Recent News

Study Shows How Mussels Handle Microplastic Fiber
New research shows that mussels readily take in microplastic pollution fibers from the ocean but quickly flush most of them out again.

Ocean Insights to Life on Mars
Several Bigelow Laboratory researchers are applying what they’ve learned through ocean research to the search for life on Mars.

Time Series Studies Illuminating the Oceans
Bigelow Laboratory scientists are conducting time series studies around the planet that are providing unique insights into our oceans.

Reflections on 20 Years of GNATS
It takes dedication and hard work to complete over 200 research trips back and forth across the Gulf of Maine.

$6 Million Grant To Fuel Genetic Research, Economy
A new project aims to unlock the genomic data of microscopic organisms that drive major chemical cycles and shape global climate.

Art to Offer New Look at Antarctic Marine Viruses
A partnership between Bigelow Laboratory scientists and a Maine artist is shedding new light on one of the most important and least understood parts of the ocean.

Algae Adds Color, Value to Finfish Aquaculture
Senior Research Scientist Mike Lomas is making finfish feeds more sustainable by tapping into algae as a source of nutrition.

Kelp Strengthening Maine's Marine Economy
Maine's coastal waters are becoming more acidic, but there may be a profitable, delicious source of help close at hand.

Trials of Toxic Algae Link Gulfs of Mexico and Maine
Bigelow Laboratory scientists are conducting multi-pronged research into harmful algal blooms, which affect both Florida and Maine.

Gulf of Maine Study Completes 20th Year, 200th Trip
Inspired by a Bigelow Laboratory founder, Barney Balch has utilized the ferries that traverse the Gulf to collect a vast dataset over two decades.

At Bigelow Laboratory, Interns Discover and Develop
In the summer of 2018, Bigelow Laboratory hosted one of its largest cohorts of student interns.

International Expedition Sets Sail for the Arctic
Paty Matrai is leading a research expedition to the North Pole, where she will study how organic aerosols influence cloud formation.

Biotoxin Research Targets Improved Seafood Safety
Bigelow Laboratory is working with Maine DMR, the FDA, and NOAA to improve detection of toxins that affect seafood.

Dark Data Sheds Light on Shellfish Parasites
Maine shellfish growers need more information about a threat to the aquaculture industry, according to Bigelow Laboratory researchers.

'Omics' Tools Decoding the Genetic Seascape
Bigelow Laboratory researchers are utilizing omics technologies to answer many complex questions.

Crowd-sourced Data Fuels Ecoforecasts
Senior Research Scientist Nick Record can forecast ecosystems like meteorologists forecast the weather.

Profile: Deborah Bronk, President and CEO
Oceanographer Deborah Bronk became president and CEO of Bigelow Laboratory in February.

Profile: Arthur Martinez, Trustee
Whether sitting in a Fortune 500 board room or standing on his Maine dock, Arthur Martinez is a problem solver.

Bacteria Build with Nanomaterial Potential
Iron-oxidizing bacteria produce their own construction materials, which could inspire useful nanomaterials with broad applications.

World Oceans Day Inspires Nationwide Support
Bigelow Laboratory received over $500,000 in gifts, which will support ocean research and innovation in Maine and across the planet.

Copepods Cope with Acidification
Ocean acidification may not harm this tiny crustacean, but another climate change effect will have dramatic impacts.

Oil Persists Eight Years After Deepwater Horizon
Researchers from Bigelow Laboratory have drawn important conclusions about the fate of oil in coastal and deep sea environments.

Cartooning Science at the Bottom of the World
Researchers from Bigelow Laboratory will soon return to Antarctica for a second field season at Palmer Station.

Bigelow Laboratory Launches Kelp Forest Study
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences has been awarded funding from Maine Sea Grant for a new study of kelp forests in the Gulf of Maine.

New Satellite Method Enables Undersea Estimates from Space
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences researchers have developed a statistical method to quantify important ocean measurements from satellite data.

Extreme Learning on the Coast of Maine
When a winter storm closed Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in mid-January, the campus stayed unusually active.

Marine Snow and the Sea of Milk
In the great nautical adventure tale, '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,' narrator Pierre Aronnax observes one evening that the Nautilus is 'sailing in a sea of milk.'

Under Pressure: Studying Life Below the Seafloor
Deep at the bottom of the ocean, below thousands of feet of seawater, below even the rocky ocean crust that comprises the sea floor, lies something surprising: more water.

