Recent News

Ocean on Tap Brings Fun Science to Boothbay Community
The informal speaker series, organized by Bigelow Laboratory researchers and hosted at Footbridge Brewery, creates a unique space for community building and inspiration around ocean science in Boothbay Harbor.

Grad Students Bring Energy, Excitement as They Explore eDNA
For the last several years, Bigelow Laboratory has hosted six visiting graduate students from UMaine. Part of the Maine-eDNA project, the cohort has brought fresh perspectives and energy to the institute’s intellectual and social life.

Scientists Detect Shift to Ocean Microbes that are “Flexible Feeders” in the North Atlantic
Researchers have found an increase in recent decades in the proportion of microbes that can shift how they feed in response to their environment, providing insight into how the marine food web may adapt to climate change.

Burns Probes Evolution Across the Tree of Life
Senior Research Scientist John Burns had a somewhat circuitous path before finding his passion for evolutionary and cell biology. That journey equipped him with ample curiosity and tools to help illuminate the diversity of life in the oceans.

Boothbay Region Students Dive into Ocean Science
Bigelow Laboratory researchers worked with teachers at Boothbay Region Elementary School to design an action-packed visit for fourth graders to teach them about the important ocean science research happening in their hometown.

New Method Reveals Hidden Activity of Life Below Ground
Researchers have refined an innovative method for measuring the activity level of microbes and linking that to their individual genetic code, providing new insights into the microbial communities that thrive in extreme environments.

Study Underscores Uncertain Costs of Iron Fertilization
Researchers from Bigelow Laboratory have created a model to estimate the costs of ocean iron fertilization, highlighting uncertainties in how the ocean will respond and how effective and costly this strategy may be.

Orcutt Speaks on Deep-Sea Mining for Congressional Panel
Senior Research Scientist and Vice President for Research Beth Orcutt was recently in D.C. to participate in a congressional panel on deep-sea mining, discussing the potential environmental impacts of this emerging industry.

Ocean on Tap Speaker Series in Boothbay Harbor Continues
The informal, ocean-centric speaker series organized by researchers at Bigelow Laboratory and hosted by Footbridge Brewery will take place monthly through the spring, bringing the community together to dive into ocean science.

Experiential Learning Guides Poulton’s Scientific Path
Senior Research Scientist Nicole Poulton knows first-hand the value of experiential learning. Today, as director of the Keller BLOOM program, she’s helping create those opportunities for the next generation of scientists.

Scientists Assess PFAS Levels Throughout Casco Bay
Bigelow Laboratory scientists have gathered invaluable data on levels of PFAS in Casco Bay, in the first step of a multi-year, collaborative project to provide much-needed information on PFAS sources and impacts to the coastal environment.

New Gift Advances Major Bigelow Laboratory Expansion
A gift from the William Procter Scientific Innovation Fund is helping move forward Bigelow Laboratory’s new center for ocean education and innovation, which will revolutionize the institute’s education and solutions-focused work.

Postdocs Propel Institute’s Research and Community
Bigelow Laboratory postdoctoral researchers lead projects, mentor students, and participate in decision-making, in turn, playing an important role in the institute’s community and helping make it a leader in ocean science.

Maine Ocean Science Leaders Launch New Collaboration
Leaders in ocean science, education, and innovation from across Maine gathered at Bigelow Laboratory to establish a new marine science consortium and work toward more resilient coastal communities, industries, and ecosystems.

Center Drives Discovery by Cracking DNA of Cells
DNA sequencing of individual cells has transformed scientists’ understanding of the ocean. Bigelow Laboratory’s Single Cell Genomics Center is a leader in the field, pioneering new technology and offering unique research services.

New Approach Enables Deep-Sea Research on Fragile Animals
Senior Research Scientist John Burns is part of a multi-institution team using quantitative imaging technology and an innovative robotic device to identify and describe fragile deep-sea animals.

