Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Ocean Life, Planet Health

Jun 2010 eNews

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Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
June 10, 2010

New Director Appointed for the Laboratory’s Provasoli-Guillard National Center

Bigelow Laboratory Executive Director Graham Shimmield, Chair of the Search Committee Dr. David Emerson, and the Laboratory’s Board of Trustees are delighted to announce that Dr. Willie Wilson has been appointed as the new director of the Provasoli-Guillard National Center for the Culture of Marine Phytoplankton (CCMP). Wilson, a leading marine virologist, has been a Senior Research Scientist at the Laboratory since January 2007, and has been serving as the CCMP’s interim director since Dr. Robert Andersen’s retirement last summer. Wilson holds a Ph.D. in Marine Viruses and an M.S. in Cyanobacteria Genetics from the University of Warwick in the UK, and a B.S. in Marine Biology and Biochemistry from the University College of North Wales, Bangor, UK. His areas of research include algal viruses, phage therapy for aquaculture (the use of naturally occurring viruses to control problem bacteria), the role of viruses in coral bleaching, giant virus genomics, and algal biofuels. The CCMP is the largest collection of marine phytoplankton in the world, and has been designated by the United States Congress as the nation’s official living library of marine phytoplankton cultures. The CCMP is currently in the process of expanding to include marine viruses and bacteria, which will make it the world’s first marine virus repository.

Photo by Dennis Griggs.

On Board the R/V Knorr: Reports from the Amazon Continuum

Beaulieu (foreground) assists with instrument deployment on the R/V Knorr. Photo courtesy of J. Goés.

Bigelow Senior Research Scientist Dr. Joaquim Goés and a multidisciplinary team of scientists, including Bigelow’s Dr. Helga do Rosario Gomes are currently aboard the oceanographic ship R/V Knorr in the South Atlantic, at the mouth of the Amazon River. Bigelow intern Courtney Beaulieu from Colby College in Waterville, Maine is one of 14 student researchers on board. The scientists are studying nitrogen fixation by diatoms, carbon export, and climate change in the Amazon Continuum (the river and its extensive plume in the ocean). Beaulieu is helping to investigate the bio-optical and eco-physiological properties of diatom communities, and conducting independent study of the effects of high intensity tropical sunlight on the dissolved organic matter-rich waters of the Amazon River Plume. Beaulieu’s work is being supported by the National Science Foundation and the Maine Space Grants Consortium. An educator on board, middle school science teacher Lollie Garay fromÊRedd School in Houston, Texas is posting an active blog from the ship with daily updates and images from the expedition.

Water and Life: The Green Salon

Senior Research Scientist Dr. Michael Sieracki gave an informal presentation about his flow cytometry work as part of the Tara oceanographic expedition at a Green Salon held in New York City on May 23, 2010. Goals of the Green Salon concept are to bring small groups of multidisciplinary experts in science, arts, and the humanities together with policy makers to discuss issues related to energy, the environment, urban sustainability, and innovation. The New York Green Salon was organized by the New York Academy of Sciences, The Waterkeeper Alliance, the Agnes B Tara Oceans Project, The Stella Group, and several other organizations, and was hosted by biotechnology entrepreneur William Haseltine; his account of the event is featured in the current issue of The Atlantic magazine.

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences ...exploring the world’s oceans, from microbes to global ecosystems


Summer Science Conversations: Cafe Scientifique 2010

Photo by Thorsten Mauritsen

The Laboratory’s increasingly popular summer Café Scientifique series begins its 2010 season at 6 p.m. on June 15 at the Opera House in Boothbay Harbor (86 Townsend Avenue) with a discussion titled “O-Buoy: Chemistry on Ice” led by Senior Research Scientist Dr. Paty Matrai. Matrai is the lead researcher of an international team of scientists who have designed and deployed autonomous instrument buoys on sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, the first time that scientists have been able to continuously monitor changing atmospheric chemistry over the shifting ice of the Arctic Ocean. The complete Summer 2010 Café Scientifique program is on our website. All cafés are free and open to the public, and a cash bar is available on site.

Our Ocean World: Laboratory Scientists Featured on Radio Stations Nationwide
Bigelow researchers Drs. Balch, Emerson, Matrai, Stepanauskas, and Wilson are being heard over more than 100 radio stations in the country in 90-second spots about their research on Our Ocean World, a radio program developed by Finger Lakes Productions International, in association with WETA (Washington, D.C.’s public broadcasting station) and the National Science Foundation. Our Ocean World is part of a web-based learning portal for students and the public called Hear the Answer. The radio segments describe current discoveries and ongoing research initiatives at the Laboratory about ocean ecosystems and global environmental processes. The segments can be heard on the Laboratory’s website and through Hear the Answer’s web portal.

Windjammer Days Dockside Demonstrations: Got Plankton?
Boothbay Harbor’s annual Windjammer Days celebration will take place on June 22 and 23, 2010. As part of the festivities, the Laboratory plans to set up several interactive demonstrations of “science in the sea” for the public on Wednesday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on the dock behind the Laboratory’s Main Building at 180 McKown Point Road. Visitors are invited to participate in a plankton tow off the pier, view microscopic ocean life, and learn about new, hands-on technologies for studying ocean ecosystems close to home. Hats, T-shirts, stickers, and reports will be available at the Laboratory’s display station.

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