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

  • Stratified and Stirred: Monsoon Freshwater in the Bay of Bengal 

    Spiro Jaeger, Gualtiero (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-06)
    Submesoscale ocean dynamics and instabilities, with characteristic scales 0.1–10 km, can play a critical role in setting the ocean’s surface boundary layer thickness and associated density stratification. Submesoscale ...
  • A Modeling Study of the Marine Biogeochemistry, Plankton Dynamics, and Carbon Cycle on the Continental Shelf Off the West Antarctic Peninsula 

    Schultz, Cristina (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-06)
    Over the past several decades, the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) has undergone physical and ecological changes at a rapid pace, with warming surface ocean and a sharp decrease in the duration of the sea ice season. The ...
  • Characterizing bacterial antibiotic resistance, prevalence, and persistence in the Marine Environment 

    May, Megan K. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-02)
    Antibiotics are naturally occurring chemicals in bacteria that were recently discovered and utilized by humans. Despite a relatively short time of use, anthropogenic use of antibiotics has increased natural levels of ...
  • The Influence of Heat Transport on Arctic Amplification 

    Fleming, Laura Elizabeth (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-02)
    The Arctic surface air temperature has warmed nearly twice as much as the global mean since the mid-20th century. Arctic sea ice has also been declining rapidly in recent decades. There is still discussion about how much ...
  • Statistical Models and Decision Making for Robotic Scientific Information Gathering 

    Flaspohler, Genevieve Elaine (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2018-09)
    Mobile robots and autonomous sensors have seen increasing use in scientific applications, from planetary rovers surveying for signs of life on Mars, to environmental buoys measuring and logging oceanographic conditions in ...
  • Computational analysis of the biophysical controls on Southern Ocean phytoplankton ecosystem dynamics 

    Rohr, Tyler (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-02)
    Southern Ocean net community productivity plays an out sized role in regulating global biogeochemical cycling and climate dynamics. The structure of spatial-temporal variability in phytoplankton ecosystem dynamics is largely ...
  • Genetic connectivity, adaptation, and phenotypic plasticity of corals and anemones under thermal stress 

    Rivera, Hanny Elizabeth (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-02)
    Under global climate change, our oceans are warming at an unprecedented rate. Increased temperatures represent a severe source of stress for many marine organisms. This thesis aims to understand how corals and anemones ...
  • The Production and Fate of Nitrogen Species in Deep-sea Hydrothermal Environments 

    Charoenpong, Chawalit N. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-02)
    Nitrogen (N) species in hydrothermal vent fluids serve as both a nutrient and energy source for the chemosynthetic ecosystems surrounding deep-sea vents. While numerous pathways have been identified in which N-species can ...
  • Distributional models of ocean carbon export 

    Barry, Brendan (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-02)
    Each year, surface ocean ecosystems export sinking particles containing gigatons of carbon into the ocean’s interior. This particle flux connects the entire ocean microbiome and constitutes a fundamental aspect of marine ...
  • Perception-driven optimal motion planning under resource constraints 

    Sayre-McCord, Thomas (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-02)
    Over the past few years there has been a new wave of interest in fully autonomous robots operating in the real world, with applications from autonomous driving to search and rescue. These robots are expected to operate ...
  • Observing Microbial Processes at the Microscale with In Situ Technology 

    Lambert, Bennett (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-02)
    Marine microbes are key drivers of biogeochemical transformations within the world’s oceans. Although seawater appears uniform at scales that humans often interact with and sample, the world that marine microbes inhabit ...
  • The mineralogy and chemistry of modern shallow-water and deep-sea corals 

    Farfan, Gabriela A. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-02)
    The architecture of coral reef ecosystems is composed of coral skeletons built from the mineral aragonite (CaCO3). Coral reefs are currently being threatened by ocean acidification (OA), which may lower calcification rates, ...
  • Scavenging and transport of thorium radioisotopes in the North Atlantic Ocean 

    Lerner, Paul (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2018-09)
    Many chemical constituents are removed from the ocean by attachment to settling particles, a process referred to as “scavenging.” Radioisotopes of thorium, a highly particle-reactive element, have been used extensively ...
  • Radium isotopes as tracers of boundary inputs of nutrients and trace elements to the coastal and open ocean 

    Kipp, Lauren (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2018-09)
    Nutrients and trace metals are vital for supporting life in the ocean, but the boundary processes that control the distributions of these elements are poorly constrained. Radium isotopes are well suited to studying inputs ...
  • Biogeochemical and phylogenetic signals of Proterozoic and Phanerozoic microbial metabolisms 

    Gruen, Danielle S. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2018-09)
    Life is ubiquitous in the environment and an important mediator of Earth’s carbon cycle, but quantifying the contribution of microbial biomass and its metabolic fluxes is difficult, especially in spatially and temporally-remote ...
  • Movements and oceanographic associations of large pelagic fishes in the North Atlantic Ocean 

    Braun, Camrin D. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2018-09)
    Highly migratory marine fishes support valuable commercial fisheries worldwide. Yet, many target species have proven difficult to study due to long-distance migrations and regular deep diving. Despite the dominance of ...
  • Demonstration of passive acoustic detection and tracking of unmanned underwater vehicles 

    Railey, Kristen E. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2018-06)
    In terms of national security, the advancement of unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) technology has transformed UUVs from tools for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and mine countermeasures to autonomous ...
  • Chaotic advection, mixing, and property exchange in three-dimensional ocean eddies and gyres 

    Brett, Genevieve (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2018-06)
    This work investigates how a Lagrangian perspective applies to models of two oceanographic flows: an overturning submesoscale eddy and the Western Alboran Gyre. In the first case, I focus on the importance of diffusion ...
  • Measurements and dynamics of multiple scale bedforms in tidally energetic environments 

    Jones, Katie R. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2018-06)
    The presence of superimposed bedforms, where smaller bedforms exist on larger bedforms, is ubiquitous to energetic tidal environments. Due to their wide range in scale, it is difficult to simultaneously observe these ...
  • Carbon and mineral transformations in seafloor serpentinization systems 

    Grozeva, Niya G. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2018-02)
    This thesis examines abiotic processes controlling the transformation and distribution of carbon compounds in seafloor hydrothermal systems hosted in ultramafic rock. These processes have a direct impact on carbon budgets ...

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