Research Highlights

News & Insights

Sloan's viperfish (Chauliodus sloani)

The Ocean’s Eerie Twilight Zone is in Murky Legal Water

September 10, 2019

Rapid Response at Sea

September 6, 2019

Long-endurance robots tested for oil detection in the event of a spill in the Arctic By Evan Lubofsky | September 18, 2019 Ocean engineers are developing undersea vehicles that are capable of tracking oil spills under the ice in the...

Robot Swarm

Underwater robots swarm the ocean

August 22, 2019

Researchers tackle a big problem for tiny ocean robots By Evan Lubofsky | August 21, 2019 (Illustration by Tim Silva, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Underwater robots do a lot these days. They can be programmed to go to remote, dangerous,...

Once more into the Twilight Zone

August 1, 2019

On July 25, scientists embarked on the 2019 Ocean Twilight Zone expedition aboard NOAA Ship  Henry B. Bigelow. A team made up of WHOI and NOAA Fisheries researchers departed Newport, R.I., Thursday morning and headed south towards the edge of...

A new way of “seeing” offshore wind power cables

July 25, 2019

Researchers test ocean robots to make subsea cable surveys faster and cheaper By Evan Lubofsky | May 25, 2019 Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs)—a staple of oceanographic research—can perform subsea cable surveys faster and more economically than using ships with...

Dan Zitterbart

Public Talk: Tracking Humpback Whales in Antarctica

July 17, 2019

Can thermal cameras prevent ship strikes?

June 14, 2019

Researchers test out thermal IR cameras for whale detection in British Columbia’s Gulf Islands By Evan Lubofsky | June 13, 2019 Thermal IR cameras “see” whales by measuring the apparent temperature differences between the mammals and the surrounding water and...

Scott Lindell

King Kelp

June 12, 2019

Growing a better seaweed to fuel the future By Evan Lubofsky | June 12, 2019 Video by Craig LaPlante, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution “Thirteen point two.” One scientist calls out the measurement; another jots it down in her data sheet....

Andy Bowen

Imagining new vehicles for exploration

May 2, 2019

A conversation with WHOI Engineer Andy Bowen By Véronique LaCapra| May 2, 2019 Andy Bowen is the director of the National Deep Submergence Facility at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. (Photo by Katherine Spencer Joyce, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Andy Bowen...


Navigating the Changing Arctic

April 24, 2019

New glider will collect critical-but-scarce ice thickness measurements By Evan Lubofsky | April 25, 2019 WHOI scientists Rich Camilli (left) and Ted Maksym are developing a new autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that will measure ice thickness from below the Arctic...

Oceanus Magazine

Building a Computer Model to Forecast Red Tides

May 31, 2006

The algae Alexandrium fundyense are notorious for producing a toxin that accumulates in shellfish such as clams, mussels, and oysters, leading to paralytic shellfish poisoning in humans. The microscopic plants are naturally distributed in New England waters, but in some...

ABE—The Autonomous Benthic Explorer

ABE—The Autonomous Benthic Explorer

April 19, 2006

“Mars may belong to the rovers, but the oceans belong to the Autonomous Benthic Explorer.” With those words, Wired magazine enshrined Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s deep-sea autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) among its “50 Best Robots Ever” in January 2006. The...

New Sonar Method Offers Window into Squid Nurseries

New Sonar Method Offers Window into Squid Nurseries

March 15, 2006

Every spring the swallows return to Capistrano, and farther up the California coast, hordes of squid arrive to mate and lay eggs on the sandy seafloor off Monterey. Right on their tentacles are fishermen seeking calamari. California’s $30-million-a-year squid fishery...

Dust Busters for the Oceans

Dust Busters for the Oceans

March 8, 2006

Like most living things, microscopic marine plants need iron and other minerals to live and grow. On land, soil provides a ubiquitous source of minerals, but how do essential nutrients get into vast watery stretches of the open ocean? The...

Going Wireless in the Deep Blue

Going Wireless in the Deep Blue

January 11, 2006

You’re exploring how currents develop in the ocean, or how salt and spray are exchanged with the atmosphere, or how superheated fluids and lava erupt from the seafloor. You could make observations from a ship, but expeditions provide only snapshots...

