--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
July 8, 2010
Contact: Tatiana Brailovskaya, Director of Communications, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences 207.633.9633 firstname.lastname@example.org
Green Gold: Are Algae the Fuel of the Future?
WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR, ME – Dr. Willie Wilson, Director of Bigelow Laboratory’s Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Culture of Marine Phytoplankton, will lead a discussion about algal biofuels at the Laboratory’s July 20 Café Scientifique gathering at 6:00 p.m. in the Opera House, 86 Townsend Avenue in Boothbay Harbor.
Wilson’s talk is titled Green Gold: Are Algae the Fuel of the Future? He will address the technological challenges and possibilities involved with using algae as a carbon-neutral alternative energy source.
“Oil from the bottom of the ocean started life as algae anyway,” Wilson said. “Why not shortcut several million years of geological compression and harvest it directly from the oil-rich, light-loving microorganisms?”
Wilson is currently working with Bodega Algae, a Massachusetts-based renewable energy company, on a National Science Foundation-sponsored research project to develop and test technology that would make algal-based fuels commercially viable. Many species of algae contain large amounts of lipids, or natural oils. If companies can develop ways to quickly grow algae on a large scale, these tiny, single-celled plants could hold the key to a significant domestic source of renewable energy.
Wilson has been a Senior Research Scientist at Bigelow Laboratory since 2007. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology and Biochemistry from the University College of North Wales in Bangor, UK, and a Master of Science degree in Genetics and a Ph.D. in Marine Viruses from the University of Warwick, UK.
The Laboratory’s Café Scientifique gatherings are informal discussions about scientific issues and society, current research, and the latest news from the field. The Café Scientifique movement began in 1998 in England, and has spread quickly throughout Europe and the United States. There are now over 150 science cafés organized over 42 countries. The Laboratory’s cafés are free, open to the public, and a cash bar is available. The Laboratory’s 2010 Summer Café Scientifique gatherings will be held at 6 p.m. every Tuesday through August 24 at the Opera House. The complete schedule is available online at www.bigelow.org/about/calendar/cafe-scientifique-summer-2010.
An internationally known center for global ocean research, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences conducts research ranging from microbial oceanography examining biological productivity in the world’s oceans at the molecular level to the large-scale biogeochemical processes that drive interactions between ocean ecosystems and global environmental conditions. These programs have taken Bigelow scientists around the world to every ocean and the polar seas.