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Research Highlights

Oceanus Magazine

The Growing Problem of Harmful Algae

The Growing Problem of Harmful Algae

November 12, 2004

Harmful algal blooms are natural and they are not new. But ocean scientists are growing concerned that they are now all too common. The unprecedented growth of human activities in coastal watersheds—including agriculture, aquaculture, industry, housing, and recreation—has drastically increased the amount of fertilizer flowing into coastal waters and fueled unwanted algal growth.

Scientists Muster to Help Right Whales

Scientists Muster to Help Right Whales

November 4, 2004

It is a sad irony that we have cataloged individual photographs of the remaining North Atlantic right whales and given each of them unique numbers and sometimes names, yet still know too little about their physiology, behavior, and habitats to take effective steps toward ensuring their survival as a species.

Whither the North Atlantic Right Whale?

Whither the North Atlantic Right Whale?

November 3, 2004

“Today only a remnant of the population survives, no more than 350 whales clustered in calving and feeding grounds along the eastern seaboard of North America. Only occasional right whale sightings in the Gulf of St. Lawrence or in the waters between Iceland, Greenland, and Norway give echoes of their once substantially greater range.

Revealing the Ocean's Invisible Abundance

Revealing the Ocean’s Invisible Abundance

October 25, 2004

Finding minuscule life forms in a seemingly infinite ocean isn’t trivial. But in recent years, oceanographers have been developing new techniques and instruments to identify and count marine microorganisms. Year by year, we are learning more and more about them and discovering that they are even more numerous, varied, and important than we previously thought.

Shedding Light on Light in the Ocean

Shedding Light on Light in the Ocean

October 15, 2004

Light in the ocean is like light in no other place on Earth. It is a world that is visibly different from our familiar terrestrial world, and one that marine animals, plants, and microbes are adapted to in extraordinary ways. Light behaves very differently when it moves from air into water. It moves through the expansive depths of an ocean that is devoid of solid surfaces. These and other factors combine to create an environment that has no equivalent on land.

News Releases

CTD Recovery

New Technologies Revise Scientists’ Understanding of the Oxygen Minimum Zone

May 21, 2024

A new technology detects trace amounts of oxygen in an environment where previously these life-supporting molecules were below the limit of detection.

Suzi Clark

Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health Receives Additional Five Years of Funding

April 19, 2024

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and National Science Foundation (NSF) have announced that the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will receive funding to continue operating the Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health (WHCOHH).


A new tagging method for fragile marine species

April 16, 2024

Newly developed bioadhesive sensors (BIMS) are effective and less invasive than traditional tagging. Scientists can attach them with a thin layer of dried-hydrogel in less than 20 seconds.

Stony Coral Tissue Disease

Study: eDNA methods give a real-time look at coral reef health

April 5, 2024

Researchers from WHOI studied the microbes in coral reef water by examining eight reefs in the U.S. Virgin Islands over a period of seven years, which included periods of hurricane and coral disease disturbance.

Degraded coral

Sonic Youth: Healthy Reef Sounds Increase Coral Settlement

March 13, 2024

Researchers at WHOI demonstrated that replaying healthy reef sounds could potentially be used to encourage coral larvae to recolonize damaged or degraded reefs.

News & Insights

Predatory fish could lose 40 percent of habitat by 2100, study finds

August 9, 2023

Shark superpowers, science, and social media

July 27, 2023

MIT-WHOI Joint Program student Jaida Elcock celebrates Shark Week and shark awareness in this Q&A

Life In the Dark: The Polar Night

July 5, 2023

At the northernmost year-round research station in the world, scientists brave frigid temperatures and perpetual night to solve an ocean mystery. The team is trying to figure out how some of the tiniest animals survive at a time of year when their main food source is not available.

Deep Sea Parasites Flourishing in Marine Ecosystems

June 29, 2023

WHOI’s Jaida Elcock and Lauren Dykman explain why parasites may be a sign of ocean health

Dolphin moms use baby talk with their young

June 29, 2023