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Press Room

WHOI underwater robot takes first known automated sample from ocean

January 8, 2020

A hybrid remotely operated vehicle developed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) took the first known automated sample performed by a robotic arm in the ocean.

90th anniversary pictorial postmark

Limited-edition Pictorial Postmark honors WHOI’s 90th Anniversary

January 3, 2020

This year marks WHOI’s 90th Anniversary. To honor this milestone, a limited-edition Pictorial Postmark will be available to the public on Monday, January 6, 2020 in Woods Hole Village, or through the postal service until the end of the month.

How microbes reflect the health of coral reefs

December 19, 2019

A collaborative study compared seawater from 25 reefs in Cuba and the U.S. Florida Keys varying in human impact and protection, and found that those with higher microbial diversity and lower concentrations of nutrients and organic carbon—primarily caused by human activities—were markedly healthier.

research vessel neil armstrong

WHOI’s economic impacts are far-reaching

December 18, 2019

The economic value of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) extends far beyond the footprint of its two campuses in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, according to a new study by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.


Underwater pile driving noise causes alarm responses in squid

December 16, 2019

Exposure to underwater pile driving noise, which can be associated with the construction of docks, piers, and offshore wind farms, causes squid to exhibit strong alarm behaviors.

WHOI-engineered DISCO allows scientists to measure highly reactive superoxide on coral reefs

December 12, 2019

WHOI researchers successfully conceived and tested a portable device, DISCO, that performed the first in situ measurements of a highly reactive type of oxygen, known as superoxide, which may play an integral role in the health of coral reefs.

WHOI Board Launches Presidential Search

December 9, 2019

The Board of Trustees at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) announced the formation of the Presidential Search Committee (PSC), whose members are tasked with recommending the Institution’s next president and director. Dr. Mark Abbott, current WHOI president and director, announced plans to step down at the end of 2020 at a town hall meeting on November 22, 2019.

Whales may owe their efficient digestion to millions of tiny microbes

December 4, 2019

A study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows that the microbial communities inside whales may play an important role in the digestion of one of the ocean’s most abundant carbon-rich lipids, known as a wax ester.

WHOI president to step down next year

December 3, 2019

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) President and Director Mark Abbott plans to step down at the end of 2020.

Clownfish can’t adapt to rapid environmental changes

November 26, 2019

The beloved anemone fish popularized by the movies “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory” don’t have the genetic capacity to adapt to rapid changes in their environment, according to a new study in the journal Ecology Letters.

SeaWorld & Busch Gardens conservation fund commits $900,000 to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales

November 14, 2019

The funding provided by the SeaWorld Conservation Fund will be primarily used to test alternative non-lethal fishing gear.  Whales and sea turtles commonly entangle in ropes that connect crab or lobster traps on the sea floor to buoys on the sea surface.


Unless warming is slowed, emperor penguins will be marching towards extinction

November 7, 2019

Emperor penguins are some of the most striking and charismatic animals on Earth, but a new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has found that a warming climate may render them extinct by the end of this century. The study, which was part of an international collaboration between scientists, published Nov. 7, 2019, in the journal Global Change Biology.

Admiral John Richardson

Admiral John Richardson joins WHOI Board of Trustees

October 30, 2019

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is pleased to announce that Admiral John Richardson has joined the WHOI Board of Trustees.

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).