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Sunlight degrades polystyrene faster than expected

October 10, 2019

The general consensus of governmental agencies is that it takes polystyrene thousands of years to fully break down. But a new study shows that it may instead degrade in decades or centuries when exposed to sunlight.

NOAA awards WHOI $2.9 million for harmful algal bloom research

October 3, 2019

NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science recently announced funding for 12 new research projects to better understand and predict harmful algal blooms (HABs) and improve our collective response to them.

Researchers use drones to weigh whales

October 2, 2019

Researchers devised a way to accurately estimate the weight of free-living whales using only aerial images taken by drones.


New study measures how much of corals’ nutrition comes from hunting

September 17, 2019

A new study reveals that more of corals’ nutrients come from hunting than previously expected, information that may help predict the fate of coral reefs as global ocean temperatures rise.

New report takes in-depth look at factors contributing to sea level rise

September 12, 2019

Sea levels in many areas across the global ocean are rising. Since the turn of the 20th century, the seas have risen between six and eight inches globally.

Origin of Massive Methane Reservoir Identified

August 20, 2019

New research provides evidence of the formation and abundance of abiotic methane—methane formed by chemical reactions that don’t involve organic matter—on Earth and shows how the gases could have a similar origin on other planets and moons, even those no longer home to liquid water.

Blue shark

Blue sharks use eddies for fast track to food

August 7, 2019

Blue sharks use large, swirling ocean currents, known as eddies, to fast-track their way down to feed in the ocean twilight zone—a layer of the ocean between 200 and 1000 meters deep containing the largest fish biomass on Earth, according to new research by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Applied Physics Lab at the University of Washington (UW).

Basking shark

SharkCam reveals secret lives of basking sharks in UK

August 6, 2019

An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) known as the REMUS SharkCam has been used in the UK for the first time to observe the behaviour of basking sharks in the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland.

NASA Makes Dual Investment in Ocean Worlds Research at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

June 21, 2019

Agency funds five-year effort to understand the potential for life in outer solar system and establishes a new Network for Ocean Worlds The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will invest in a major new research program headquartered at the…

Study Finds No Direct Link Between North Atlantic Ocean Currents, Sea Level Along New England Coast

June 14, 2019

A new study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) clarifies what influence major currents in the North Atlantic have on sea level along the northeastern United States. The study, published June 13 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, examined both the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)—a conveyor belt of currents that move warmer waters north and cooler waters south in the Atlantic—and historical records of sea level in coastal New England.

The mixing of organic-rich and sediment-rich waters of the Rio Negro and Solimoes River in the amazon basin.

Organic Carbon Hides in Sediments, Keeping Oxygen in Atmosphere

June 12, 2019

A new study from researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Harvard University may help settle a long-standing question—how small amounts of organic carbon become locked away in rock and sediments, preventing it from decomposing. Knowing exactly how…

An illustration of an organism infected with the giant virus known as Mimivirus. Credit: Shutterstock

Surprising Enzymes Found in Giant Ocean Viruses

June 5, 2019

Findings could represent new drug targets for human pathogens A new study led by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Swansea University Medical School furthers our knowledge of viruses—in the sea and on land— and their potential to…


New Sub-species of Pilot Whale Identified in Pacific Ocean

June 3, 2019

Short-finned pilot whales have long been recognized as a single species, but a recent study found that two unique subspecies actually exist.

Laura Weber collects a syringe sample from seawater surrounding an Orbicella faveolata coral colony in Jardines de la Reina, Cuba.

New Study Finds Distinct Microbes Living Next to Corals

May 21, 2019

WHOI scientists distinct discover microbes living just a few centimeters from the surface of corals near the southern coast of Cuba. The discovery may yield clues about the ecological functions of microbes, and how they find and infect coral colonies.


NOAA Names Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to Host Cooperative Institute

May 17, 2019

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) selected Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to host NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region (CINAR). Cooperative Institutes are NOAA-supported, non-federal organizations that have established outstanding research and education programs in one…

Construction Begins on New Regional Class Research Vessel

May 9, 2019

Officials from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) took part in a keel-laying ceremony this week to mark the start of construction of R/V Resolution, a new $125 million Regional Class Research Vessel (RCRV) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

North Atlantic Ocean productivity has dropped 10 percent during industrial era

May 7, 2019

Scientists at MIT, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and elsewhere have found evidence that phytoplankton’s productivity is declining steadily in the North Atlantic, one of the world’s most productive marine basins.

These corals, including cup corals and bubblegum corals, were found near the edge of a mussel bed while exploring a gas seep area near the northeast submarine canyons—unique and biodiverse habitats in the Atlantic Ocean. Less than one percent of the underwater canyons off the U.S. east coast have been explored. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013.

WHOI to Join $94 Million Cooperative Institute

May 6, 2019

WHOI will join a new consortium led by the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography to support ocean exploration.

Rick Murray

WHOI Names Rick Murray Deputy Director & Vice President for Research

May 1, 2019

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) announces that Dr. Richard W. Murray has accepted the position of the Deputy Director & Vice President for Research of the institution. He will assume the office on Sept. 1, 2019. A geochemist whose research…

Conrad Hughen

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Receives $5 Million to Accelerate the Advancement of Knowledge about the Ocean

April 30, 2019

The Deerbrook Charitable Trust has awarded $5 million to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to establish the Deerbrook Ocean Science Acceleration Fund (DOSA Fund). This gift launches the new WHOI Research Accelerator, a lasting endowment to drive ocean research, innovation,…