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WHOI Ocean Ventures Fund Recipients

The intent of the Ocean Ventures Fund is to promote research and innovation by encouraging graduate students to take chances for their thesis research or for developing their thesis project.

OVF is open to all students in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering.  The research idea and the proposal text must come from the graduate student, not his/her supervisor.  The student is the Principal Investigator.

For further information, please contact the Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean.

Recent OVF recipients and their project titles:


Jeanne Bloomberg
Mesophotic coral microbiomes and their potential to enhance shallow coral health

Jinshi Chen
No title: breaking wave turbulence and roller dissipation using new observations obtained with colocated in-situ Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters (ADVs) and Infrared (IR) camera

Seth Cones
Benign adhesion of sensors on fragile marine animals

Maia Cohen
Addition of Acoustic Capabilities to an Axial-Torsion Ice Deformation Apparatus

Chloe Dean
Assessing the sensitivity of coccolithophore biomineralization and coccolith mineralogy to covaried Mg/Ca and [SO42-] seawater chemistry

Danielle Freeman
Light and heavy, sweet and sour: Quantifying petroleum oil photo-reactivity as a function of chemical composition

Mariya Galochkina
Does the future of Caribbean reefs lie in the Pacific Ocean? Exploring the roles of ENSO, AMV, and global warming on coral bleaching in Curacao

Alan Gaul
No title. Topic: does iceberg D-15 buttress the West Ice Shelf?

Noah Germolus
Isolating the Organic Metabolite Excretion Rates of Pelagic Zooplankton

Megan Gillen
Wave-driven morphodynamics of reef islands (motu) and reef flat channels (hoa)

Max Jahns
Functional diversity and evolutionary drivers of mixotrophic metabolism in Ochromonas

Kate Lane
Microbial biogeochemistry in mesophotic and shallow pponges

Lukas Lobert
Investigating surface layer transport across a shelfbreak front through connecting in situ observations and rotating tank experiments

Charles Murman
How storm-driven coastal hydrodynamics affect surfzone and shoreline morphological change

Jennifer Necker
Exploring the role of reactive oxygen species in manganese oxidation

Kharis Schrage 
The role of early life-stage bottlenecks in setting up along-fjord diversity gradients in benthic fjord communities

Rilee Thomas
Can superplastic creep produce a fabric in ice?

Jane Weinstock
Assessing shifts in dispursal and population connectivity of Semibalanus balanoides over 20 years of ocean warming

Ciara Willis 
Establishing mesopelagic food web structure in the North Atlantic via simultaneous, multi-ship sampling


Brenna Boehman
Assessing the role of priming in riverine organic carbon remineralization and burial

Levi Cai
Modular Stereo-vision System for AUVs

Maia Cohen
Using 3He/4He variability in 2018 Kilauea and 2021 Cumbre Vieja lavas to inform volcanic hazard forecasts

Ciara Dooley
Remote Sensing of Surfzone Flows Using Imaging Algorithms

Erica Herrera
Investigating the role of trace metal micronutrients on choral growth and immunity

Max Jahns
The Role of Metabolic Diversity in Shaping Community in Mixotrophic Nanoflagellates

Arianna Krinos
Contextualizing Emiliania huxleyi thermal acclimation experiexperiments
with coastal metatranscriptomic surveillance

Liam Moser
Raspberry Cape: A WHOI Based Network of Low-Cost Seismometers

Phad Poemnamthip
Hydrodynamic Connectivity of a Coral Atoll and the Changes Influenced by an El Nino Event: A High-resolution Modeling Study of the Kanton Atoll, Central Equatorial Pacific Ocean

John San Soucie
Targeted phytoplankton taxonomic sampling with a vertical profiling IFCB

Isabel Schaal
Distribution of Trace Metals in Groundwater and Sediments in Arctic Coastal Lagoon

Chloe Smith
Assessing the sensitivity of coccolithophore biogeochemistry and morphology to ocean alkalinity enhancement

Lina Taenzer
Assessment of H2O2 and VHOCs as Stress Indicators in Seaweed Aquaculture

Zachary Tobias
Exploring cryptic biodiversity in the invasive golden star tunicate using low-coverage whole genome sequencing

Jane Weinstock
Assessing Shifts in Dispersal and Population Connectivity of Semibalanus Balanoides over 20 Years of Ocean Warming