From Submersibles to Satellites, Advanced Tools Illuminate a Changing Gulf of Maine
The Gulf of Maine North Atlantic Time Series is an important resource for understanding changing ocean conditions. Tools like autonomous gliders complement ship-based measurements to provide invaluable data from below the surface.

Center for Algal Innovations’ “Fab Lab” Builds Ideas into Reality
Bigelow Laboratory's Fabrication Lab has quickly become an invaluable R&D resource, creating novel equipment that accelerates the institute's research and its efforts to support algal innovations with partners around the world.

Research Illuminates the Role of Disease in Shaping Ocean Health
Disease ecologist Maya Groner, one of Bigelow Laboratory’s newest senior research scientists, is working with fishery managers to understand the impacts of pathogens and parasites on marine populations in a changing world.

From Ash to Algae
An interdisciplinary team of researchers is working at all scales to illuminate the relationship between the nutrients in aged volcanic ash and the phytoplankton that need them to grow.

Supporting Local Science
Bigelow Laboratory is creating lasting relationships with community groups, tribal organizations, and resource managers to help protect ecosystems and human health across the country.

Scientists and Students Explore Diversity of Microbial Life on Maine’s Coast
What started as a way for Research Scientist Melody Lindsay to continue fieldwork locally amid the pandemic has grown into a larger study of microbial life in coastal mudflats — and a valuable learning experience for Sea Change Semester students.

Scientists Test Out New Method for IDing Small Microplastics
Despite growing concern, scientists have struggled to study the impact and prevalence of the smallest microplastics. But an innovative new approach could help researchers rapidly count and characterize these particles in aquatic systems.

Semester Students Step Out of Their Comfort Zone
Bigelow Laboratory has worked to increase access to educational programs like Sea Change Semester, which provides hands-on training, gives students real-world research experience, and can open doors to a future career in ocean science.

Government Leaders Gather to Break Ground on Bigelow Laboratory Expansion
Over 200 supporters, Maine’s governor, and several members of the state’s congressional delegation gathered in East Boothbay to break ground on a new center for ocean education and innovation.

Genetic Tool May Help Farmers Find Elusive Larval Mussels
In recent years, farmers in Maine have struggled with declining blue mussel harvests. Bigelow Laboratory scientists are creating new molecular tools to track larval mussels and help producers better plan for seed collection.

Citing knowledge gaps, ISA delays deep-sea mining rules
Senior Research Scientist Beth Orcutt is one of several experts engaged in deep-sea mining negotiations, advocating for science in the rulemaking process and raising awareness of potential threats to marine ecosystems.

New Project Assesses Cyanobacteria in Drinking Water
Bigelow Laboratory has partnered with local organizations to protect the Boothbay Region’s drinking water. The team is assessing potentially harmful cyanobacteria in local reservoirs working toward prevention instead of problems.

Interns Use Genetic Tools to Study Bivalve Diseases
Summer internships provide students with valuable professional skills while enabling them to contribute to Bigelow Laboratory research projects like developing new techniques to study host-parasite interactions in bivalves.

Study Highlights Importance of Mineral Iron in the Ocean
New research by an international team of scientists, including one from Bigelow Laboratory, improves our understanding of the iron cycle, with important implications for how biological productivity in the ocean might change in the future.

Scientists Look to DNA to Help Track White Sharks
As white shark sightings increase in the Gulf of Maine, researchers are developing new tools for tracking them, shedding light on the movement of white sharks in the future and advancing the use of environmental DNA.

Major Expansion to Advance Ocean Education and Innovation
A new center will open spring 2025 and bring dedicated spaces for training, collaboration, and solutions development.

New Research Uncovers Potential Benefits, Consequences of Ocean Iron Fertilization
New research shows that ocean iron fertilization could help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but might also negatively affect marine ecosystems by amplifying climate change impacts, highlighting the complex nature of the ocean’s response to carbon dioxide removal.

