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

No Stone Unturned

No Stone Unturned

July 12, 2016
Shark Tales

Shark Tales

June 7, 2016

Like many of his fellow millennials, Camrin Braun often starts his day by going online to see what his friends are up to. But instead of checking in on Twitter or Facebook, he’s tracking updates from blue and mako sharks...

Crabs Swarm on the Seafloor

Crabs Swarm on the Seafloor

June 1, 2016

Expeditions to the tropics and Antarctica have turned up crab populations—for better or worse—in unexpected parts of the globe. At the Hannibal Bank Seamount, an 1,180-foot-high undersea mountain off Panana’s Pacific, a 2015 expedition led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution...

Tagging a Squishy Squid

Tagging a Squishy Squid

June 1, 2016

For more than a decade, researchers have been tagging large marine mammals such as dolphins and whales to reveal their behavior. But tagging small, soft animals such as jellyfish and squid has posed a big, hard challenge. WHOI biologist Aran...

The Bottom of the Ocean On Top of Your Coffee Table

The Bottom of the Ocean On Top of Your Coffee Table

June 1, 2016

Here’s a way to journey to the seafloor without leaving your living room or classroom. Five deep-sea scientists have created a comprehensive, lavishly illustrated book that transports readers to Earth’s last frontier—where volcanoes, boiling hot springs, undersea mountain chains, bizarre...

Illuminating an Unexplored Undersea Universe

Illuminating an Unexplored Undersea Universe

June 1, 2016

Twenty-five years ago, the Hubble Telescope was launched to look out to the vast darkness of outer space. It captured thousands of images of previously unknown stars, galaxies, and clouds of matter, literally expanding the boundaries of human vision and...

A New Eye on Deep-Sea Fisheries

A New Eye on Deep-Sea Fisheries

June 1, 2016

Imagine that officials charged with setting deer-hunting limits had to assess the herd’s abundance by flying over forests at night. That’s a little like what the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) is up against to set fishing quotas for deep-sea...

A New Whale Species Is Discovered in the Wild

A New Whale Species Is Discovered in the Wild

June 1, 2016

Scientists have discovered a thriving population of Omura’s whales—a species that hadn’t even been identified until 2003 and had never before been documented in the wild. Omura’s whales were misidentified as similar-looking Bryde’s whales until thirteen years ago, when Japanese...

See Those Black Dots? They’re Penguins. Now Count Them.

See Those Black Dots? They’re Penguins. Now Count Them.

June 1, 2016

That’s exactly what a team of researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) did on a recent expedition to the Danger Islands off the Antarctic Peninsula. The islands are home to Adélie penguin “supercolonies” like this one, which can number...

Endangered Whales Get a High-Tech Check-Up

Endangered Whales Get a High-Tech Check-Up

May 2, 2016

Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are studying the health of critically endangered whales—using drones. This spring, a research team led by WHOI biologist Michael Moore and NOAA researchers John Durban...

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...