— FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE —
June 10, 2010
Contact: Tatiana Brailovskaya, Director of Communications, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences (207) 633-9633; email@example.com
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences Appoints Willie Wilson as New Director of National Phytoplankton Culture Center
WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR, ME – Marine virologist Dr. Willie Wilson has been selected as the new director of Bigelow Laboratory’s Provasoli-Guillard National Center for the Culture of Marine Phytoplankton (CCMP). Wilson has been a Senior Research Scientist at the Laboratory since January 2007, and has been serving as the CCMP’s interim director since Dr. Robert Andersen’s retirement last summer.
“We’re absolutely delighted that Willie has accepted this position,” said Bigelow Laboratory Executive Director Graham Shimmield. “He brings an international reputation and wealth of scientific expertise to this vital component of Bigelow Laboratory.”
The Laboratory’s CCMP Director Search Committee, chaired by Senior Research Scientist Dr. David Emerson, conducted an extensive national search to fill the position.
“A truly outstanding slate of candidates applied for this job,” Emerson said.
Wilson holds a Ph.D. in Marine Viruses and an M.S. in Cyanobacteria Genetics from the University of Warwick in the UK, and a B.S. in Marine Biology and Biochemistry from the University College of North Wales, in Bangor, UK. His areas of research include algal viruses, phage therapy for aquaculture (the use of naturally occurring viruses to control problem bacteria), giant virus genomics, the role of viruses in coral bleaching, and algal biofuels.
“I’m thrilled and honored to accept the position of Director of the CCMP and follow in the footsteps of eminent phycologists Bob Guillard and Bob Andersen, the collection’s two previous directors,” said Wilson. “The CCMP has tremendous potential with the resurgence in algal research, particularly in areas like algal biofuels and genome mining. It is a fabulous opportunity, and I relish the challenge.”
The CCMP is the largest collection of marine phytoplankton in the world, and has been designated by the United States Congress as the nation’s official living library of marine phytoplankton cultures. The CCMP is currently in the process of expanding to include marine viruses and bacteria, which will make it the world’s first marine virus repository. The collection currently holds more than 2,700 strains of algae living at temperatures ranging from tropical to polar ocean environments. The CCMP annually supplies thousands of cultures, kits, and other products to researchers around the world.
Established in 1974, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is a center for global ocean research. An independent, nonprofit research institution, the Laboratory is supported by federal research grants and private funds. The Laboratory’s research focus ranges 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.
Photo caption: Dr. Willie Wilson. Photo by Dennis Griggs.