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

A Telescope to Peer into the Vast Ocean

A Telescope to Peer into the Vast Ocean

February 6, 2015

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

Bringing a Lab to the Seafloor

Bringing a Lab to the Seafloor

December 24, 2014

If you can’t bring the ocean into the laboratory, you have no choice but to take the lab into the sea. Marine biologists have always sought to conduct experiments to peer into the inner workings of marine ecosystems. Their holy...

The Waves Within the Waves

The Waves Within the Waves

December 18, 2014

If the 30-foot wave we were looking for had tumbled across the ocean’s surface that July day, it might have been mistaken for a monstrous rogue wave. But that’s not where this wave rolled. This wave surged within the ocean—deep...

Trouble in the Tropics

Trouble in the Tropics

November 26, 2014

On a tropical island vacation, one of the last things you want to worry about is food poisoning. Yet for many, a trip to the tropics includes a painful education in a mysterious food-borne illness called Ciguatera Fish Poisoning, or...

Big Questions About Tiny Bacteria

Big Questions About Tiny Bacteria

November 3, 2014

It’s 3 a.m., and Jesse McNichol is struggling to stay awake. Since midafternoon, he’s been in his lab, tending to a jumble of glassware, plastic tubing, and metal cylinders filled with microbes. He sighs, rubs his bloodshot eyes, and heads...

It's Hard to Kill a Killifish

It’s Hard to Kill a Killifish

October 1, 2014

“Somehow I just keep ending up back here,” laughed Lily Helfrich when commenting on her third summer working in a laboratory in Woods Hole. An early interest in biological sciences led the Falmouth native to work at the Marine Biological...

On the Trail of an Invader

On the Trail of an Invader

October 1, 2014

Anyone who knows Filip Buksa is likely not surprised that he decided to travel all the way to Woods Hole from the shores of Croatia for the summer. “Marine science came to me as continuing to work with what I...

A Summer of Science by the Sea, 2014 (Part II)

A Summer of Science by the Sea, 2014 (Part II)

October 1, 2014

It’s a science major’s dream job: live on Cape Cod for the summer and do ocean research with top-notch scientists as a Summer Student Fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). This year, as in every summer since 1959, undergraduates...

Is Ocean Acidification Affecting Squid?

Is Ocean Acidification Affecting Squid?

September 26, 2014
Swimming in Low-pH Seas

Swimming in Low-pH Seas

September 18, 2014

Doriane Weiler grew up on the coast of California and remembers spending so much time at the beach as a child that she often had to be pulled out of the water before the tide swept her away. Now starting...

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...