Action, Camera ... Lights

Action, Camera … Lights

November 23, 2005

Exploring the seafloor can be like using a flashlight to find something in a dark basement. Just one-third of a mile beneath the sea surface, ambient light fades to black, requiring oceanographers to beam their own light to see what’s...

Scientists Find a New Twist in How Squids Swim

Scientists Find a New Twist in How Squids Swim

November 18, 2005

Erik Anderson was vexed by scientific papers he read during his first year of graduate studies in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program. Two groups of engineers asserted that squids likely propelled themselves through water by creating vortex rings—that is, by forcing...

An Experiment to Dye For

An Experiment to Dye For

September 1, 2005

Tracking the motion of the ocean can be tricky. Water sloshes and streams in all directions—pushed and pulled by winds, tidal forces, Earth’s rotation, and differences in heat and salt. To understand the ocean on both global and local scales,...

Double Duty for Ensign/Student Allison Berg

Double Duty for Ensign/Student Allison Berg

August 26, 2005

Allison Berg spends a lot of time building bridges between different worlds. She sought the physical challenge of the military and the intellectual challenge of a science degree. She wants to serve her country, but she also relishes time among...

Meet the Class of 2005-2007

Meet the Class of 2005-2007

August 26, 2005

Nine U.S. Navy officers are pursuing graduate degrees in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering through a special arrangement between the institutions (see “An Officer and a Graduate Student“). Lieutenant Commander Carl Hartsfield, Class of 2005...

News Releases

Basking shark

SharkCam reveals secret lives of basking sharks in UK

August 6, 2019

Underwater footage captured by the REMUS SharkCam observing the behavior of basking sharks off the west coast of Scotland. (Credit: Amy Kukulya, @oceanrobotcam, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) known as the REMUS SharkCam has been used...

Loral O'Hara

WHOI Research Engineer Selected for NASA Astronaut Program

June 7, 2017

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) research engineer Loral O’Hara was introduced today at Johnson Space Flight Center as a member of NASA’s most recent class of astronauts. O’Hara was one of just 12 to be selected from an applicant pool...

Ancient Skeleton Discovered on Antikythera Shipwreck

Ancient Skeleton Discovered on Antikythera Shipwreck

September 19, 2016

An international research team discovered a human skeleton during its ongoing excavation of the famous Antikythera Shipwreck (circa 65 B.C.). The shipwreck, which holds the remains of a Greek trading or cargo ship, is located off the Greek island of...

SharkCam Tracks Great Whites into the Deep

SharkCam Tracks Great Whites into the Deep

June 24, 2016

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...

Artifacts Discovered on Return Expedition to Antikythera Shipwreck

Artifacts Discovered on Return Expedition to Antikythera Shipwreck

June 20, 2016

An international research team has discovered spectacular artifacts during its ongoing excavation of the famous Antikythera Shipwreck (circa 65 B.C.) this month. The shipwreck is located off the Greek island of Antikythera in the Aegean Sea. Led by archaeologists and...

WHOI Technology Used in Locating El Faro Data Recorder

WHOI Technology Used in Locating El Faro Data Recorder

April 28, 2016

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. The cargo ship El Faro’s voyage data recorder was...

Steve Elgar

Steve Elgar Named National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow

April 14, 2016

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. Elgar, a physical oceanographer in the Applied Ocean Physics and...

Marine Archaeologists Excavate Greek Antikythera Shipwreck

September 24, 2015

Archaeologists excavating the famous ancient Greek shipwreck that yielded the Antikythera mechanism have recovered more than 50 items including a bronze armrest (possibly part of a throne), remains of a bone flute, fine glassware, luxury ceramics, a pawn from an...

New AUV Plankton Sampling System Deployed

August 17, 2015

A group of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers and engineers have developed and tested an innovative new system for sampling small planktonic larvae in coastal ocean waters and understanding their distribution. Results were published online July 30, 2015 in...

Carbon Dioxide Pools Discovered in Aegean Sea

July 16, 2015

The location of the second largest volcanic eruption in human history, the waters off Greece’s Santorini are the site of newly discovered opalescent pools forming at 250 meters depth. The interconnected series of meandering, iridescent white pools contain high concentrations...