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Queen Angelfish

Northeastern divers combed Cozumel's coral reef for exotic species. Here's what they found, and why it matters

A massive Nassau grouper, four species of black corals, and a spotted drum fish were among the aquatic treasures Northeastern divers found on their expedition to Cozumel, Mexico. The trip laid the groundwork for Northeastern students and researchers to plan future expeditions to Cozumel.

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research
Ocean Genome Legacy

Northeastern University collection preserves thousands of ocean species that may go extinct

Northeastern’s Ocean Genome Legacy maintains a collection of marine DNA and tissue samples that is unlike anything else in the world.

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research
Samuel Munoz studies a core sample.

Mississippi River keeps flooding and humans are to blame, data show

After billions of dollars spent on navigation and flood mitigation infrastructure over the past 150 years, humans have transformed the Mississippi River. But it still floods, and in fact, human activity has dramatically increased the risk of a 100-year flood, according to new research by Northeastern geoscientist Samuel Munoz and his colleagues.

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community outreach
MSC - Field Outreach Program

Local teens get hands-on learning at Marine Science Center

Northeastern’s Marine Science Center kicked off its outreach field season on Tuesday by hosting teenagers from a school in Lynn, who spent the morning exploring marine life along the center’s rocky shores, learning about biodiversity at the center’s touch tanks, and engaging with Northeastern researchers who are studying everything from salt marshes to the physiology and health of corals.

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Aron Stubbins

The coldest rivers on Earth may hold clues about a warming globe

New faculty member Aron Stubbins studies how carbon moves off the land into rivers, where it eventually gets converted into carbon dioxide-a greenhouse gas that's causing global warming.

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research
Intertidal

Researchers use ‘robomussels’ to monitor climate change

For ecological forecasters like Northeastern’s Brian Helmuth, mussels act as a barometer of climate change. That’s why Helmuth created “robomussels”—tiny robots that look like mussels but are outfitted with sensors to track temperature conditions.

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research
6 pack ring

Three ways the Northeastern community is addressing ocean plastics pollution

A big emphasis of World Oceans Day this year is bringing awareness to the problem of marine plastic pollution. Members of the Northeastern community are already focused on this challenge by building sustainable skateboards, visualizing ocean plastics data, and building sensors to identify microplastics in the sea.

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research

A love affair with the ocean

Pursing a career in marine science requires a deep affection for aquatic environments. So we asked faculty and staff at Northeastern’s Marine Science Center what they find so fascinating about the ocean.

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Jennifer Bowen

The ecosystems ecologist, a wonderer at heart

Associate professor Jennifer Bowen, a new faculty member at Northeastern’s Marine Science Center, studies the interconnectedness between human activity and some of the world’s tiniest inhabitants—microbes—nestled in marine environments.

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research
Sea acorn colony on a stone

Underwater crustaceans could solve missing plane mystery

As authorities continue to debate the topic, marine science expert Brian Helmuth explains how barnacles on a recently discovered fragment of an airplane wing could help investigators determine if the debris came from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

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research
Conch

Carnivorous conchs to blame for oyster decline

David Kimbro, a marine and environmental science professor at Northeastern University, has solved the mystery of why reefs in Florida inlets were experiencing large numbers of oyster loss. Drought and subsequent high salt levels in water led to a population spike in one of the oysters’ main predators: conchs.

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research
Squat Lobster

Marine biologists develop portable kit to preserve coral DNA at sea

Coral DNA could improve ocean conservation and reveal secrets about our own evolutionary history. Researchers at Northeastern’s Marine Science Center have made it easy to extract coral tissue aboard a ship and preserve the DNA for analysis.

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research
Kathleen Lotterhaus

Marine scientist uses genetics to inform conservation

New assistant professor Kathleen Lotterhos of Northeastern’s Marine Science Center uncovers clues to environmental sustainability by using genetic analyses to study species from pine trees to Pacific rockfish.

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research
Dan Distel

Researchers discover new digestive strategy in shipworms

An international research team led by Dan Distel, director of the Ocean Genome Legacy at Northeastern University, has discovered a novel digestive strategy in a wood-boring clam. The breakthrough, the researchers say, may also be a game-changer for the industrial production of clean biofuels.

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research
Deep Blue

Rare biorepository finds new home at Marine Science Center

A collection of DNA samples featuring some of the world’s most rare, strange, and remarkable ocean creatures will move to Northeastern’s world-class coastal research facility later this year

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research

Marine Science Center works to protect oceans’ ‘vital role in sustaining life on earth’

In honor of World Oceans Day, we spoke with Marine Science Center director Geoff Trussell about ocean conservation and what the MSC is doing to help protect our marine ecosystem.

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research

Professor to speak at UN General Assembly on climate change, sustainable development

Climate change biologist Brian Helmuth will speak today at a high-level meeting at the United Nations headquarters, where he will highlight his research and participate in a discussion on efforts worldwide to address climate change and meet global sustainable development goals.

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research
Giant Shipworm

‘Unicorn’ shipworm could reveal clues about human medicine and bacterial infections

Northeastern professor Daniel Distel and his colleagues have discovered a dark slithering creature four feet long that dwells in the foul mud of a remote lagoon in the Philippines. They say studying the giant shipworm could add to our understanding of how bacteria cause infections and, in turn, how we might adapt to tolerate—and even benefit from—them.

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community outreach
Nahant from above

Marine Science Center to celebrate 50th anniversary at annual open house

Where can you see markings from the world’s oldest mollusks, learn about oyster diseases, and meet a scuba diver—all in the same day? At the Marine Science Center’s free open house on Saturday, which will coincide with the center’s 50th anniversary.

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community outreach
Students learn the concept of animal stranding and why it happens during the High School Marine Science Symposium

Inspiring the next generation of marine scientists

Northeastern hosted some 250 area high school students last week for the Boston High School Marine Science Symposium. The event, presented by Northeastern and the Massachusetts Marine Educators, stays with the young participants “long after the event is over,” said the symposium coordinator.

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