Research Highlights

News & Insights

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...

How do you study marine metamorphosis?

October 22, 2019

Marine ecologist Kirstin Meyer-Kaiser can tell you By Daniel Hentz | October 22, 2019 Kirstin Meyer-Kaiser poses for a quick photo before taking off on the R/V Connecticut to run several observations along Stellwagen Bank off the coast of Massachusetts....

whale tagging

Travel alongside whale researchers to the Antarctic Peninsula

October 17, 2019
shark_green_background

A new study observes the influence of internal waves on sharks

October 16, 2019

The Rise of Orpheus (Part 1)

October 2, 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...

Michael Moore

After 33 years, Michael Moore is still free to be curious at WHOI

September 26, 2019

By Daniel Hentz | September 26, 2019 Biologist Michael Moore, director of the Marine Mammal Center at WHOI, sits at the microscope he has used for more than 30 years. (Photo by Daniel Hentz, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Michael Moore...

Oceanus Magazine

Illuminating the Ocean with Sound

Illuminating the Ocean with Sound

April 26, 2017
The Amazing Acquired Phototroph!

The Amazing Acquired Phototroph!

April 20, 2017

Bent over her microscope, Holly Moeller finds the single-celled organisms she examines “utterly charming to look at.” They are fringed all around with hairlike cilia. “It looks like they’re wearing a hula skirt, and they use the skirt to propel...

The Hotspot for Marine Life

The Hotspot for Marine Life

April 13, 2017
Spring Arrives Earlier in the Ocean Too

Spring Arrives Earlier in the Ocean Too

March 20, 2017

Warmer oceans are triggering phytoplankton to start their annual blooms up to four weeks earlier than usual—a signal of how climate change can have far-reaching impacts on marine ecosystems. From 2003 to 2016, scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution monitored...

Eavesdropping on Whales

Eavesdropping on Whales

March 15, 2017

New Yorkers have been surprised to learn that a wide variety of whales are swimming in their watery backyard, cruising New York Harbor sometimes within sight of the Statue of Liberty. Sounds from humpback, fin, sei, and endangered North Atlantic...

How Do Larvae Find a Place to Settle Down?

How Do Larvae Find a Place to Settle Down?

February 20, 2017

It’s still a mystery: How do the tiny larvae of marine animals that hatch in the open ocean find their way to coral reefs where they settle as adults? One theory is that they home in on suitable coral neighborhoods...

A Big Decline of River Herring

A Big Decline of River Herring

February 14, 2017

Many New Englanders still recall the vast springtime runs of river herring. Millions of the small silvery fish swam up coastal freshwater streams, returning from the sea to spawn. Two species of river herring, alewives and blueback herring, are critical...

Eavesdropping on Shrimp's Snap Chat

Eavesdropping on Shrimp’s Snap Chat

January 30, 2017

Put your head under water near a coral reef or an oyster bed, said Ashlee Lillis, and you’ll likely hear a strange crackling sound. “It’s been described as sizzling or frying fat,” said Lillis, a postdoctoral scholar at Woods Hole...

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...

A Slithery Ocean Mystery

A Slithery Ocean Mystery

August 25, 2016

One sentence in a New York Times article caught Larry Pratt’s eye and set the scientific investigation in motion. The story was about fishermen harvesting juvenile eels in coastal waters of the Gulf of Maine and selling them for more...

News Releases

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...

New species of coral found in Lydonia Canyon

New Deep-Sea Coral Species Discovered in Atlantic Marine Monument

April 9, 2019

DNA analysis recently confirmed that Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists and their collaborators at OceanX, the University of Connecticut (UConn), and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) discovered two new species of deep-sea corals during a September 2018 expedition in...

Finding New Homes Won't Help Emperor Penguins Cope with Climate Change

Finding New Homes Won’t Help Emperor Penguins Cope with Climate Change

June 7, 2017

If projections for melting Antarctic sea ice through 2100 are correct, the vanishing landscape will strip Emperor penguins of their breeding and feeding grounds and put populations at risk.  But like other species that migrate to escape the wrath of...

Travel Distances of Juvenile Fish Key to Better Conservation

Travel Distances of Juvenile Fish Key to Better Conservation

May 15, 2017

Marine reserves—sections of the ocean where fishing is prohibited—promote coral reef sustainability by preventing overfishing and increasing fish abundance and diversity. But to be effective, they need to be sized right, and in a way that accounts for how far...

Don Anderson

Don Anderson Selected for Prestigious Ketchum Award for Coastal Research

April 3, 2017

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has selected Dr. Don Anderson, a senior scientist in the Biology Department at WHOI to receive the prestigious 2017 Bostwick H. Ketchum Award. The award honors an internationally recognized scientist who demonstrates an innovative...