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Research Highlights

News & Insights

The Search for Life

February 17, 2021

This week, NASA’s Perseverance Rover lands on Mars to continue the search for life on the Red Planet. At the same time, WHOI scientists and engineers are applying their experience exploring the deepest parts of planet Earth to the quest…

WHOI builds bridges with Arctic Indigenous communities

February 10, 2021

NSF program fosters collaboration between indigenous communities and traditional scientists, allowing WHOI’s autonomous vehicles to shed light on a changing Arctic

Lane Abrams

Meet the Alvin 6500 Team: Lane Abrams

December 22, 2020

Lane Abrams talks about designing electronics for the bottom of the ocean and project management of Alvin’s electrical updates for the 6500 meter overhaul.

Smart cameras keep lookout for endangered whales

December 17, 2020

A ship-mounted thermal imaging system provides real-time detection of whales, which could reduce the number of endangered marine mammals killed by vessels each year.

Francis Elder testing new variable ballast pump for Alvin

Meet the Alvin 6500 Team: Francis Elder

December 16, 2020

An interview with Francis Elder, lead mechanical engineer for the Alvin Group. Find out how the team has designed a new pump to take Alvin to 6,500 meters.

Could listening to the deep sea help save it?

November 10, 2020

A recent New York Times article about sound in the deep ocean briefly mentions the work by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) acoustic scientist Ying-Tsong “YT” Lin and his work developing an “acoustic telescope.”

Wave Glider provides gateway to remote exploration

November 10, 2020

WHOI geochemist Chris German pairs an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) called a Wave Glider with other vehicles to expand research here and on other Ocean Worlds

WHOI-assisted study finds ocean dumping of DDT waste was “sloppy”

October 29, 2020

An investigative report this week in the LA Times features the work of WHOI’s marine geochemistry lab in identifying the discarded barrels and analyzing samples from the discovery.

Can seismic data mules protect us from the next big one?

October 7, 2020

Ocean scientists leverage game-changing technologies to improve our understanding of the global ocean’s most dangerous earthquake faults and enable more advanced warnings for seismic risk.

Carl Hartsfield

REMUS Group gets new director

September 24, 2020

Former Naval Officer Carl Hartsfield becomes WHOI’s newest director of the REMUS group

News Releases

Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers Honors WHOI Scientist

December 29, 2020

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers  (IEEE) elected Dana Yoerger as a 2021 fellow for the development of autonomous underwater vehicles for deep-ocean exploration and science. Yoerger is a senior scientist in the Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department...

WHOI reveals upgrades to iconic submersible Alvin

December 10, 2020

One of the world’s most prolific research submersibles will put 99% of the ocean floor within reach of science community when it relaunches in 2021 Increased depth range and the ability to explore 99% of the ocean floor, including the...

OSU Assumes Cyberinfrastructure Responsibility for OOI

October 5, 2020

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Oregon State University (OSU) jointly announced that OSU will assume responsibilities for the systems management of the cyberinfrastructure that makes data transmission for the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) possible through September of 2023.  OSU...

WHOI Announces D’Works Marine Technology Initiative for Massachusetts Startups and Entrepreneurs

August 26, 2020

Massachusetts has long been known as a center of invention and technical innovation and, more recently, has gained attention for its vibrant marine robotics startup community. Now startup companies, entrepreneurs, and others in the Commonwealth who work in the marine...

WHOI Scientists Make Woods Hole Film Festival Appearance

July 17, 2020

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists appear in two shorts and a feature film at this year’s Woods Hole Film Festival (WHFF). In addition, scientists will also participate in Q&A sessions connected to three of the festival’s feature-length, ocean-themed entries....

WHOI researcher dives to Challenger Deep

June 26, 2020

Ying-Tsong Lin is the 12th person in history and the first person of Asian descent to visit ocean’s deepest seafloor A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution researcher became one of just a handful of people to visit the deepest part of...

Ocean explorer and filmmaker James Cameron to host virtual event on Extreme Ocean Machines

May 18, 2020

Discussion with experts on ocean technology, exploration, and storytelling On May 20, ocean explorer and world-renowned filmmaker James Cameron will host a special edition of Ocean Encounters, a popular virtual event series from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Viewers of this special event,...

What did scientists learn from Deepwater Horizon?

April 20, 2020

Paper reviews major findings, technological advances that could help in next deep-sea spill.  Ten years ago, a powerful explosion destroyed an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and injuring 17 others. Over a span of 87...

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

November 14, 2019

The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund announced that it has committed $900,000 over the next three years in the fight to save the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale.  The announcement was made by Dr. Michael Moore of the Woods...

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...

Oceanus Magazine

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...

Seal Whiskers Inspire Marine Technology

Seal Whiskers Inspire Marine Technology

January 27, 2016

The night approaches quickly. A harbor seal plunges into the water, diving deep as the sunlight recedes. Through the dark, turbid waters, she searches for fish. Suddenly, the whiskers on her right cheek begin vibrating. And she’s off. Heather Beem...

Epiphany Among the Manta Rays

Epiphany Among the Manta Rays

December 3, 2015

Our group of scuba divers slowly descended to the seafloor off Kona on the island of Hawai’i. The sun had just set. Within minutes, the light slowly disappeared, and it became impossible to see anything. We sat motionless in a...

TurtleCam

October 15, 2015
The Riddle of Rip Currents

The Riddle of Rip Currents

September 17, 2015

Stumbling shoulder-deep through crashing waves off a beach in Duck, North Carolina, Melissa Moulton felt like she was in a washing machine. Breaking swells pounded around her as she mounted scientific instruments to steel pipes embedded in the seafloor, while...

A Smarter Undersea Robot

A Smarter Undersea Robot

January 16, 2015

The most sophisticated high-tech deep-diving underwater robot is stymied because it lacks something that even a baby who can’t walk has. Picture a baby crawling across the floor of an empty room. She roams about for a while, but eventually...