Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

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Mar 2010 eNews

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Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
March 17, 2010

Oceanography Magazine Special Issue on Seamounts Features the Work of the Laboratory’s Geomicrobiologist Dr. David Emerson

Iron-oxide structures at Loihi Seamount, 3,600 feet below the ocean’s surface. Photo by Terry Kerby, Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory.

The latest issue of Oceanography (Vol. 23, No. 1), “Mountains in the Sea,” focuses on the biology and geology of the ocean’s seamounts, the massive underwater mountains that are part of the hydrothermal system of the ocean’s underwater world. The issue includes an article by Senior Research Scientist Dr. David Emerson and Western Washington University’s Dr. Craig Moyer, titled “Microbiology of Seamounts, Common Patterns Observed in Community Structure.” Highly specialized seamount microbial communities are sources of previously unknown genetic diversity and provide insight into ancient metabolic pathways that use iron and sulfur as sources of energy. Dr. Emerson is also the editor of a special issue on seamount microbiology in the Geomicrobiology Journal (Volume 26, Number 8), published in December 2009, which includes an article he authored on “Potential for Iron-reduction and Iron-cycling in Iron Oxyhydroxide-rich Microbial Mats at Loihi Seamount.” (Loihi is a young underwater volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, and the site of the Iron-Oxidizing Microbial Observatory Project.) Read more...

Planet Earth Highlights Laboratory’s Phytoplankton Research

Bigelow marine virologist Dr. Willie Wilson’s work with Dr. Mike Allen, molecular biologist and virologist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the UK is featured in the March issue of Planet Earth, the magazine of the Natural Environment Research Council. Read about Wilson and Allen’s research in “Survival of the Fattest,” describing the critical role that marine viruses have in the planet’s global biogeochemical cycles and the relationship between viruses and the vast blooms of microscopic single celled algae called coccolithophores at the base of the ocean’s food chain.

True color satellite image of a milky E. huxleyi coccolithophore bloom in the English Channel. Photo courtesy of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory Remote Sensing Group.

Meet Dylan the Diatom…

As part of its Arctic Ocean Primary Production Project, Dr. Paty Matrai’s research team recently worked with Anna Czoski, an undergraduate student in from the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington to create The Important Little Life of Dylan the Diatom, a seven-minute educational cartoon for middle school children that’s fun and informative for all ages. The story follows the ups and downs (literally) of a centric diatom in its Arctic Ocean habitat. Along the way, viewers learn about the role of phytoplankton in the Arctic Ocean and the effects of warming water on microscopic life under the ice. The Laboratory provided a Research Education for Undergraduates (REU) stipend for Czoski’s work on this video.

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

More Announcements

Laboratory’s Biofuel Research Highlighted in Portland Press Herald
Algal biofuel research at the Laboratory is a front-page story in the March 17, 2010 Portland Press Herald. The article discusses the goals of the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to Bigelow Laboratory and Boston-based Bodega Algae, LLC to develop methods for growing the large quantities of algae needed for biofuel production.

Library Improvement Project Funded by Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation
We are very pleased to announce that the Laboratory has received a $10,000 grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation to initiate a web-based integrated system for the Bigelow Laboratory Library and Information Center. The library is open to the public and cooperatively serves the scientists and staff of the Laboratory and the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The collection includes over 10,000 volumes and 200 subscriptions. More information is available on the library’s webpage.

Transect Volume 2, Number 1 Available Online
The Winter 2010 issue of Transect, Bigelow Laboratory’s newsletter, is now available online. Articles in the current issue include plans for the Laboratory’s new Blue Biotechnology Center, highlights from the first National Science Foundation-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates Program, and an “Ocean Science Spotlight” on singe cell genomics research at the Laboratory.

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