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Research Highlights

News & Insights

WHOI oceanographer completes epic Arctic mission

October 13, 2020

The largest Arctic science expedition in history has ended, with the return of the German icebreaker Polarstern to its home port of Bremerhaven more than one year after it departed Tromso, Norway.

squid

Listening to fish with passive acoustics

September 30, 2020

Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and NOAA Fisheries combine forces to adapt technologies used to detect marine mammals for fisheries management.

deep water corals

Why we explore deep-water canyons off our coast

September 16, 2020

WHOI biologist Tim Shank joins NOAA Fisheries, the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the National Ocean Service, and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) to study the ecological diversity and economic value laden in the 90 underwater canyons along the northeast U.S. continental shelf

Exploring the shipwrecks of Stellwagen Bank

August 21, 2020

Join us live 8/25-8/27, as WHOI and NOAA scientists partner with Marine Imaging Technologies to explore the living shipwrecks of this marine sanctuary. Send in your questions and have them answered in real time to learn more about the diverse marine communities that call these ships home

diver and kelp

Can Seaweed Fuel the Future?

August 13, 2020

Fuels generated from kelp could provide a low-emission alternative to fossil fuels, and WHOI is breeding new strains of kelp and developing autonomous robots to monitor kelp farms

seal eating fish

Scientists and fishermen team up to film seals in fishing nets

August 6, 2020

Seals find ease in taking a meal already ensnared in wall-like gillnets cast by fishermen, but at what cost? WHOI biologist Andrea Bogomolni works with the fishing community to record and observe this behavior with the hopes of mitigating marine mammal bycatch

Jellyfish

Jellyfish larger than blue whales?

July 14, 2020

Recent accounts in the media have described the appearance of lion’s mane jellyfish in waters and beaches in the Northeast as a surprising, sometimes troubling, event, with record sizes and numbers reported from Maine to the Massachusetts south coast. But is this event noteworthy? Or, as some have implied, is it a sign of failing ocean health? Three WHOI marine biologists weighed in to put events into perspective.

Working from Home: Scott Lindell

June 25, 2020

Though pandemic slows countless research projects, kelp breeding program can’t stop. A WHOI community rallies to help Scott Lindell and his lab sort over 2,200 blades.

Bottlenose dolphins continue to compensate for humans in spite of pandemic

June 11, 2020

Though vessel noise may be quieting down on the high seas, one coastal area in Florida is seeing an upswing in boat traffic according to local authorities, putting more pressure on the world’s longest-studied wild bottlenose dolphin community. A recent WHOI study suggests this is only the beginning of a larger trend.

Carin Ashjian

Arctic researcher returns home to a pandemic

May 28, 2020

News Releases

Epic Arctic Mission Ends

October 12, 2020

International climate research project marked by scientific surprises, logistical challenges  The German icebreaker Polarstern returned to its home port Oct. 12, 2020, after being frozen near the top of the world for nearly a year. The ship carried an international...

WHOI receives NOAA awards to study, predict harmful algal blooms

October 6, 2020

Projects will help enhance monitoring and determine socioeconomic impacts of blooms nationwide Researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) were recently named in a list of 17 new research projects funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to...

WHOI Scientists Make Woods Hole Film Festival Appearance

July 17, 2020

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists appear in two shorts and a feature film at this year’s Woods Hole Film Festival (WHFF). In addition, scientists will also participate in Q&A sessions connected to three of the festival’s feature-length, ocean-themed entries....

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....

Oceanus Magazine

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...

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...