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Research Highlights

Oceanus Magazine

Mixing Oil and Water

Mixing Oil and Water

June 23, 2004

In recent decades scientists have made substantial progress in understanding how oil enters the oceans, what happens to it, and how it affects marine organisms and ecosystems. This knowledge has led to regulations, practices, and decisions that have helped us reduce sources of pollution, prevent and respond to spills, clean up contaminated environments, wisely dredge harbors, and locate new petroleum handling facilities.

Is Life Thriving Deep Beneath the Seafloor?

Is Life Thriving Deep Beneath the Seafloor?

April 12, 2004

In 1991, scientists aboard the submersible Alvin were in the right spot at the right time to witness something extraordinary. They had sailed into the aftermath of a very recent volcanic eruption on the seafloor and found themselves in a virtual blizzard. They were densely surrounded by flocs of white debris, composed of sulfur and microbes, which drifted more than 30 meters above the ocean bottom. The seafloor was coated with a 10-centimeter-thick layer of the same white material. This vast volume of microbes did not come from the ocean. The eruption had flushed it out from beneath the seafloor.

The Evolutionary Puzzle of Seafloor Life

The Evolutionary Puzzle of Seafloor Life

March 22, 2004

Most of Earth’s crust is manufactured at the bottom of the sea. Deep beneath the waves and beyond our view, magma erupts along a 40,000-mile volcanic mountain chain that bisects the ocean floors and encircles the globe. The lava flowing from these mid-ocean ridges solidifies into new ocean crust that spreads out and paves the surface of our planet.

Deep-Sea Diaspora

Deep-Sea Diaspora

December 1, 1998

When spectacular biological communities were first discovered at hydrothermal vents in 1977, biologists puzzled over two main questions: How did these oases of large and abundant animals persist in the deep sea, where food is typically scarce? And how did these unusual species, which occur only at vents, manage to colonize new vents and avoid extinction when old vents shut down?

News Releases

Squid

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.

Aerial Imagery of Penguins

High Resolution Imagery Advances the Ability to Monitor Decadal Changes in Emperor Penguin Populations

March 13, 2024

High resolution satellite imagery and field-based validation surveys have provided the first multi-year time series documenting emperor penguin populations.

Fin Whale

New Research Reveals: The New York Bight Is an Important Year-Round Habitat for Endangered Fin Whales

February 15, 2024

Researchers aim to use their science to help inform best practices and strategies to better protect fin whales in waters off NY and NJ

Woods Hole, Mass. – The New York Bight is an important year-round habitat for endangered fin whales, […]

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