Scientists at work

Amy Baco-Taylor

Amy Baco-Taylor: Passionate about Deep-Sea Corals

Dr. Amy Baco-Taylor dives to deep-sea environments to study corals and the invertebrates that live on them. Two events made me passionate about deep-sea corals . One was my first submarine dive in a...

Coral Scientist Brendan Roark: On an Urgent Mission

Dr. Brendan Roark discusses different methods of sampling deep-sea corals with undergraduate students at Texas A&M University. Credit: James LaCombe Deep-sea coral beds are true biodiversity hotspots. It’s urgent that we study these extreme...

Martha Nizinski: Hooked on Deep-Sea Corals

Scientist Martha Nizinski examines a sample of the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa , collected 600-m (1,969-ft) deep off the coast of the southeastern United States. Credit: A. Howard Nine years ago I was invited...
Ocean Portal summer 2011 intern Brandon Adkins poses next to the aquarium in the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall.

An Intern Explores Ocean Careers

Summer 2011 Ocean Portal intern Brandon Adkins is determined to pursue a career in marine science. After researching a host of jobs in the field, he's thinking of becoming an oceanographer. Credit: Smithsonian Institution...

Line W: A 10-Year Portrait of Our Planet

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's "Line W" program is conducting research to better understand how the oceans and the atmosphere work together to cause, and are affected by, climate variability on the earth. Since...

Exploring Ocean Life with an Underwater Vehicle

Studies along the Northwest Atlantic Ocean shelf break- the transition from continental shelf to slope- by researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Rutgers University are revealing connections between physical processes in the ocean...
Photographer Brian Skerry walks knee deep in a mangrove in the Bahamas.

Life in the Field as an Underwater Photographer

Brian Skerry, an award winning photographer for National Geographic, explores the underwater world searching for the perfect photo. But getting that photo is never easy. Read more from Brian about the perfect underwater photo...
Corals, sponges, and algae are the major components of most coral reef communities as shown in this picture.

Making Science Sing: The Longest Time (Coral Triangle Edition)

Corals, sponges and seaweeds cover most of the surface of many coral reefs . Credit: Wolcott Henry How do you make science sing? Just ask a couple of female scientists to sing about their...
Many medicines were based on a chemical from the sea sponge Tectitethya crypta.

Five Questions for Shirley Pomponi, Medical Sponge Hunter

Most scuba divers scour coral reefs looking for colorful fish, natural beauty, and maybe even the perfect underwater photo . Shirley Pomponi , a biologist at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, however,...

One Fish, Two Fish: Estimating Undiscovered Species

These zooplankton collected on a research cruise include a jellyfish, a lanternfish, a snipe eel, two large orange shrimp, a fuzzy pyrosome (which is bioluminescent), and several smaller animals. Credit: Exploring the Inner Space...
This recently discovered hairy crab species (Kiwa hirsuta) has no eyes.

The Census of Marine Life

Did you know that over 17,000 species thrive in the deep sea where no light penetrates the ocean waves? Or that an old restaurant menu can teach us about the history of fish populations?...
A ribbon worm curled up in a mud flat.

The Search for an Elusive Ribbon Worm

A Hubrechtia ribbon worm, found after a long day of searching in mud flats in Fort Pierce, Florida. Credit: Eduardo Zattara, Smithsonian Institution With 1,400 named species of ribbon worms inhabiting every ecosystem on...
A red and white colored bristle worm swims in the water column.

Five Questions with Brigitte Ebbe, Polychaete Pundit

Now that the Census of Marine Life is over, we’re checking in with some of the researchers to hear about their favorite expedition, what they learned, and how the Census and its findings continue...
Sunset over Boston Harbor

Signs of a Recovering Harbor

A sunset over Boston Harbor. Credit: Chesser1023 For more than two centuries, Boston Harbor has been a dumping ground. In 1773, colonists famously dumped shiploads of tea to protest taxes. But in recent decades,...

Women in Oceanography

If you think only men can helm research vessels to get their hands dirty and study ocean currents, you're wrong. This short film follows the mostly-female scientists of the R/V Knorr research ship on...
A puffin with a mouthful of fish.

Watching for Fish in the Puffin's Beak

Atlantic puffins have spiny tongues that, pressed against the roof of their mouths, help to hold ten or more small forage fish at once without losing any along the way. Credit: Steve Garvie, Flickr...

Diving into the Sandstorm

A dredge from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can be seen removing a sandbar off of Virginia Beach, VA. Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Flickr Diving can be a wild ride that...
A dive safety officer keeps a close eye on divers from the surface.

Diving in the Middle of Nowhere

The dive safety officer, Christian McDonald, keeping a watchful eye on divers at the surface. Credit: Rob Edwards Picture this: clear, warm water bathing spectacular coral reefs , clouds of fish, circling sharks, and...