Public is Invited for Annual Open House
Bigelow Laboratory is welcoming people to visit the laboratory and hear first-hand from our researchers as part of our annual open house. The free, all-ages event takes place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, July 21.

Café Sci program kicks off on July 11
The annual Café Sci series of free science talks is a fun, free way to engage with ocean researchers on critical issues and groundbreaking science. The 6-week series takes place at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays from July 11 through Aug. 15.

The Fate of Forever Chemicals
As the scope and dangers of PFAS pollution come into focus, Bigelow Laboratory scientists are working to expand monitoring and testing capacity in Maine waterways.

Flexible Feeding May Be the Norm, Not the Exception
Organisms that are able to either photosynthesize or directly consume organic nutrients appear to be more common than previously thought. Bigelow Laboratory is helping advance our understanding of these so-called mixotrophs and their impact on global ocean processes.

New Boat Expands Education and Research Opportunities
This summer is Bigelow Laboratory’s first field season with its new research vessel, the R/V Bowditch. Acquired last year, the boat will enhance educational programs, create new field experiences for students, and enable innovative research across the Gulf of Maine.

New Center for Ocean Education and Innovation Coming in 2025
On June 8, World Ocean Day, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences announced a $30 million expansion to its East Boothbay laboratory. The new center for ocean education and innovation will support expanded programing and solutions-focused science.

Scientists Provide First Field Observations of Coccolithophore Osmotrophy
New research shows that coccolithophores can survive in low-light conditions by using organic forms of carbon. It’s the first evidence from nature of osmotrophy by coccolithophores and forces a reassessment of the biological and alkalinity pumps that play a major role in the ocean’s carbon cycle.

Using Biochemistry to Explore Applications of Algae
Manoj Kamalanathan, the newest senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory, uses his expertise in biochemistry to better understand, and find solutions, to environmental challenges by leveraging the incredible applications of algae.

Research Unearths Giant Fungal Viruses in the Crust
Bigelow Laboratory scientists and their partners found the first evidence of so-called giant viruses in the ocean crust that appear to be infecting fungi. The research highlights the importance of viruses in biogeochemical cycling and productivity in the deep subsurface.

Bigelow Laboratory Appoints New VP for Research
After an exhaustive national search, Bigelow Laboratory selected Senior Research Scientist Beth Orcutt to be the new vice president for research. She has been with the organization since 2012 and brings a wealth of leadership experience to her new role.

Scientists Surface Deep-Ocean Concerns at Pivotal Gathering
Among the sea of lawyers and delegates at the International Seabed Authority’s council meeting in Jamaica this March was a handful of scientists working to ensure science isn’t sidelined as deep-sea mining regulations are drafted.

Surprisingly, Ocean Acidity Benefits Vital Crustacean
New research by Bigelow Laboratory shows that the increasing acidity of the ocean can actually support the growth of a tiny crustacean that serves as a vital food source for a myriad of species across northern oceans.

Laboratory Awards Funds for Seaweed, Seagrass Research
Bigelow Laboratory announced today that it selected six organizations across the United States to receive $100,000 in USDA funding to pursue discoveries into applied benefits of seaweeds and seagrasses.

New Method Reveals Marine Microbes’ Outsized Role in Carbon Cycle
New research suggests that a small fraction of microorganisms are responsible for most of the ocean's consumption of oxygen and release of carbon dioxide. The discovery came from a new method that provides unprecedented insight into these organisms.

Bloom of Discoveries
As the threat of harmful algal blooms grows around the world, scientists are developing new techniques, tools, and teamwork to protect our waters.

Experience Lays Foundation for Education Program
A group from Hampton University came to Bigelow Laboratory this year as part of a pilot effort to develop an immersive research experience. Staff and professors hope to grow the relationship into a long-lasting education program.

