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Research Highlights

News & Insights

Carin Ashjian

Arctic researcher returns home to a pandemic

May 28, 2020
Becker working remotely

Lab shutdowns enable speedier investigation of coral disease

May 20, 2020

Microbiologists make big strides studying Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease from home By Evan Lubofsky | May 20, 2020 MIT-WHOI Joint Program student Cynthia Becker works out her “pop-up” biology lab in a rental home in St. Thomas, USVI (left)...

As ice melts, emperor penguins march toward extinction

May 12, 2020
skomal and thorrold

Ocean Encounters: Sharks!

May 11, 2020
carin ashjian

Boston Globe: WHOI scientist’s stay in the Arctic extended due to coronavirus

May 11, 2020
right whale video

WHOI joins effort to accelerate marine life protection technology

April 22, 2020

By Elise Hugus | April 22, 2020 Critically endangered North Atlantic right whales swim in the waters off Massachusetts in February 2019. WHOI biologist Michael Moore uses drone technology to identify, track, and even take samples from the whales’ exhaled...

beach

Summer’s coming: Will Cape Cod beaches be safe?

April 15, 2020

By Evan Lubofsky | April 14, 2020 Towns across Cape Cod have closed beach parking lots to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As the summer beach season approaches, residents are wondering if local beaches will be safe...

carin ashjian

Imagining Home: scientist’s stay in the Arctic extended by coronavirus

April 13, 2020

By Ken Kostel | April 22, 2020 Members of Leg 3 of the Multi-disciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) line the rails of the Russian icebreaker Kapitan Dranitsyn prior to the ship’s departure from Tromsø, Norway,...

naked-scientists-podcast

Podcast on The Naked Scientists: Microorganisms discovered under seabed

March 24, 2020
sand lance

Now you see me, now you don’t

March 24, 2020

A big mystery surrounding some tiny divebombing fish By Evan Lubofsky | March 24, 2020 A sand lance darts into the sandy seafloor off Stellwagen Bank to hide from predators and quickly re-emerges. (Video courtesy of Page Valentine, U.S. Geological...

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

Fishing less could be a win for both lobstermen and endangered whales

May 27, 2020

A new study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found that New England’s historic lobster fishery may turn a higher profit by operating with less gear in the water and a shorter season. The findings could provide a...

North Atlantic right whales are in much poorer condition than their Southern counterparts

April 26, 2020

A new study by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists and their colleagues reveals that endangered North Atlantic right whales are in much poorer body condition than their counterparts in the southern hemisphere. The international research team, led by Fredrik...

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...

Snapping shrimp

Warming oceans are getting louder

February 18, 2020

One of the ocean’s loudest creatures is smaller than you’d expect—and will get even louder and more troublesome to humans and sea life as the ocean warms, according to new research presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Diego,...

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...