Wonder Women at Sea: Outreach from the Atlantic
Hovering over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the RV Atlantis, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences senior research scientist Dr. Beth Orcutt received nearly constant information.

Bigelow Laboratory Appoints New Board Leadership
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences recently announced new leadership of its board of trustees and the appointment of one new trustee and four new members to its advisory board. All will help support and guide the nonprofit institution in performing oceanographic research around the world.

Parasite Helps in Malaria Fight
The effort to make a malaria vaccine has been ongoing for more than a century. Senior Research Scientist José A. Fernández Robledo is bringing an unlikely ally into the fray.

Southern Ocean Drives Massive Bloom of Tiny Phytoplankton
Scientists have uncovered the ocean conditions that support a massive summertime bloom of algae that spans 16 percent of the global ocean. Known as the Great Calcite Belt...

Dark Ocean Bacteria Discovered to Play Large Role in Carbon Capture
Marine bacteria that live in the dark depths of the ocean play a newly discovered and significant role in the global carbon cycle, according to a new study published in Science.

Fear of Sharks Influences Seaweed Growth on Fijian Coral Reefs
Fishes’ fear of sharks helps shape shallow reef habitats in the Pacific, according to new research by a scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.

New Method Predicts Oil Spill Toxicity
Senior Research Scientist Christoph Aeppli has developed a new technique to improve understanding of how oil toxicity changes with exposure to the environment.

Bigelow Laboratory Appoints New President and CEO
Following a comprehensive search, the staff and board of Bigelow Laboratory are pleased to announce that we have secured our next president and CEO – Dr. Deborah Bronk.

Bigelow Scientists Study High Arctic Food Web
Much of the fish caught in the United States comes from Alaska’s Chukchi and Bering Seas, but these ecosystems are poorly understood.

Scientists Look to Antarctic Lakes for Answers About Marine Viruses
As the last glacial period came to an end about 10,000 years ago, the ice sheet covering Antarctica retreated and uncovered the coastal Vestfold Hills. Freed from the crushing weight of the ice, the land rose and the sea retreated.

Marine Disease Shapes Tropical Reefs, Study Finds
The coral reefs surrounding Palmyra Atoll are among the healthiest remaining on the planet, making it an ideal place to study a fungal disease that afflicts an important reef-building algae.

Bigelow Laboratory Awarded Highest Charity Navigator Rating
Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, recently awarded Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences a 4-star rating, its top distinction. This is the first time Charity Navigator has evaluated the Laboratory’s business practices.

Deep-Sea Nutrients Could Temper Global Change
Senior Research Scientist Steve Archer wants to harness ocean productivity and mitigate global climate change in the process.

Students Reflect on Summer Internships
Bigelow Laboratory hosted 23 summer interns this year. Eric Walton, our communications intern, spoke with some of the students and wrote the following to share his reflections on the summer experience.

Innovations Improve Genetic Analysis of Individual Cells
Single cell genomics technology has given scientists the ability to individually read the genetic blueprints of cells, the most fundamental units of life. Now, the center that pioneered the technology, Bigelow Laboratory's Single Cell Genomics Center, has developed several key enhancements...

Two Bigelow Scientists Recognized for Leadership
The scientific community recognized two Bigelow Laboratory scientists this summer as emerging scientific leaders.

Laboratory Announces 2017 Keller Scholarship Winner
Bigelow Laboratory has awarded Sophia Hanscom of Norway, Maine, its 2017 Maureen D. Keller Undergraduate Scholarship. Each year, the Laboratory uses the scholarship to recognize and support a rising undergraduate student from Maine who intends to major in the biological or earth sciences. Winners are awarded a $1,000 scholarship to help cover college expenses.

Maine Educators Engage with Ocean Science
Ten Maine educators engaged in hands-on professional development this July as part of Bigelow Laboratory’s BLOOM Educators Program, now in its seventh year. This free program provides educators with research training and tools in order to better equip them to teach ocean science in their classrooms.

New Issue of Transect Available
Our scientists have been busy conducting research around the world and growing our understanding of the ocean and how it is changing. The insights they uncover are helping us develop commercial applications and educational programs that target some of the biggest challenges and opportunities of the ocean.

Sea Otters Shape Changing Aleutian Ecosystems
The marine habitats surrounding Alaska’s Aleutian Islands are besieged by two powerful forces: the loss of sea otters and global climate change.

Lobster Larvae Resilience Informs Fishery's Future
To learn more about the future of Maine’s signature seafood, Senior Research Scientist David Fields is studying lobsters in their planktonic stages.