Right Place and Time: Fieldwork Fills Key Data Gap
The Labrador Sea is a critical region because of how strongly the ocean and climate interact. Researchers recently completed a cruise there to collect valuable data, helping fill knowledge gaps that can be used to forecast the future.

Polar Fish Illuminates Use of Antifreeze for Survival
New research shows the glowing snailfish protects itself from freezing by telling cells to make high levels of an antifreeze protein. This raises concern for how species adapted to extreme environments might fare in a rapidly changing world.

Expansion Doubles Resource for Seaweed Research
The National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota now curates a new 1,200-strain seaweed collection. This more than doubles their kelp holdings, significantly helping them further harness algae's potential for discovery and solutions.

Decoding DNA’s Secrets With Advanced Computing
Fusing genetics, mathematics, and programming, Bigelow Laboratory researchers lead the way in unlocking otherwise hidden information from genes to find answers about life, its origins, and its possibilities.

Search for a Second Chance
As humanity rockets past critical targets for carbon dioxide reduction, can the ocean help us buy time to avoid the worst consequences?

Study Reveals Pathway for Contagious Clam Cancer
A team of researchers and students confirmed that cancer cells from a clam could be spread through seawater. This marks key steps to better understand the contagious cancer and mitigate its spread to support the shellfish industry.

Bigelow Laboratory Project Endorsed by UN
An international project based at Bigelow Laboratory has recently been endorsed by the United Nations. The project aims to accelerate scientific understanding of the impacts of human activity on seafloor environments.

Art and Science Event to Launch Café Sci at Lab
Bigelow’s Laboratory’s popular Café Sci series returns this summer! Join us virtually or in-person at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays from July 12 through August 2. Space is limited, and required registration is now open.

Data Reveal 20-Year Transformation of Gulf of Maine
Two decades of data show the startling transformation of the Gulf of Maine. Many trends point to an overarching pattern: more warm, North Atlantic water is coming in and changing the foundation of the Gulf’s food web.

Research Confirms Effectiveness of Oil Dispersants
Chemical dispersants are some of the best tools to clean up after an oil spill. However, scientists do not fully understand how well they work. A new study validated their real-world efficacy in order to better prepare for the next disaster.

In Remembrance of Spencer Apollonio
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Trustee Emeritus Spencer Apollonio. Spencer was instrumental in the founding of Bigelow Laboratory, and he will be remembered for his love and dedication to scientific research.

Student Research Helps Shed Light on Lost Lobsters
Despite increased numbers of lobsters being born in recent years, the number of adolescents has declined. Something is affecting lobster survival rates, and student researchers are helping determine if it has to do with their food.

Expedition Begins to Illuminate Arctic’s Future
The largest ever Arctic research expedition set off two years ago to create an unprecedented record of data from a year in the icy Arctic Ocean. The efforts are now bearing fruit and present a picture of intertwined climate processes.

Study: Microbial Life Helps Warming Ocean Adapt
New research reveals microbial ocean life that drives the carbon cycle in the Atlantic is adapting to warmer conditions. The findings give insight into how climate change is reshaping the ocean and how to better forecast the future.

Expedition Reveals Rich Life on Deep-Sea Mountains
The deep sea is one of the least-understood parts of the planet, yet it is gaining attention as a potential source of rare minerals. Beth Orcutt recently helped lead an expedition to explore underwater mountains and understand the surprising abundance of life they found.

Bigelow Laboratory Appoints New Board Members
Bigelow Laboratory recently appointed four new members to its board of trustees. The individuals will support our mission to study the foundation of global ocean health and unlock its potential to improve the future for all life on the planet.

Beakers and Brushes
Bigelow Laboratory scientists regularly collaborate with artists to help share the essence of their work. The mysteries of the ocean have inspired art that helps connect people with the heart of discovery. It also motivates them to care, which is vital to building a society guided by science.

A Sea Change for Students
The Sea Change Semester program gives students a unique, hands-on experience with marine research. They earn credits under the guidance of working scientists who equip them with tools to tackle questions about the future of our oceans.