Scott Weiman
Developing a Quantum Cascade Laser Absorption Spectrometer for carbonate dual clumped isotope paleothermometry


Cynthia Becker
Microbial Communities as Harbingers of Change: Characterizing the spatio-temporal
stability and resilience of coral reefs in the face of stress events

Emma Bullock
The impact of thawing permafrost on coastal groundwater and mercury cycling in the Arctic

Seth Cones
Biophysical influences on veined squid (Loligo forbesii) energetics and habitat use

Lauren Dykman
Resolving the Life Cycles of Deep-sea Vent Parasites

Michaela Fendrock
Modeling Bonneville Basin Spits as Recorders of Past Climate

Bethany Fowler
Seasonal and Interannual Variability in the Composition of a Coastal Picophytoplankton Community

Mariya Galochkina
Toward monthly resolved SST records of the Last Interglacial in the Western Tropical Atlantic: a feasibility study

Kalina Grabb
Reevaluating the oxygen cycle within seagrass ecosystems from the viewpoint of reactive oxygen species

Max Jahns
Mixotrophic niche partitioning and its effects on interspecies competition and biogeochemistry

Rachel Kahn
Development of a combined acoustical-optical system for laboratory acoustic target strength measurements of gelatinous organisms

Lukas Lobert
Cross-fjord circulation and turbulent mixing at the sill of a shallow Arctic fjord: St. Jonsfjorden (Svalbard)

Annaliese Meyer
Disentangling Isotope Effects in Biological Zinc Cycling

Shari Rohret
Bringing light to the biodiversity and ecology of benthic meiofauna in karst subterranean estuaries

Caroline Rzucidlo
Ocean Ventures Fund Proposal: Validating infrared thermography for non-invasive assessment of animal vital rates across exotic wildlife species at the Cincinnati Zoo

Kharis Schrage
Nutritional modes of invertebrate larvae in the high Arctic

Lina Taenzer
An Exploration of the Connection between ROS and Volatile Halogenated Compound Emissions in Coastal Marine Ecosystems

2020 Recipients

Brenna Boehman
Residence time of soil organic carbon chemical constituents in the Ganges-Brahmaputra basin

Cory Berger
The molecular basis of sensory integration in the circadian clock of Nematostella vectensis

Emmanuel Codillo
Thermodynamic and experimental constraints on the extent and conditions of serpentinization in subduction zones

Blake Cole
Development of a wind-driven autonomous surface vessel for oceanographic research applications

Lauren Dykman
The diversity and ecology of parasites at deep-sea hydrothermal vents

Mara Freilich
Quantifying the contribution of physical and ecological processes to oxygen variability

Kalina Grabb
Investigating reactive oxygen species (ROS) dynamics associated with coral reefs in context with environmental parameters in New Caledonia

Alia Hidayat
Identification of molecular targets of the HAB toxin domoic acid

Jennifer Karolewski
Exploring linkages between metals, methane, and microbial communities

Arianna Krinos
Without a trace: characterizing Emiliania huxleyi selenium physiology

Sheron Luk
Assessing the impact of pond recovery on the salt marsh carbon budget

Lei Ma
Gene-environment-microbiome interactions in the Atlantic killifish

Craig McLean
Group-specific metabolic patterns distinguish phytoplankton and indicate nutrient stress status

Julia Middleton
Catching silicon-barium cycle decoupling in the act

Nathan Mollica
Application of a novel paleo-thermometer to reconstruct 20th century SSTs in the central equatorial Pacific

Jordan Pitt
Impacts of nanopolystyrene exposure on zebrafish (Danio rerio) blood-brain barrier permeability and function

Victoria Preston
Developing intelligent observatories for geochemical monitoring of volcanic activity

Mallory Ringham
Characterizing variabilities in carbonate saturation states and impacts on biodiversity at Sage Lot Pond

Shari Rohret
Towards a geochemical proxy: benthic foraminifera living in chemoclines of karst basins

Lina Taenzer
Analysis of volatile organic compound production by coralline algae as an indication of organismal stress

Shawnee Traylor
Dating dissolved methane in a coastal Arctic system

Jane Weinstock
Ocean warming in the Western North Atlantic: potential phenological changes in the barnacle Seminbalanus balanoides

Ciara Willis
Trophic ecology of two top predators in the ocean twilight zone, bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) and swordfish (Xiphias gladius)

James Bramante coring a tree.