Laboratory to Host Open House on July 14
What is it like to study the ocean at a world-class research institute? On July 14, you have the opportunity to find out. Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences will host its annual open house from 10 am to 2 pm at its campus in East Boothbay.

High Schoolers Spend Week as Ocean Researchers
Sixteen Maine high school juniors completed a week of living and learning at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences on May 26. They worked side-by-side with Bigelow Laboratory scientists, went on a research cruise, conducted experiments, and learned how to analyze their results...

New Residence Opens Doors
The Graham Shimmield Residence Hall provides on-campus housing to scientists and students visiting our laboratory.

Bigelow Launches Search for President and Chief Executive Officer
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of president and chief executive officer.

Researchers Journey to Antarctica
Bigelow Laboratory scientists traveled to Antarctica to study the relationship between phytoplankton and bacteria and learn how one critical compound may help shape microbial communities in the icy Southern Ocean.

Investing in Ocean Innovations
The Sash A. and Mary M. Spencer Entrepreneurial Fund provides vital investment in promising concepts.

Science on Ice: Bigelow Team Studies Antarctic Phytoplankton
Despite the barren Antarctic landscape, the Southern Ocean is rich with life. For the last two months, a team of Bigelow Laboratory scientists has been conducting field research on the phytoplankton that live in its icy waters. This week, the research team packed up and started the long journey home.

Foundation Endows Research and Education Leadership Position
The Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation has awarded a $1 million matching gift to endow the vice president for research and education position at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. The Foundation challenged Bigelow Laboratory to raise $1 million in matching gifts by June 30, 2020.

Executive Director Graham Shimmield Passes Away
Graham Shimmield, executive director of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, died Dec 24 at 58 years old after a hard-fought battle with cancer. A globally recognized leader in oceanography, Shimmield served in his role at Bigelow Laboratory since 2008.

Bigelow Laboratory Prototype Emerges as Commercial Product
For researchers on the cutting-edge of science, invention is a daily activity. They often have to piece together the tools they need before they can use them in the field, and these new tools can sometimes offer their own opportunities to further scientific research.

Colby College Students Engage in Genetic Study of Toxic Algae
An unprecedented harmful algal bloom off the coast of New England this fall provided a unique opportunity for Colby College students studying at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.

Scientists and State Officials Work Together to Study, Monitor Toxic Algae
Maine shellfisheries faced an unexpected challenge this fall when a toxic algae bloom caused regulators to halt harvesting along the coast. Maine’s Department of Marine Resources (DMR) first closed the fishery near the Canadian border, and closures steadily spread south as the bloom intensified.

Arctic Forum Targets Challenges, Opportunities of Polar Changes
Nowhere is the power of climate change as evident as the Arctic. The significance and extent of the ongoing transformation is difficult to overstate. As the polar ice melts, new challenges and opportunities are emerging. The world is facing questions it’s never had to answer before.

Bigelow Laboratory Scientists Help US Navy Wage War on Rust
Rust costs the US Defense Department about $23 billion a year. Anytime water and steel meet, it’s only a matter of time until repairs or replacement is necessary. Much of this cost is incurred in marine environments, where ships and infrastructure rust either through chemical processes or bacteria that oxidize the iron found in steel.

Two Additional Senior Research Scientists Join Bigelow Laboratory
It’s an exciting time of growth at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. Our campus is expanding with the construction of new facilities. Our programs are seeing record participation, and our research team is benefitting from the addition of two senior research scientists.

Remembering Robert Guillard: Renowned Scientist, Treasured Friend
Last week, the world lost a great scientist – and we lost a dear friend – when Robert R. L. Guillard passed away at 95 years old. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Ruth, as well as three stepsons and five grandchildren.

New Challenges with Harmful Algae Renew Interest in Old Techniques
Scientists have developed powerful new molecular and genetic tools to identify harmful algal bloom species during the last 20 years. With these advances, interest has steadily waned in the classic methods of identifying algae by examining them under a microscope.

NASA, Bigelow Laboratory Study Microbes on Spacecrafts
Humans aren't the only form of life that calls the International Space Station home. Previous studies have found that the astronauts share the station with a surprising number of stowaway bacteria.

Heil, Poulton receive grant to study oyster diet on the Damariscotta River
Drs. Cindy Heil and Nicole Poulton, along with Dr. Carter Newell of Pemaquid Oyster Company, received a SEANET mini grant from the University of Maine to study how seasonal differences in phytoplankton, the primary food source for oysters, impact oyster growth and productivity in the Damariscotta River.

