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News & Events

The Sound of (Reef) Music

October 2, 2023

In the fight to save corals, the solution may lie in sound. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) associate scientist Aran Mooney learned that some rainforest researchers turned to studying noise to determine the health of these threatened environments. He hypothesized a similar connection between sound and the health of reefs. Reefs are every bit as…

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Innovative Techniques Provide New Means to Monitor Coral Reef Health

September 21, 2023

With coral reefs worldwide undergoing unprecedented stressors due to climate change and other human pressures, a large-scale application of innovative techniques shows promise for detecting the health condition of reefs. The techniques, which look at microbes and dissolved metabolites – i.e., chemicals that are produced during metabolism –were broadly applied to coral reefs off Florida…

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NFWF Announces $1.3 Million in Grants to Support Coral Reefs

September 19, 2023

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $1.3 million in grants to support efforts to improve the health and resilience of coral reefs in Florida, Hawai’i, Guam, and America Samoa. The grants will generate $1.3 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $2.6 million. The grants were awarded through the Coral…

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Researchers propose a new technology-centered focus to study and conserve coral reefs

June 2, 2023

The scope and scale of threats facing coral reefs demand new ways of approaching the questions that need to be answered in order to ensure the future of reefs worldwide. That’s the conclusion of a paper released in print today by a multi-disciplinary scientists and engineers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The paper,…

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Can Sound Help Save Coral Reefs?

May 22, 2023

Coral reefs are more than just a feast for the eyes, they are also awash in a stunning array of sounds. The chirps, grunts, and snaps of fish, shrimp, and other reef inhabitants are hallmarks of a healthy coral community rich in animals moving, feeding, calling out to potential mates, and fending off predators. To…

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Study Examines the Impact of Coral Chemical Compounds on Reef Composition and Health

October 28, 2022

Stumbling upon a new source of underwater caffeine was just an added bonus of a new study examining the impact of chemical compounds that corals release into the seawater. The study found that the organic chemical compounds produced through metabolism -known as metabolites or exudates-vary significantly by coral species and that the compounds impact the…

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As oceans warm, snapping shrimp sound a warning

August 18, 2022

Research published by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists today in Frontiers in Marine Science confirmed their previous observations that rising temperatures increase the sound of snapping shrimp, a tiny crustacean found in temperate and tropical coastal marine environments around the world. In the first study of its kind, WHOI marine ecologists Ashlee Lillis and T. Aran Mooney established…

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Give Reefs a Chance Campaign

July 29, 2022

Join our campaign to give reefs a chance in a changing ocean. With your help, we can all make a difference. Learn more >

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Give Reefs a Chance Video

July 29, 2022

Coral reefs around the world are facing a dangerous decline, but there is still hope! This behind-the-scenes video highlights some of the novel technologies and approaches WHOI researchers are developing to detect and diagnose at-risk corals before any visible signs of damage when there is still time to intervene

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A Coral Reef Kickstart

July 14, 2021

WHOI’s Reef Solutions Initiative takes a multi-disciplinary approach to investigate solutions for ailing coral reefs. Read more.

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News from our Team

Field Trip to St. John, US Virgin Islands

Members of the WARP Lab and several others on the Reef Solutions Initiative team traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands in October 2021. Take a look at some of what they did.


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Oceanus Magazine

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Ocean Encounters: Corals in Crisis

Recorded on June 3, 2020 as part of the Ocean Encounters virtual series.

Worldwide, corals are struggling to survive, decimated by pollution, destructive fishing practices, and climate change. Six years ago, a deadly coral disease outbreak started in Florida and has now made its way to the coral reefs in U.S. Virgin Islands, killing corals at an unprecedented rate. Can scientists help stop this underwater epidemic and contain its spread? Hear what three scientists are doing to help save corals and the spectacular ecosystems they support. Speakers: Marine biologist, ocean explorer, and conservationist Sylvia Earle, University of the Virgin Islands coral disease ecologist Marilyn Brandt, and WHOI marine microbial ecologist Amy Apprill.

WHOI Reef Research in the News