Profile: Ed and Melanie Hodgdon
Ed and Melanie Hodgdon deeply appreciate the value of ocean health and have dedicated their lives to education and science. Through their lives, they hope to inspire others to follow a similar path.

Study: 'Photosynthetic' Algae Can Survive the Dark
Researchers from Bigelow Laboratory discovered how some species of single-celled algae lived through the last mass extinction, a finding that could change how we understand global ocean processes.

Greenland’s Nutrients Changing, With Global Impact
Scientists have discovered the availability of carbon in Greenland’s waters is shifting poleward and appearing earlier than in previous decades. This finding will enhance understanding of carbon cycling and nutrient availability in this rapidly warming and changing environment.

New Installation Fuses Art and Science to Share Ocean Wonder
A new art installation that celebrates ocean life and scientific efforts to understand it will open at the laboratory on Nov. 9. The exhibit is the culmination of a three-year project focused on the Gulf of Maine and the human impacts that affect it.

Study: Parts of Gulf of Maine Less Suitable for Right Whales by 2050
Research led by Bigelow Laboratory sheds light on future habitats for the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. The work shows how keeping a close watch on environmental changes can aid efforts to restore their population.

Unique Algae, Salamander Relationship to be Explored for Medical Potential
There is only one known example of algae living inside a vertebrate, and it may be a key to unlocking medical solutions. New research will now explore this unique relationship and its potential for drug discovery.

$10 Million Announced to Support Algae-Feed Research for U.S. Dairy
A new $10 million grant will bolster research into algae-based feed supplements that could increase environmental sustainability in the dairy industry while improving milk production.

Bigelow Laboratory Nears 100 Percent Solar Power
Bigelow Laboratory is now powered by more than 90 percent renewable energy following the recent construction of a local solar garden, making a leap forward in our green initiatives.

Researchers to Explore Relationship Between Volcanoes, Ocean Ecosystems
A team of interdisciplinary researchers are launching a new project to explore how volcanic ash supports phytoplankton, a foundation of marine ecosystems.

New Approach Opens a Window Into Life Below the Seafloor
Scientists from Bigelow Laboratory pioneered research in the crustal rock under the Atlantic that could open new windows into our understanding of how life survives deep under the sea – or in space.

Students Bring Diversity, Life to Bigelow Laboratory
Each year, our scientists invite students to conduct research at the lab. After a year of virtual science, the bustle of students learning, sharing their work, and collaborating with peers and mentors has brought welcome energy.

Research into Cattle Methane Solutions Bolstered by $5 Million Grant
A new $5 million grant will support Bigelow Laboratory scientists’ research to reduce methane emissions from cattle using an algae-based feed supplement.

Tiny Organisms Shed Big Light on Ocean Nutrients
Sweeping changes in marine nutrients may seem to be a likely consequence of increasing global temperatures; however, new research suggests that processes below the ocean surface could play a larger role than previously thought.

Deep-Sea Research Bolstered with $2 Million Grant
Bigelow Laboratory has been awarded $2 million by NSF to accelerate scientific understanding of the impacts of emerging industries in the deep sea – one of the most mysterious, and potentially lucrative, areas of the ocean.

Changing the Flow of Ocean Science
The field of flow cytometry revolutionized oceanography. It has been instrumental in breakthroughs, from advances in genomics to the discovery of new species - and it was pioneered at Bigelow Laboratory.

Ecosystem in a Bottle
Bigelow Laboratory and UMaine are leading a $20 million project pioneering DNA technology to make discoveries about pressing environmental issues – from key organisms to shifts in the face of climate change.

Maine Students Dive Into Hands-On Ocean Science
This May, Maine students were part of a hands-on workshop at Bigelow Laboratory. They took samples, conducted experiments, and learned how to analyze data as part of a week-long experience that can have a big impact on their future.

