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 https://www.whoi.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/OffshoreWind-Cable-Monitoring-Option1.mp4 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...

glider

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

Why Did the El Faro Sink?

Why Did the El Faro Sink?

March 3, 2017

On Oct. 1, 2015, the 790-foot cargo ship El Faro sank near the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin. All 33 crew members died in the tragedy. The ship was equipped with a voyage data recorder, or VDR, that could reveal clues...

A New Tsunami-Warning System

A New Tsunami-Warning System

January 11, 2017

After successfully testing a long-range underwater communications system that worked under Arctic Ocean ice, an engineering team at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) adapted it for a very different environment—the tropics—and for a different purpose—to provide warnings of impending tsunamis....

Communicating Under Sea Ice

Communicating Under Sea Ice

January 5, 2017

Banks Island is one of 36,563 ice-covered islands sprinkled in the Arctic Ocean north of Canada. It is home to the world’s largest population of muskoxen—about 68,000—one tiny village with a population of slightly more than 100 people, and an...

All the Ocean's a Stage

All the Ocean’s a Stage

December 28, 2016

“All right, Mr. Brickley, the show begins at two o’clock,” John Kemp announced as he entered the ship’s main lab on Saturday afternoon. Kemp is the deck operations leader for our expedition aboard Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s research vessel Neil...

To Track a Sea Turtle

To Track a Sea Turtle

December 5, 2016

Kara Dwyer Dodge grew up hearing stories of the sea monster her father pulled from the ocean. In 1966, Richard Dwyer, a third-generation fisherman in Scituate, Mass., found a sea turtle entangled in the lines of one of his lobster...

How Would 'On-Call' Buoys Work?

How Would ‘On-Call’ Buoys Work?

November 1, 2016

WHOI engineers are developing a new kind of lobster trap buoy that could help keep whales from getting tangled in fishing gear. Click on the numbers above to learn more. On a mobile device? Click here for mobile version. Go back to...

Whale-safe Fishing Gear

Whale-safe Fishing Gear

November 1, 2016

More and more whales are becoming snarled in fishing gear, often dying slow, painful deaths. Two Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) engineers have invented a lobster trap device that they say could help whales avert entanglements and, at the same...

Let There Be Laser Light

Let There Be Laser Light

September 7, 2016

Earth’s warming climate is poised to cause changes on our planet. In the Arctic, permafrost has begun to thaw, releasing methane, a heat-trapping greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. On the seafloor, warmer ocean temperatures threaten to release methane gas by...

Ocean Observatories System Is Up and Running

Ocean Observatories System Is Up and Running

August 1, 2016

The nation’s Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) has reached a major milestone: Its network of ocean sensor systems is now fully operational and sending a broad, continuous stream of data back to shore. Funded by the National Science Foundation with a...

A Luxury-Laden Shipwreck from 65 B.C.

A Luxury-Laden Shipwreck from 65 B.C.

June 1, 2016

Scientists returned in 2015 and 2016 to the wreck of a 180-foot ship that sank off the Greek island of Antikythera around 65 B.C., and recovered luxury items that included a bronze leg of a couch, remains of a bone...

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...