Café Sci

Bigelow Laboratory's Café Sci is a fun, free way for you to engage with ocean researchers on critical issues and groundbreaking science. Pick a chair, grab a drink, and let’s talk about the mysteries, challenges, and opportunities of the sea.

We will be offering six Café Sci events this summer, thanks to the generous support of HM Payson. Each event will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.

Seating is limited at this popular summer series. Please register below today!


Nitrogen to the Rescue:

How Arctic Ice Reduction is Fertilizing the Sea

Led by Dr. Deborah Bronk

Microscopic plants in the ocean have a giant impact on the health of the planet. While these phytoplankton are currently facing numerous challenges from climate change, recent research has revealed that they are getting a surprising boost in the Arctic. Join Dr. Deborah Bronk, the new president and CEO of Bigelow Laboratory, to learn about how the reduction of sea ice is increasing the growth of phytoplankton, providing food for larger organisms and accelerating the rate at which they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


Deep Sea Mining:

How Your Smartphone is Driving the Hunt for Seafloor Minerals

RegisterLed by Dr. Beth Orcutt

At hot spots in the deep sea, animals both recognizable and strange feed and breed. The rocky areas that sustain these animals are also rich in metals like iron, nickel, and cobalt. Manufacturing processes for smart phones and lithium ion batteries have increased demand for these metals, and made the prospect of deep sea mining more attractive to countries and companies. Join Dr. Beth Orcutt, an expert in these deep ecosystems, to learn about the motivation for deep sea mining and what its potential impacts may be.


Incredible, Edible Kelp:

Harvesting the Potential of Seaweed Aquaculture

RegisterLed by Dr. Nichole Price

Imagine an aquaculture product that could solve today’s biggest food supply challenges. It would be rich in essential nutrients, grow quickly, and require minimal natural resources. Instead of harming the environment, it would have a therapeutic impact. Scientists, chefs, and industry leaders are discovering that sea greens like kelp offer all these amazing attributes. Join Dr. Nichole Price to discuss how members of the shellfish industry can grow sea greens to reap the benefits of product diversification while improving growing conditions for shellfish.


Precious Metals:

A Global Hunt to Understand Scarce Ocean Nutrients

RegisterLed by Dr. Ben Twining

Like humans, phytoplankton require a balanced diet of vitamins and minerals to grow and thrive. However, over a third of ocean waters contain too little iron to fully support phytoplankton communities, and ‘micronutrients’ like cobalt, manganese, and zinc control the growth of certain plankton. These ‘precious metals’ occur at trace levels in the ocean, but have an outsized role, influencing global climate over thousands of years. Join Dr. Ben Twining to learn about his global hunt to understand metal limitation in the ocean and how it affects our world.


Are We Alone?:

What Microbes Can Tell Us About Possible Life on Other Planets

RegisterLed by Dr. Jackie Goordial

The field of astrobiology includes the search for life elsewhere in our universe. To learn how to look for life on other planets, we must first examine the limits of life as we know it here on Earth. Join Dr. Jackie Goordial to learn about the microorganisms that inhabit some of the most extreme environments on Earth, and how these environments may be similar to other planetary bodies in our solar system and beyond.


Guardians of the Reef:

Identifying the Species that Promote Coral Reef Recovery

RegisterLed by Dr. Doug Rasher

Coral reefs are one of the most biodiverse and productive ecosystems on the planet. They are also one of the most threatened. Disturbances to these ecosystems are increasing in frequency and intensity, making the process of recovery ever more important. Join Dr. Douglas Rasher, an ecologist and conservation biologist, to discover which species are essential to reef recovery, and how humans can promote the process of recovery.

Café Sci Videos