New E-Vehicle Charging Stations Available to Public
Bigelow Laboratory installed eight plugins this spring, which are available for public use. The charging stations are the newest part of the lab’s green initiatives and community-building efforts.

Science at Sea: Researchers Share Expedition Experience
This winter, a team of set out to unravel mysteries behind one of the ocean’s most important algae. Meticulous planning and quarantines complicated the expedition but all returned safely. Here is what they had to share.

Microbe in Evolutionary Stasis for Millions of Years
A group of microbes found deep underground have been at an evolutionary standstill for millions of years. They could have significant implications for biotech applications and our understanding of evolution.

Tiny Currents May Impact Vital Ocean Food Source
Copepods are a vital part of Earth’s aquatic ecosystems. Bigelow Laboratory researchers recently published findings that shed light on how these miniature marvels move and cluster in the ocean.

Plotting a Course in an Ocean of Big Data
“Big data” techniques are revolutionizing ocean science, and Bigelow Laboratory is leading efforts to unlock knowledge and tools that are impossible by any other means.

Bigelow President to Lead The Oceanography Society
The Oceanography Society recently announced that Bigelow Laboratory President Deborah Bronk has been elected as their newest president. Her term will begin in 2023.

New Research to Explore Seaweed for Ocean, Economic Health
A nearly $900,000 grant awarded to Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences will be used to explore how kelp aquaculture can remediate negative effects of climate change.

Research Illuminates Lobsters Genetic Response to Changing Climate
New findings suggest the American lobster, which supports the most valuable fishery in North America, may be more susceptible to climate change than previously thought.

Sea of Solutions
Bigelow Laboratory curates one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections of marine algae, and it has now launched a new Center for Algal Innovation to help companies use algae for sustainable solutions.

A Year on Ice
The MOSAiC expedition was the largest in Arctic research history. Its launch was the product of careful plotting of plans and back-ups, but its year of research was shaped by adapting to the unexpected.

Building a Science Community in the Time of COVID
In this year of social distancing, the professional world has seemed anything but social. However, thanks to technology and a lot of creative planning, scientists are building community in unexpected ways.

Rescued Data Sheds Light on Arctic Climate Change
Microscopic algae are a key component of the Arctic, but their role in the ecology of the Arctic Ocean may have been underestimated for decades, according to a new research review.

Research Internships Inspire Continued Discovery
For former Bigelow Laboratory intern Phoebe Keyes, the relaxing week after her graduation from Hamilton College in 2019 brought something unexpected – a deep longing to return to lab work.

Loss of Sea Otters Accelerating the Effects of Climate Change
The impacts of predator loss and climate change are combining to devastate living reefs that have defined Alaskan kelp forests for centuries, according to new research published in Science.

Study Reveals Two Major Microbial Groups Can't Breathe
A new scientific study has revealed unique life strategies of two major groups of microbes that live below Earth’s surface.

The Future of Farming
Bigelow Laboratory researcher make discoveries that support Maine aquaculture — and can inform global ocean solutions.

From Pandemics to Whales: Insights into Forecasting
The current pandemic underscores the inherent complexity, valuable opportunities, and deep importance of data and forecasting science.

Profile: Tom Allen
Bigelow Laboratory Trustee Tom Allen has spent much of his life as a public servant and advocate for ocean conservation.

Algal Symbiosis Could Shed Light on Dark Ocean
Research has revealed a surprise twist in the symbiotic relationship between a salamander and the alga that lives inside its eggs.

New Method Lets Scientists Peer Deeper into Ocean
Researchers have advanced a new way to see into the ocean's depths, establishing an approach to measure key properties using light.

Study Probes Seismic Blast Impacts on Zooplankton
Researchers are working to understand how underwater seismic blasting impacts the ocean’s smallest animals.

Study: Microplastic Pollution Harms Lobster Larvae
Microplastic fiber pollution in the ocean impacts larval lobsters at each stage of their development, according to new research.

