Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Ocean Life, Planet Health

February eNews 2012

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Five Weeks Across the Southern Ocean

The Great Southern Coccolithophore Belt Expedition of 2012
Bigelow Laboratory leads a five-week, multi-institutional transect across the Southern Ocean.

Photo by Rebecca Fowler.

Led by Chief Scientist Dr. Barney Balch, a multi-institutional team of researchers left Durban, South Africa on February 18 aboard the R/V Roger Revelle for a 35-day transect across the Southern Ocean to Freemantle, Australia, to investigate the massive phytoplankton bloom known as the Great Southern Coccolithophore Belt. The annual bloom covers over 26% of the world’s ocean and has a major role in global biogeochemistry and climate change feedbacks. Scientists on board are gathering samples and conducting shipboard experiments at 120 stations over the 5,808-mile cruise track. This is the second expedition funded by the National Science Foundation to study this largely unexplored phenomenon of the global ocean. Balch led a coccolithophore belt expedition team across the South Atlantic in early 2011. Read the 2012 Cruise Blog.

Photo of New Campus Selected as One of Engineering News-Record’s 2011 Images of the Year

The image below, taken by photographer Christopher Barnes at the Laboratory’s campus construction site in East Boothbay last October, has been chosen as one of Engineering News-Record’s “Images of the Year in Construction” 2011 contest winners. Selected from hundreds of photographs submitted every year, the winning photographs are those that “best capture the mood and flavor of construction” over the previous 12 months.


REU Students Attend 2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting

The Laboratory is proud to report that three of last summer’s REU Program students—Alexander Vermont, Kai Eldredge, and Nicole Messerman—received awards to attend the 2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting and present posters about their research. The Ocean Science Meeting, held this year from February 20 through 24 in Salt Lake City, Utah, is sponsored by The Oceanography Society, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography and the American Geophysical Union and draws an international group of over 4,000 scientists, students, and media representatives.

Consigli Construction Hosts Bigelow Event at Harvard Club in Boston

We would like to send a special thank you to Consigli Construction President Anthony Consigli for hosting a reception for Bigelow Laboratory at the Harvard Club in downtown Boston on February 9. Consigli is the construction management company for the new campus project, and organized this event to help our outreach and fundraising efforts outside Maine. The reception featured Bigelow Executive Director Graham Shimmield and Director of the Office Corporate Alliances and Technology Transfer Mark Bloom, who discussed Bigelow Laboratory’s strategy for creating an “entrepreneurial ecosystem” and expanding the Laboratory’s role in the global innovation economy. Over 40 guests from the Boston area attended the event, including current donors and biotech industry professionals interested in the Laboratory’s growing technology transfer program.

Above: Boston, February 9, 2012. Courtesy of Consigli Construction.

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences …exploring the world’s ocean, from microbes to global ecosystems


Where Photosynthesis Began: New Research
Findings Published in Science

Senior Research Scientist Hwan Su Yoon and members of his Algal Molecular Evolution Laboratory are part of an international team of co-authors of a new paper published in the journal Science (Cyanophora paradoxa Genome Elucidates Origin of Photosynthesis in Algae and Plants. Dana C. Price, et al. Science 335, 843 (2012); DOI: 10.1126/science.1213561). The paper describes the team’s findings that the genome of the ancient algal species Cyanophora paradoxa provides evidence that traces the evolution of plants, which began over 1 billion years ago, back to a single origin for primary plastids, the structures inside individual plant cells responsible for photosynthesis.

Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations

The Internet-based Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) will present a talk by Dr. Beth Orcutt, currently at the Center for Geomicrobiology at Aarhus University in Denmark, on March 8, 2012 at 3 p.m.EST (12 noon PST). Orcutt, whose research focus includes the microbial biogeochemistry of deep ocean sediments, will join Bigelow Laboratory as a Senior Research Scientist in early April. Her talk, titled The Dynamics of LIfe Across the Sediment-Basement Interface, can be seen live online here.

Calling All Applications!
March 1 Deadline for 2012 Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program; April 6 Deadline for 2012 BLOOM High School Program

Photo by Greg Bernard.

The Laboratory’s intensive, ten-week residency program Gulf of Maine and the World Ocean is scheduled to run from June 3 to August 10, 2012, and is open to undergraduates from the United States interested in conducting independent research with guidance from a scientist mentor. Applications are being accepted until March 1, 2012. Eight undergraduates will be selected for the 2012 program, and will receive a stipend, free housing, food allowance, and funds for travel to and from Bigelow Laboratory. For more information, visit the Laboratory’s REU webpage.

The 2012 Keller BLOOM Program for Maine high school juniors is accepting applications through Friday, April 6. The program will be held from Sunday, May 20 to Thursday, May 24, 2012, offering participants hands on experience in a research environment, including field sampling, data analysis, and an opportunity to learn what a career as a scientist involves. Sixteen students from around the state will be selected for the program. More information and the online application are available on the BLOOM web page.

Maine Technology Institute Blog Highlights BCBB

The Maine Technology Institute featured the Bigelow Center for Blue Biotechnology (BCBB) in a recent blog about “Maine’s potential to grow good jobs, secure new investment, introduce new products, and reach new markets.” MTI points to the Laboratory’s current expansion to the new Ocean Science and Education Campus as a prime example of excellent return on investment for the Maine Technology Asset Fund and success in leveraging significant non-state public and private funding to strengthen Maine’s innovation economy.

Join the Bigelow Discovery Team!

Photo by Rebecca Fowler.

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Bigelow Laboratory Board of Trustees
David Coit, Chair
Mary Chatterton
Chip Davison
David Ellis
Robert Healing
Steve Malcom
Richard Morrell, Vice Chair
Helen Norton
Walter Norton
Herb Paris
Randall Phelps
Neil Rolde
Carolyn Slayman
Steve Weems

Trustees’ Advisory Board
Thomas Berry
Christopher Flower
Karin Gregory
Lee Grodzins
Tracy Huebner
Russ Jeppesen
David Knight
Rick Mitterling
Charles Roscoe
Monty Scharff
Kevin Strange
Mike Tetreault
Magdalena Tosteson
Colin Woodard
David Znamieroski

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