Laboratory welcomes Senator King, public at Open House
Hundreds of visitors of all ages enjoyed Bigelow Laboratory's annual Open House on July 15, including U.S. Senator Angus King. Demonstrations by Bigelow scientists, plankton tows off the dock, hands-on science experiments, and a lab-wide scavenger hunt were just a few of the day's activities.

Spencer Entrepreneurial Fund grants awarded
Two seed grants have been awarded to Bigelow Laboratory scientists through a new fund that supports commercialization activities and collaborations with industry partners.

Laboratory hosts seventh annual BLOOM Educators Program
Nine teachers from across Maine broadened the reach of their middle- and high-school science curricula during the week of July 18th by participating in Bigelow Laboratory's BLOOM Educators Program.

Matrai to co-host Arctic-COLORS conference
The Arctic, one of the fastest changing places on the planet, is the focus of a NASA-funded scoping study to be co-hosted by Senior Research Scientist Dr. Paty Matrai on July 28-29 at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

Summer 2016 public events kick off July 1
Bigelow Laboratory will open its doors to the public several times during summer 2016 for tours, Cafe Sci talks, and the annual open house featuring art created by the Laboratory's first official Artist-in-Residence.

Price to study fungal disease in reef-building algae
This summer Dr. Nichole Price will expand her research on coralline algae, known to help reestablish coral reefs, to include fungal diseases that infect these algae. Dr. Price’s fieldwork in the Central Pacific will examine the intersection of disease dynamics and climate change on these highly sensitive algae.

Record-breaking summer of student mentoring underway
Bigelow Laboratory’s summer education programs have commenced, with the successful completion of the Keller BLOOM program--this year adding a sixth day of science education--for Maine high school juniors, and the arrival of a record number of 27 college interns from across the country.

Stepanauskas visits White House
Dr. Ramunas Stepanauskas was invited to the White House as part of the announcement of the National Microbiome Initiative. The Initiative, which will support microbial research across disciplines, named Bigelow Laboratory specifically and emphasized the Laboratory's research to improve single-cell genomics technology.

Countway and Matrai to conduct microbial research in Antarctica
Drs. Pete Countway and Paty Matrai received a National Science Foundation grant of $1,093,785 to study microbial communities in Antarctica. Their research aims to better understand the cycling of DMSP, a compound that, when broken down, can lead to regional cloud formation.

New residence construction begins
Representatives of the Board of Trustees, Town, education team, and construction management broke ground for the new 32-residence. Construction will begin in earnest on May 9. The new student and visiting scientist residence is set to be ready for occupancy in September 2017.

Tiny Giants take Newport RI
Marine Microbes Revealed on a Grand Scale is an inspiring photography exhibit created by Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences will be on exhibit in Newport, RI

Color and phytoplankton changes in the Gulf of Maine
Dr. William “Barney” Balch’s team at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences has been sampling the waters of the Gulf of Maine...

Research and innovation accelerator to be constructed
Ground will be broken for the greenhouse in spring/early summer 2016, which is expected to be operational by late summer/early fall.

Plankton workshop draws international attendees
Fourteen participants from around the world converged at the Laboratory this week for an ICES Working Group on Phytoplankton and Microbial Ecology workshop

Waller recognized for integration of research and outreach
Jesica Waller has been awarded the Edith Patch Award by the University of Maine in recognition of her “effective integration of research and outreach.”

Mitchell's paper featured in EOS
Post doc Catherine Mitchell’s latest paper that demonstrates how satellites can be used to reveal the dynamics of suspended mineral particles was featured in the April 1 EOS Research Highlights

Crystal Hall wins Tiny Giant
Crystal Hall's name was drawn as the winner of a full-size image of her choice from Bigelow Laboratory's Tiny Giants: Marine microbes revealed on a grand scale art exhibit.

Art in the works
Carter Shappy, a graduate of Maine College of Art, is our first artist-in-residence, working with Steve Archer on developing an installation for unveiling in June.

Tiny Giants at Phillips in NYC
A team of scientists from Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and Sailors of the Sea will gather at Phillips Gallery, 450 Park Ave. in New York City on Tuesday March 22

Lab receives gold fundraising rating
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences was recognized for its philanthropic transparency and accountability by the GuideStar Nonprofit Profile with a gold level designation. GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information about nonprofit organizations and a leader in advancing transparency in the nonprofit sector.

Tiny Giants inspire St. Mark's School students
For the past month, students at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA have pondered invisible marine microbes as part of the school’s science curriculum.