To Our Community: A Message About Racism
Equality and justice are long overdue for black Americans, and there are countless other challenges facing this country that we will only overcome as a unified nation.

Survey Investigates Possible Threat to Maine Oysters
New research identifies potential sources of oyster disease, providing Maine shellfish growers important information.

Measuring Ocean Iron to Improve Climate Models
Senior Research Scientist Ben Twining is improving climate predictions by studying a nutrient that drives ocean productivity.

New Genetic Tools Expand Microbial Research
A team of scientists has developed more than 200 new techniques for using microbes to investigate a host of questions in biology.

Peru Fieldwork Team Perseveres During Lockdown
Despite a quarantine and numerous hurdles, a field team is maintaining an ambitious ocean experiment through creative problem solving.

Study Probes Marine Virus Impacts on Harmful Algae
A team of researchers is uniting their diverse expertise to bring a holistic perspective to Florida red tide research.

Ocean Research in the Face of a Pandemic
Bigelow Laboratory is currently closed to the public, but the bustle that typically fills the laboratory has moved online.

Study Finds Fish Have Diverse Gut Microbiomes
The rich biodiversity of coral reefs even extends to microbial communities within fish, according to new research.

To our community: A message about COVID-19
There is so much exciting and promising work going on at the lab right now. And the current crisis has been an important reminder of how critical it is to proactively invest in scientific discovery and solutions.

Scientist Ends First Leg of Yearlong Arctic Expedition
Senior Research Scientist Steve Archer spent over three months on the largest-ever Arctic research expedition. He's just getting started.

Scientist Uses CRISPR to Discover and Inspire
Bigelow Laboratory scientists are uniting their expertise to clarify how oil spills impact copepods in the Arctic and beyond.

Experiments Probe How Copepods Cope with Oil
Bigelow Laboratory scientists are uniting their expertise to clarify how oil spills impact copepods in the Arctic and beyond.

The Art of Arctic Research
An interdisciplinary team is unearthing how microbes process iron in the harsh Arctic tundra, and how they will shape the planet's response to climate change.

Educating the Next Generation
The Keller BLOOM program celebrates 30 years of inspiring high school juniors through hands-on experiences with ocean science.

Profile: Anna Marie Thron
Passion for the natural world has driven Anna Marie Thron's extensive involvement with environmental nonprofits.

Maine Researchers, Teacher Begin Scientific Cruise
A unique educational opportunity launches soon, when a Maine teacher sets sail as part of a Bigelow Laboratory team.

Study Weighs Deep-sea Mining's Impact on Microbes
A new study examines how the essential roles that microbes play in deep-sea ecosystems are at risk from the potential environmental impacts of mining.

Program Inspires Next Generation of Ocean Leaders
The Sea Change Semester is a hands-on, intensive ocean science program for undergraduate students in residence at the lab.

Entrepreneurial Explorations Drive Science Forward
The ocean offers creative ways to solve global problems, and exploring these opportunities is a core part of Bigelow Laboratory’s research.

Forecast to Help Shellfish Growers Weather Toxicity
The same technology behind facial recognition and self-driving cars may soon help Maine’s shellfish industry protect against algal toxins.

Novel Study Underscores Microbial Individuality
A new publication reports a staggering degree of diversity that defies contemporary definitions of microbial species.

Microbial Products Color Ancient Art, Study Shows
Early hunter-gatherers heated microbially-produced iron oxides to make pigments for rock art, new research shows.

10 Years Reading Life’s Blueprints, A Cell at a Time
Since its founding a decade ago, the Single Cell Genomics Center at Bigelow Laboratory has enabled discoveries in a huge range of fields.

Large Jellyfish Stoke Curiosity and Science
This summer, Maine’s busy beaches were frequented by a surprising visitor – remarkably large lion’s mane jellyfish.

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.