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Research Highlights

News & Insights

Working from Home: Scott Lindell

June 25, 2020

Research assistant Sam Bowman (background) records data while project leader Scott Lindell (foreground) measures kelp blades to characterize specially-bred families of sugar kelp. (Photo by Ken Kostel, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Justin Ossolinski (Senior Research Assistant in Marine Chemistry...

Bottlenose dolphins continue to compensate for humans in spite of pandemic

June 11, 2020

By Daniel Hentz | June 10, 2020 Recreational boats gather by Passage Key at the mouth of Sarasota Bay in Florida, a now common scene on weekends during the pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Randall Wells) Recreational boats gather by Passage...

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,...

Oceanus Magazine

The Deep-See Peers into the Depths

The Deep-See Peers into the Depths

February 20, 2019

In the ocean’s shadowy depths lies one of the Earth’s last frontiers: the ocean twilight zone. It’s a vast swath of water extending throughout the world’s oceans from 650 to 3,280 feet (200 to 1,000 meters) below the surface, and...

Do Microplastics in the Ocean Affect Scallops?

Do Microplastics in the Ocean Affect Scallops?

January 24, 2019

WHOI scientist Scott Gallager is making field observations and conducting lab experiments to explore the possible effects of microplastics in the ocean on marine organisms. Specifically, he’s looking at sea scallops at different life stages to determine if the tiny...

To Tag a Squid

To Tag a Squid

January 3, 2019
Junk Food

Junk Food

December 17, 2018

An estimated eight million tons of plastics enter our oceans each year, yet only one percent can be seen floating at the surface. This is the third in a three-part series of stories about how researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic...

The Secret Tuna Nursery

The Secret Tuna Nursery

November 20, 2018

It was a little after 10 p.m., and several hundred miles off the coast of Massachusetts, Chrissy Hernandez was counting eyeballs. Scattered across a dinner plate-sized sieve in front of her was the harvest from yet another tow with a...

A Lobster Trap for Microbes

A Lobster Trap for Microbes

October 22, 2018

When you sprinkle even a few tiny flakes of fish food into an aquarium, it’s pretty easy to gauge how fish react. They typically swim fast and furiously straight toward the sinking particles and chow down before the food can...

The Recipe for a Harmful Algal Bloom

The Recipe for a Harmful Algal Bloom

August 21, 2018

In 2015, 239 poisoned sea lions washed ashore on the California coast. The culprit? A single-celled organism one-tenth the width of a human hair. The microscopic organism is a tiny cell with a long Latin name: Pseudo-nitzschia. On its own, one...

Life at the Edge

August 14, 2018

What makes the shelf break front such a productive and diverse part of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean? To find out, a group of scientists on the research vessel Neil Armstrong spent two weeks at sea in 2018 as part of...

Sharks Take 'Tunnels' into the Depths

Sharks Take ‘Tunnels’ into the Depths

July 23, 2018

As the Gulf Stream current curves away from North America and heads east across the Atlantic, it swirls at its edges. If one of these swirls is large enough, it will pinch off, sending a whirling pocket of water—more than...

The Discovery of Hydrothermal Vents

The Discovery of Hydrothermal Vents

June 11, 2018

“Wait a minute. What is that?” It was February 1977, and Robert Ballard, a marine geologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), sat aboard the research vessel Knorr 400 miles off the South American coast, staring at photos before him....

News Releases

Acidifying oceans could spell trouble for squid

June 1, 2013

Acidifying oceans could dramatically impact the world’s squid species, according to a new study led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers and just published online in the journal PLOS ONE. Because squid are both ecologically and commercially important, that...

Study reveals how fishing gear can cause slow death of whales

May 21, 2013

Using a “patient monitoring” device attached to a whale entangled in fishing gear, scientists showed for the first time how fishing lines changed a whale’s diving and swimming behavior. The monitoring revealed how fishing gear hinders whales’ ability to eat...

New Robotic Instruments to Provide Real-Time Data on Gulf of Maine Red Tide

May 7, 2013

A new robotic sensor deployed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Gulf of Maine coastal waters may transform the way red tides or harmful algal blooms (HABs) are monitored and managed in New England. The instrument was launched at...

Experts Call for Network to Monitor Marine Biodiversity

April 22, 2013

A group of oceanographic experts is calling for the establishment of a national network to monitor the diversity of marine life, a key bellwether of ocean and human health. Their work is described in the April 11 issue of BioScience. Lead...

Research Enables Fishermen to Harvest Lucrative Shellfish on Georges Bank

April 10, 2013

Combined research efforts by scientists involved in the Gulf of Maine Toxicity (GOMTOX) project, funded by NOAA’s Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) program, and administered by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), have led to...

Researchers Issue Forecast for ‘Moderate’ New England Red Tide in 2013

March 25, 2013

New England is expected to experience a “moderate” red tide this spring and summer, report NOAA-funded scientists studying the toxic algae that cause blooms in the Gulf of Maine. The “red tide” is caused by an alga Alexandrium fundyense, which...

Scientists Use Marine Robots to Detect Endangered Whales

January 9, 2013

Two robots equipped with instruments designed to “listen” for the calls of baleen whales detected nine endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of Maine last month. The robots reported the detections to shore-based researchers within hours of hearing...

Study Looks at Gray Seal Impact on Beach Water Quality

December 18, 2012

Scientists from the newly created Northwest Atlantic Seal Research Consortium (NASRC) are using data collected by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) to investigate whether seals may impact beach water quality along Outer Cape Cod. A growing population of...

Ketten

WHOI Biologist Ketten Named AAAS 2012 Fellow

November 29, 2012

Darlene Ketten of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. A marine...

Genetic Patterns of Deep-Sea Coral Provide Insights into Evolution of Marine Life

October 23, 2012

The ability of deep-sea corals to harbor a broad array of marine life, including commercially important fish species, make these habitat-forming organisms of immediate interest to conservationists, managers, and scientists. Understanding and protecting corals requires knowledge of the historical processes...