WHOI in the News
‘The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52’ Review: An Enthusiastic, Anticlimactic Personal Quest to Find a One-of-a-Kind Whale Yields Mixed Results
Study shows that lobsters can detect sound, and raises concern about impact of anthropogenic noise
This is the first study demonstrating sound detection in the American lobster using what’s known as auditory evoked potential (AEP) methods, which use electrodes placed near the brain of the animal to detect neuron responses to sounds.
New Ocean Buoy Monitors Whales Off MD.’s Atlantic Coast
The buoy is equipped with a hydrophone to record marine mammal calls, and thanks to an algorithm, researchers will be able to determine whether they belong to a humpback, fin, sei, or a critically-endangered North Atlantic Right whale.
Decoding Marine Oil Spills Requires Slick Detective Work
It turns out the business of solving who may have dumped something bad into the ocean in two recent local incidents is much like solving any big crime – it takes good detective work.
The science behind extinguishing the Gulf of Mexico’s ‘ocean fire’
When firefighting boats circled the so-called “eye of fire,” spraying a steady stream of water on the outskirts of the flames, some Twitter users viewed the development with bemusement: were these boats fighting a fire, burning on the ocean, with… seawater?
‘What we know now is how much we don’t know’: Enter the strange world of the ocean twilight zone
A difficult area to study and often overlooked by science, new technology is aiding its exploration, forcing researchers to re-evaluate just how much life is down there. Researchers now believe there is 10 times, maybe 100 times the biomass previously thought, says Heidi Sosik, senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
Robot Dives 3,000 Feet to Film Creatures in Mid-Ocean ‘Twilight Zone’
Bioluminescent creatures and others inhabiting the dark depths 3,000 feet below the surface in the mid-ocean “twilight zone” — beyond the reach of sunlight — are now being documented by a research robot called Mesobot. The underwater robot was created in a joint effort by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Stanford University.
Alvin: Pioneer of the Deep
The deep-sea submersible Alvin has brought explorers to extraordinary places for more than 50 years. Now, as Alvin is poised to continue its revolutionary scientific work, a new set of upgrades will take it deeper than ever before. A coproduction with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Roaming the Depths: The Role of Autonomous Assets in the EXPORTS Campaign
The difficulty of science at sea has been one driving factor in the development of autonomous platforms for use in scientific research.
Explorer Robert Ballard’s memoir finds shipwrecks and strange life forms in the ocean’s darkest reaches
In the early 1970s, when Ballard was doing his graduate work in marine geology and geophysics, scientists were still refining the basics of plate tectonics theory.
Icebergs Drifting from Canada to Southern Florida
Using high resolution seafloor mapping, radiocarbon dating and a new iceberg model, the team analyzed about 700 iceberg scours (“plow marks” on the seafloor left behind by the bottom parts of icebergs dragging through marine sediment) from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to the Florida Keys.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Appoints New Chief Scientist for National Deep Submergence Facility
Dr. Anna Michel, an associate scientist in the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, will be the first woman to serve in this high-profile role effective July 1, 2021.
Whales don’t spray water from their blowholes and other myths, debunked
We’re dispelling the most common misconceptions about these marine mammals—which is essential to keeping them safe and healthy.
Massive icebergs from Hudson Bay used to travel all the way to Florida, research suggests
“What our model suggests is that these icebergs get caught up in the currents created by glacial meltwater, and basically surf their way along the coast,” Condron said.
A Clever Robot Spies on Creatures in the Ocean’s ‘Twilight Zone’
Mesobot looks like a giant yellow-and-black AirPods case, only it’s rather more waterproof and weighs 550 pounds. It can operate with a fiber-optic tether attached to a research vessel at the surface, or it can swim around freely.
To Understand How Warming is Driving Harmful Algal Blooms, Look to Regional Patterns, Not Global Trends
Accounts of harmful algal growths have increased over time. So has monitoring, however, making it difficult to tell whether the rise in observations is simply because there is greater awareness of their occurence or if it truly represents a growing ocean threat.
Maine’s having a lobster boom. A bust may be coming.
Mystery of rubber bales that washed up on Palm Beach may be solved
rubber bales were found last summer by the nonprofit Friends of Palm Beach, which does daily beach cleanings, but also tries to locate the origin of some of the more insidious garbage such as medical waste and fish-aggregating devices.
Massive plankton blooms with very different ecosystem impacts
“The big mystery about plankton is what controls its distribution and abundance, and what conditions lead to big plankton blooms,” said Dennis McGillicuddy, Senior Scientist and Department Chair in Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
Biden administration moves to bring back endangered species protections undone under Trump
Commerce Secretary Raimondo visits Woods Hole
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo visited Massachusetts on Friday to tour the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Northeast Fisheries Science Center. The former Rhode Island governor, who left state government midterm to join the Biden administration in March, said her work with NOAA started in the Ocean State, as the University of Rhode Island has long collaborated with the federal agency.
On the Verge of Extinction, These Whales Are Also Shrinking
Most of the 360 or so North Atlantic right whales alive today bear scars from entanglements in fishing gear and collisions with speeding ships and, according to new study, they are much smaller than they should be. According to the authors of the new study, the best way to ensure the continued survival of the species is to pressure fishery managers in the United States and Canada to significantly reduce the amount of rope-based fishing gear and implement ship speed limits in the North Atlantic. “We all consume goods moved by the sea, and many eat lobsters,” said Michael Moore, a senior scientist with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and co-author of the study. “If we all were to demand these management changes of our elected officials the situation would change drastically.”
Dangerous ‘Clinging Jellyfish’ Found Again in Barnegat Bay
They are found naturally throughout coastal regions of the northern hemisphere and have, in recent times, invaded the Mediterranean Sea and even the Pacific coast of the Russian far east.
Say hello to a vast underground ecosystem
The research team — led by Karen Lloyd, an associate professor at the University of Tennessee, and Donato Giovannelli, a professor at the University of Naples Federico II in Italy — found that this microbial ecosystem sequesters a huge amount of carbon dioxide.