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Paul Caiger hunts for things that glow in the Ocean Twilight Zone

January 14, 2020

By Daniel Hentz Paul Caiger descends to the ocean twilight zone on the OceanX submersible, Nadir, with pilot Alan Scott at the controls. (Photo by © OceanX Media) Paul Caiger is a fish biologist, marine photographer and postdoctoral investigator at...

The Ocean’s Moveable Feast

January 8, 2020

Today, warming waters are redrawing the lines of the marine food web By Madeline Drexler | January 9, 2020 Warm ocean temperatures caused large-scale ecological disruption that affected different species, including lobster. (© AP Photo / Robert F. Bukaty as...

Sea anemones with jet lag?

December 17, 2019

Not exactly, but scientists are investigating the internal clock that keeps inchworm-sized anemones ticking By Evan Lubofsky | December 18, 2019 (Illustration by Natalie Renier, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) For humans, light is a strong environmental time cue that keeps...

Bioacoustic alarms are sounding on Cape Cod

December 5, 2019

How a WHOI/IFAW study on dolphin sounds could help decrease mass strandings on the cape By Daniel Hentz  |  December 5, 2019 IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue Team and volunteers respond to a stranding of four common dolphins on Scussett Beach,...

Red Sea ‘hotspot’ study reveals behaviors of whale sharks

November 25, 2019

A whale shark swims near Shib Habil reef in the Red Sea. (Photo by Simon Thorrold, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) A new study of whale shark movements near a known hotspot in the Red Sea sheds light on their behaviors...

Searching for the limits of life: Taylor Heyl

November 7, 2019

By Evan Lubofsky | October 23, 2019 WHOI deep-sea biologist Taylor Heyl (in foreground) explores Lydonia Canyon in the OceanX submersible NADIR during a dive in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument. (Photo by Luis Lamar for National Geographic)...

orpheus

The Rise of Orpheus

November 7, 2019

WHOI’s new hadal robot moves one step closer to exploring the limits of life on Earth and beyond By Evan Lubofsky | October 8, 2019 Orpheus, an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), is deployed off the New England continental shelf during...

A swordfish swims near the ocean’s surface off the coast of Miami, Florida. Researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Washington tagged a group of five swords there to track their movements in and out of the ocean twilight zone, a dimly-lit layer of the ocean between 200 and 1000 meters deep (656 to 3,280 feet). (Photo by Steve Dougherty Photography).

Following the elusive sword

November 5, 2019

Satellite tags allow researchers to “see” how swordfish move in and out of the ocean twilight zone By Evan Lubofsky | November 4, 2019 A swordfish swims near the ocean’s surface off the coast of Miami, Florida. Researchers from Woods...

Marine fireworks

WHOI partners with 4Ocean to celebrate Jellyfish this month

November 5, 2019
WHOI Senior Scientist Joan Bernhard holds a synthetic model of a foram species known as Astrammina

Falling in love with foraminifera

October 30, 2019

A marine geobiologist falls for the ‘brains’ and beauty of an ancient single-celled creature By Evan Lubofsky | October 29, 2019 WHOI Senior Scientist Joan Bernhard holds a synthetic model of a foram species known as Astrammina triangularis that changes...

Oceanus Magazine

Can We Catch More Fish and Still Preserve the Stock?

Can We Catch More Fish and Still Preserve the Stock?

January 19, 2005

Near the town of Webster in southern Massachusetts there is a small lake with a long name: Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. The correct translation, from the original Native American language, refers to Englishmen fishing at a certain place, near a boundary. But...

A Fatal Attraction for Harmful Algae

A Fatal Attraction for Harmful Algae

January 14, 2005

A Korean scientist once told me a folk tale about an ancient emperor who ordered servants to rid his garden ponds of an algal scum that killed his fish and blemished his kingdom. One perceptive servant noticed that whenever rain...

Rites of Passage for Juvenile Marine Life

Rites of Passage for Juvenile Marine Life

January 11, 2005

The childhood of a barnacle is fraught with challenges. It hatches in shallow waters close to shore as a tiny larva, no bigger than a speck of dust. Currents sweep it to deeper, choppy waters, sometimes miles offshore. In these...

