Recent News

Scientists Use New Grant to Benefit Climate, Cows
Bigelow Laboratory scientists are identifying seaweeds for dietary supplements that could reduce methane emission by cattle.

Researchers Sleuth Palate to Solve Lobster Mystery
Bigelow scientists are working to determine what lobster larvae eat, and looking for clues as to why juvenile populations are low.

New Scientist Evolves Laboratory’s Expertise
John Burns has added his diverse research background and cutting-edge skillset to Bigelow Laboratory’s interdisciplinary science team.

Report Highlights Lab's Economic Impact on Maine
Bigelow Laboratory contributed $23.7 million to Maine’s economy during 2018, according to a new, independent evaluation.

Study Reveals New Patterns of Key Ocean Nutrient
The important nutrient phosphate may be less abundant in the global ocean than previously thought, according to new research.

New Partnership with University of New England
Bigelow Laboratory and The University of New England announced a new partnership today that will support joint ventures in research and education.

Pioneering Researcher Explores Deep Limits of Life
Senior Research Scientist Beth Orcutt studies deep-sea microbes to resolve life's limits, and recently received an award for her work.

$20 Million Grant for DNA-based Ocean Monitoring
A $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation will fund a five-year initiative by Maine science institutes to revolutionize the understanding and management of coastal ocean ecosystems.

Study Reveals Patterns in Globally Important Algae
An important ocean algae is mysteriously scarce in one of the most productive regions of the Atlantic Ocean, new research shows.

Researchers Prepare for Historic Arctic Expedition
Bigelow Laboratory scientists spent mid-March on the northern coast of Alaska preparing for the largest-ever Arctic research expedition.

Whales and Warming in the Gulf of Maine
Deep water warming is impacting animals in the Gulf, from its smallest inhabitants to the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

Ocean Research Yields New Tools to Protect Lakes
Bigelow Laboratory researchers are leveraging their expertise in marine algal toxins to develop technologies that help protect lakes.

Profile: Andrew Davis
As a philanthropist who focuses on some of the world’s biggest issues, Andrew Davis seeks out and develops agents of change.

Coral Reefs Shifting Away from Equatorial Waters
Coral reefs are retreating from equatorial waters and establishing new reefs in more temperate regions, according to new research.

Bigelow Laboratory Appoints New Board Leadership
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences has announced upcoming changes to its board of trustees and advisory board.

Study of Individual Krill Reveals Group Dynamics
The decisions made by individual Antarctic krill help to shape the massive schools they form, which can stretch for hundreds of miles.

Climate Driving New Right Whale Movement
New research connects recent changes in the movement of right whales to decreased food availability and rising temperatures in Gulf of Maine’s deep waters.

Scientists Head to Sea to Explore Subseafloor Life
A team of researchers currently at sea is using a deep-diving robot to study the hardy microbes living in the marine deep biosphere.

Study Reveals Vast Diversity of Ocean Microbes
Advanced molecular techniques have revealed the diversity of a little-understood group of ocean microbes called protists.

Study Overviews Seasonal Shifts in Gulf of Maine
A new report shows that there is limited understanding of how important seasonal events in the Gulf of Maine are changing.

Innovative Courses Spur Interdisciplinary Learning
Bigelow Laboratory has expanded its hands-on education experiences with new courses on earth systems chemistry and seafood forensics.

Study Looks to Iron from Microbes for Climate Help
A new paper details how distributing iron particles produced by bacteria could help remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Researchers Discover New Nitrogen Source in Arctic
Scientists have revealed that the partnership between an alga and bacteria is making nitrogen newly available in the Arctic Ocean.

Fish Diversity Linked to Caribbean Coral Reef Health
The health of reefs can be impacted as much by the diversity of fish that graze on them as by the amount of fish that do so, a new study reveals.

Synchrotron X-rays Illuminating Ocean Life
For the last 20 years, Senior Research Scientist Ben Twining has taken an unusual approach to studying the ocean.

Study Shows Deep Microbes Hold Clues to Early Life
A new study has revealed how a group of unusual, deep-sea microbes provides clues to the evolution of life on Earth.

Study Identifies Biomedical Potential of Bivalves
Shellfish like oysters and mussels have the potential to revolutionize human health research, according to a new study.

Scientist Honored for Bigelow Education Programs
After years of teaching with humor and dedication, Senior Research Scientist David Fields has won the prestigious Ramón Margalef Award.

Study Shows Algae Thrive Under Greenland Sea Ice
Microscopic marine plants flourish beneath the ice that covers the Greenland Sea, fueling the ocean ecosystem.

Researchers Demystifying How Arctic Clouds Form
This summer found two Bigelow Laboratory researchers far from home, alert for polar bears, and bundled in cold weather gear.

Research Unlocks Secrets of Iron Storage in Algae
Phytoplankton iron storage strategies may determine which species thrive in changing oceans and impact marine food webs.

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.