WHOI have solved this mystery through the discovery of a massive ‘ and previously unaccounted for ‘ source of methanol in the ocean: phytoplankton.Read More
Five years after the Fukushima accident, scientific data about the levels of radioactivity in the ocean off our shores are available publicly thanks to ongoing efforts of independent researchers, including WHOI radiochemist Ken Buesseler, who has led the effort to create and maintain an ocean monitoring network along the U.S. West Coast.Read More
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has chosen Fiamma Straneo, a physical oceanographer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), to deliver the Sverdrup Lecture at this year’s meeting of the Ocean Sciences section held in New Orleans from February 21-26, 2016. The lecture is one of the highest awards the section bestows on its members.Read More
Utilizing 22 years of data collected by a network of citizen scientists, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and their colleagues at the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, the Buzzards Bay Coalition, and the Marine Biological Laboratory found that average summertime temperatures in embayments throughout Buzzards Bay warmed by almost 2 degrees Celsius—roughly 4 degrees Fahrenheit.Read More
The dramatic video footage of a great white shark attacking the “REMUS SharkCam” autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) brought some of the highest ratings to Discover Channel’s Shark Week 2014 and went viral on the Internet.
But while the footage was unprecedented, the scientific understanding enabled by the REMUS SharkCam is just as groundbreaking. The AUV was used during a science expedition in 2013 to better understand white shark behavior and represents the first successful efforts to autonomously track and image any animal in the marine environment. The research provides critical data to efforts to conserve these animals.
“We wanted to test the REMUS SharkCam technology to prove that is was a viable tool for observing marine animals – sharks in this case – and to collect substantial data about the animals’s behavior and habitat,” said WHOI engineer Amy Kukulya, one of REMUS SharkCam’s principal investigators.
The research results were recently published in the Journal of Fish Biology. The paper’s lead author is Greg Skomal, a biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. In addition to Kukulya, co-authors include biologist E. M. Hoyos-Padilla of Pelagios-Kakunjá, a Mexican marine conservation organization, and WHOI engineer and REMUS SharkCam software developer Roger Stokey.Read More
Amy Apprill, a microbiologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), is one of the extraordinary women scientists featured in Science Magazine’s online video series, “XX Files: Extraordinary Science, Extraordinary Women.” The eight-part series, which highlights diverse projects led by a group of impressive female scientists, began in early October. The video featuring Apprill’s work, “The Humpback Microbiome,” debuts on December 15 and is the last in the special series.Read More
During a three-week expedition in August, an international team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), in partnership with the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galápagos Islands and in close collaboration with the Galápagos National Park Directorate, conducted the first scientific expedition to map and characterize the seamounts on the Galápagos platform and the diverse marine life that these underwater mountains support.Read More
In a paper published online Dec. 9, 2015, in Marine Mammal Science, a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has for the first time quantified the amount of drag on entangled whales that is created by towing fishing gear, such as rope, buoys, and lobster and crab traps. The study provides important data for teams evaluating the risks and benefits of whale disentanglements.Read More
Scientists monitoring the spread of radiation in the ocean from the Fukushima nuclear accident report finding an increased number of contaminated sites off the US West Coast, along with the highest detection level to date, from a sample collected about 1,600 miles west of San Francisco. The level of cesium in the sample is 50 percent higher than other samples collected, but is still more than 500 times lower than US government safety limits for drinking water and well below limits of concern for direct exposure while swimming, boating, or other recreational activities.
Ken Buesseler, a marine radiochemist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and director of the WHOI Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity, was among the first to begin monitoring radiation in the Pacific, organizing a research expedition to the area just three months after the start of the ongoing accident. Through a citizen science sampling effort, Our Radioactive Ocean, as well as research funded by the National Science Foundation, Buesseler and his colleagues are using sophisticated sensors to measure minute levels of ocean-borne radioactivity from Fukushima. In 2015, they have added more than 50 new sample locations in the Pacific to the more than 200 previously collected and posted on the Our Radioactive Ocean web site.Read More