WHOI's educational role, at the graduate level, was formalized in 1968 with a change in its charter and the signing of an agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a Joint Program leading to doctoral (Ph.D. or Sc.D.) or engineer's degrees. Joint master's degrees are also offered in selected areas of the program. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is also authorized to grant doctoral degrees independently.

New theses are added as they are published.

Recent Submissions

  • Coral biomineralization, climate proxies and the sensitivity of coral reefs to CO2-driven climate change 

    DeCarlo, Thomas M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2017-02)
    Scleractinian corals extract calcium (Ca2+) and carbonate (CO2−3) ions from seawater to construct their calcium carbonate (CaCO3) skeletons. Key to the coral biomineralization process is the active elevation of the CO2−3 ...
  • Physics of diurnal warm layers : turbulence, internal waves, and lateral mixing 

    Bogdanoff, Alec S. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2017-02)
    The daily heating of the ocean by the sun can create a stably stratified near-surface layer when the winds are slight and solar insolation is strong. This type of shallow stable layer is called a Diurnal Warm Layer (DWL). ...
  • Effects of added drag on cetaceans : fishing gear entanglement and external tag attachment 

    van der Hoop, Julie (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2017-02)
    Animal movement is motivated in part by energetic constraints, where fitness is maximized by minimizing energy consumption. The energetic cost of movement depends on the resistive forces acting on an animal; changes in ...
  • Phenotypic diversity within two toxic dinoflagellate genera : environmental and transcriptomic studies of species diversity in Alexandrium and Gambierdiscus 

    Pitz, Kathleen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-09)
    Dinoflagellates are a diverse group of single-celled eukaryotic phytoplankton that are important for their unique genetics and molecular biology, the multitude of ecological roles they play, and the ability of multiple ...
  • Productivity, metabolism and physiology of free-living chemoautotrophic Epsilonproteobacteria 

    McNichol, Jesse C. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-09)
    Chemoautotrophic ecosystems at deep-sea hydrothermal vents were discovered in 1977, but not until 1995 were free-living autotrophic Epsilonproteobacteria identified as important microbial community members. Because the ...
  • Inferring ocean circulation during the Last Glacial Maximum and last deglaciation using data and models 

    Amrhein, Daniel E. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-09)
    Since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ~ 20,000 years ago) air temperatures warmed, sea level rose roughly 130 meters, and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide increased. This thesis combines global models and ...
  • A scientific framework for evaluating coral reef resilience to climate change 

    Barkley, Hannah C. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-09)
    The 21𝑠𝑡 century warming and acidification of tropical oceans will impact the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems. Consequently, conservation efforts are increasingly focused on identifying and protecting ...
  • Optimal bioeconomic management of changing marine resources 

    Moberg, Emily A. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-09)
    Marine populations are increasingly subjected to changing conditions whether through harvest or through broad-scale habitat change. Historically, few models have accounted for such trends over time, and even fewer have ...
  • When an eddy encounters shelf-slope topography 

    Cherian, Deepak A. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-09)
    Eddies in the ocean move westwards. Those shed by western boundary currents must then interact with continental shelf-slope topography at the western boundary. The presence of other eddies and mean lows complicates this ...
  • Little Ice Age climate in the Western Tropical Atlantic inferred from coral geochemical proxies 

    Alpert, Alice (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-09)
    Paleoclimate archives place the short instrumental record of climate variability in a longer temporal context and allow better understanding of the rate, nature and extent by which anthropogenic warming will i ...
  • Graphical model driven methods in adaptive system identification 

    Yellepeddi, Atulya (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-09)
    Identifying and tracking an unknown linear system from observations of its inputs and outputs is a problem at the heart of many different applications. Due to the complexity and rapid variability of modern systems, there ...
  • Mechanisms for enhanced turbulence in the Drake Passage region of the Southern Ocean 

    Merrifield, Sophia T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-06)
    The Southern Ocean is one of the most energetic regions of the world ocean due to intense winds and storm forcing, strong currents in the form of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) interacting with steep topography, ...
  • Dynamics of Greenland’s glacial fjords 

    Jackson, Rebecca H. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-06)
    Glacial fjords form conduits between glaciers of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the North Atlantic. They are the gateways for importing oceanic heat to melt ice and for exporting meltwater into the ocean. Submarine melting ...
  • Vortices in sinusoidal shear, with applications to Jupiter 

    Vilasur Swaminathan, Rohith (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-06)
    In this thesis, we have studied the existence of vortex steady states in a sinusoidal background shear flow in a 1.75 layer quasi-geostrophic model. Trying to find vortex structures by integrating the Hamiltonian system ...
  • Microbial cycling of marine high molecular weight dissolved organic matter 

    Sosa, Oscar A. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-06)
    Microorganisms play a central role mediating biogeochemical cycles in the ocean. Marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) – a reservoir of organic solutes and colloids derived from plankton is a major source of carbon, ...
  • Hydrodynamic and morphodynamic responses to surfzone seafloor perturbations 

    Moulton, Melissa (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-06)
    Holes and channels were excavated in the surf zone on an ocean beach near Duck, NC, and observations of the subsequent evolution of waves, currents, and the modified seafloor were used to investigate nearshore dynamics. ...
  • Molecular determination of marine iron ligands by mass spectrometry 

    Boiteau, Rene M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-02)
    Marine microbes produce a wide variety of metal binding organic ligands that regulate the solubility and availability of biologically important metals such as iron, copper, cobalt, and zinc. In marine environments where ...
  • Seismic constraints on the processes and consequences of secondary igneous evolution of Pacific oceanic lithosphere 

    Feng, Helen S.-H. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-02)
    This thesis examines the structure of Pacific oceanic lithosphere that has been modified by post-formation magmatism in order to better understand the processes of secondary magmatic evolution of the lithosphere, which ...
  • The biogeochemistry of lipid derived infochemical signals in the ocean 

    Edwards, Bethanie R. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-02)
    The role of oxylipins in ocean biogeochemistry was investigated using microcosm amendment experiments, environmental lipidomics, and culture based studies. Oxylipins are a bioactive class of secondary metabolites produced ...
  • Behavioral responses of invertebrate larvae to water column cues 

    Wheeler, Jeanette D. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2016-02)
    Many benthic marine invertebrates have two-phase life histories, relying on planktonic larval stages for dispersal and exchange of individuals between adult populations. Historically, larvae were considered passive ...

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