The Growing Problem of Harmful Algae

The Growing Problem of Harmful Algae

November 12, 2004

July and August 2004 — At the height of the summer season, when New Englanders and thousands of tourists open their wallets to buy fresh “steamers” and fried clam strips, Maine’s shellfish beds are shut down. Concerned by the worst...

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...

Whither the North Atlantic Right Whale?

Whither the North Atlantic Right Whale?

November 3, 2004

For millions of years, the North Atlantic Ocean has been home to right whales. In winter months, they gave birth to calves off the shores of West Africa in the eastern Atlantic and off Florida and Georgia in the western...

Revealing the Ocean's Invisible Abundance

Revealing the Ocean’s Invisible Abundance

October 25, 2004

Microbes. They are invisible to the naked eye, but they play a critical role in keeping our planet habitable. They are everywhere, in abundant numbers, but are still difficult to find. They come in a multitude of varieties, but too...

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....

Life in the Arctic Ocean

Life in the Arctic Ocean

September 15, 2004

Capped with a formidable ice and snow cover, plunged into total darkness during the winter, buffeted by blizzard winds, and bitterly cold, the Arctic Ocean is one of the most inaccessible and yet beautiful environments on Earth. Life here endures...

The Secret Lives of Fish

The Secret Lives of Fish

August 27, 2004

The ocean’s once-abundant fisheries—a resource that helps feed the world and drives multi-billion-dollar economies—are rapidly being depleted. Seventy percent of the ocean’s fish are being fished at or above catch limits that would sustain the fish stocks, according to a...

News Releases

Report reveals ‘unseen’ human benefits from ocean twilight zone

January 22, 2020

Exclusive report Value Beyond View: Illuminating the human benefits of the ocean twilight zone Download now – it’s free! Did you know that there’s a natural carbon sink—even bigger than the Amazon rainforest—that helps regulate Earth’s climate by sucking up...

How microbes reflect the health of coral reefs

December 19, 2019

Microorganisms play important roles in the health and protection of coral reefs, yet exploring these connections can be difficult due to the lack of unspoiled reef systems throughout the global ocean. A collaborative study led by scientists at the Woods...

squid

Underwater pile driving noise causes alarm responses in squid

December 16, 2019

Exposure to underwater pile driving noise, which can be associated with the construction of docks, piers, and offshore wind farms, causes squid to exhibit strong alarm behaviors, according to a study by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers published Dec....

Whales may owe their efficient digestion to millions of tiny microbes

December 4, 2019

A study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows that the microbial communities inside whales may play an important role in the digestion of one of the ocean’s most abundant carbon-rich lipids, known as a wax ester. Their...

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...

Corals

New study measures how much of corals’ nutrition comes from hunting

September 17, 2019

A polyp of the smooth cauliflower coral (Stylophora pistillata), uses the stinging cells in its tentacles to capture a small shrimp, which is then pulled into the mouth of the polyp and digested. Coral colonies contain thousands of individual polyps...

Blue shark

Blue sharks use eddies for fast track to food

August 7, 2019

Researchers tagged more than a dozen blue sharks off the U.S. Northeast Coast and monitored them for nine months. (Video by Camrin Braun, University of Washington and Tane Sinclair-Taylor, James Cook University.)   Blue sharks use large, swirling ocean currents,...

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...

An illustration of an organism infected with the giant virus known as Mimivirus. Credit: Shutterstock

Surprising Enzymes Found in Giant Ocean Viruses

June 5, 2019

Findings could represent new drug targets for human pathogens A new study led by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Swansea University Medical School furthers our knowledge of viruses—in the sea and on land— and their potential to...

whales

New Sub-species of Pilot Whale Identified in Pacific Ocean

June 3, 2019

Short-finned pilot whales are found over a wide swath of the world’s oceans, with habitats in the Indian, and Pacific, and North Atlantic oceans. Despite this wide distribution, the whales have been recognized as a single species—but a recent study...