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Research Highlights

Oceanus Magazine

Mistaken Identity

Mistaken Identity

February 10, 2005

Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have found that two chemicals accumulating in the tissues of marine animals and suspected to be manmade pollutants actually came from natural sources.

Water Flowing Underground

Water Flowing Underground

December 10, 2004

Groundwater discharge appears to be an important factor for determining the chemistry of the coastal ocean. As fresh groundwater flows toward the sea, it rises up over denser, salty water. The fresh and salty water mix along the interface, and the resulting fluid discharges at the shoreline. This interface between underground water masses has recently been described as a “subterranean estuary,” a mixing zone between fresh and salty water analogous to the region where a river meets the ocean.

Oil in Our Coastal Back Yard

Oil in Our Coastal Back Yard

October 13, 2004

On September 16, 1969, the barge Florida ran aground off Cape Cod, rupturing its hull and spilling 189,000 gallons of No. 2 fuel oil. Winds and waves pushed the oil onto the beaches and marshes of West Falmouth, Massachusetts, carrying with it dead lobsters, scup, and cod.

Living Large in Microscopic Nooks

Living Large in Microscopic Nooks

August 24, 2004

Newly discovered deep-sea microbes rearrange thinking on the evolution of the Eart—and life on it.

Mixing Oil and Water

Mixing Oil and Water

June 23, 2004

In recent decades scientists have made substantial progress in understanding how oil enters the oceans, what happens to it, and how it affects marine organisms and ecosystems. This knowledge has led to regulations, practices, and decisions that have helped us reduce sources of pollution, prevent and respond to spills, clean up contaminated environments, wisely dredge harbors, and locate new petroleum handling facilities.

News Releases


WHOI Scientists ‘read’ the messages in chemical clues left by coral reef inhabitants

June 10, 2024

What species live in this coral reef, and are they healthy? Chemical clues emitted by marine organisms might hold that information

A Kids Book

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Marine Chemist Authors ‘A Kids Book About Being a Scientist’

May 21, 2024

In his new book, A Kids Book About Being a Scientist, award-winning author and WHOI chemist Chris Reddy encourages young people to explore the world around them

Sampling Rosette

Human Activity Is Causing Toxic Thallium to Enter the Baltic Sea, According to New Study

May 2, 2024

Human activities account for a substantial amount – anywhere from 20% to more than 60% – of toxic thallium that has entered the Baltic Sea over the past 80 years, according to new research by scientists affiliated with WHOI and other institutions.

Dr. Elizabeth B. Kujawinski

ASLO honors Elizabeth B. Kujawinski with the 2024 G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award

February 13, 2024

Woods Hole, Mass. — Each year, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) honors scientists for their outstanding achievements in aquatic science research, service, and education. The G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award recognizes a mid-career scientist who has […]

Deep Rover underwater

Researchers Studying Ocean Transform Faults, Describe a Previously Unknown Part of the Geological Carbon Cycle

February 12, 2024

Woods Hole, Mass. – Studying a rock is like reading a book. The rock has a story to tell, says Frieder Klein, an associate scientist in the Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

The rocks […]

News & Insights

Japan releases treated water from ruined nuclear plant

August 24, 2023

WHOI marine radiochemist Ken Buesseler weighs in on the discharge of wastewater from Fukushima

What happens to natural gas in the ocean?

October 6, 2022

WHOI marine chemist Chris Reddy weighs in on a methane leak in the Baltic Sea

Ocean Encounters: Ocean Pollution

March 2, 2022

In case you missed it… From plastic to oil spills, experts discuss ways to control ocean pollution in our last Ocean Encounters

The power of the ocean

December 23, 2021

An op-ed in the national news outlet The Hill by WHOI senior scientist Ken Buesseler reinforces the power and importance of the ocean in carbon dioxide removal strategies

Rapid microbial methanogenesis during CO2 storage in hydrocarbon reservoirs

December 22, 2021