October 27, 2010
Laboratory Receives Over $9.1 Million in Federal Funds to Build the Center for Ocean Health
One of five such awards in the U.S.
On September 29, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded Bigelow
Laboratory a $9.1 million construction grant to build the Center for Ocean Health (COH) on its Ocean Science and Education
Campus in East Boothbay, Maine. COH scientists will conduct advanced research on marine microbial ecosystems and their role
in maintaining the health of the oceans. The facility’s 18,200 GSF main building will be augmented by a 1,000 GSF shore
facility, with research vessel pier and dock space, support for SCUBA operations, and seawater pumping facilities for
laboratory and field research. NIST awarded a total of
$50 million dollars in construction grants for new scientific facilities across the United States. The four other 2010 Construction Grant Program recipients were the Golisano
Institute for Sustainability Research Building at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Center for Civil
Engineering Earthquake Research at the University of Nevada, the Center of Excellence in Nano Mechanical Science &
Engineering at the University of Michigan, and the Western Institute of Nanotechnology on Green Engineering and
Metrology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Reliving the Moment
Photo by Greg Bernard.
If you weren’t able to come to the Ocean Science and Education Campus groundbreaking in September, or if you’d
like to see it happen all over again, we’ve posted a five-and-half minute video of the event on our website,
including excerpts from remarks by U.S. Senator Susan Collins, and footage of the shovels that made it official.
Laboratory Embarks on First U. S. Expedition of the International GEOTRACES Project
Dr. Ben Twining and Sara Rauschenberg at the dock in Lisbon, Portugal.
Sara Rauschenberg, Research Technician in the Trace Metal Biogeochemistry laboratory, has begun a 52-day expedition
on the R/V Knorr to study the distributions of trace metals in the North Atlantic Ocean as part of the large
international project GEOTRACES. Rauschenberg is part of a 32-member team of trace metal chemists from the United
States collecting particles and phytoplankton cells from throughout the water column along a transect running from
Lisbon, Portugal to Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The expedition is part of a three-year National Science Foundation
grant to Senior Research Scientist Dr. Ben Twining. For more information, visit the Current Expeditions page on our website.
Phytoplankton Ecologist Dr. Cynthia Heil Joins Senior Research Scientist Team
We are delighted to announce that Dr. Cynthia Heil will join the Laboratory
as a Senior Research Scientist on November 1. Dr. Heil has been a Senior Research Scientist and
Administrator at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, a division of the Florida Fish & Wildlife
Conservation Commission, where she was subsection leader for harmful algal blooms (HABs) for the
past six years. Her research focus includes the ecology and physiology of phytoplankton, particularly
those involved in HAB events, and the dynamics of inorganic and organic carbon and other nutrients
in coastal and marine environments. Dr. Heil received a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the
University of Rhode Island, an M.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Florida, and a
B. S. in Cellular Biology from Purdue University.
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences ...exploring the world’s oceans, from microbes to global ecosystems
Giant Marine Virus Discovered
Dr. Willie Wilson has co-authored a paper just published in the Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences identifying a new virus that has the largest genome of any marine
virus discovered to date. Called CroV, the virus infects Cafeteria roenbergensis, a predatory marine
microflagellate found throughout the oceans. CroV’s genome has 730,000 base pairs for building DNA, making
it larger than some bacteria. It is able to synthesize its own proteins and sugars, making it more
similar to cellular life forms than previously seen in marine viruses.
A Special Café Scientifique on November 16: Reflections on a Decade of Discovery
Laboratory Executive Director Dr. Graham Shimmield will lead a discussion about the
ten-year global Census of Marine Life (CoML) Program at a special Café Scientifique at 6 p.m. on November 16,
2010 at the Frontier Café in Brunswick, Maine. The CoML, which recently concluded with a week of meetings at
the Royal Society in London, was largest endeavor ever undertaken to understand the biodiversity in the oceans
and human impacts on marine life. More than 2,700 researchers in 670 institutions participated in this global
project. The CoML made direct observation of 120,000 marine species, and discovered 6,000 previously unknown
life forms. Shimmield was Chair of the European sector of CoML Program. The Café is free and open to the public.
Seating is limited, so plan to arrive early.
Poulton Aboard Tara Oceans as Chief Scientist
Bigelow Research Scientist Nicole Poulton has joined the Tara Oceans
expedition as Chief Scientist on the Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires leg of the three-year,
scientific circumnavigation of the world’s oceans. Tara Oceans is bringing together an
international, interdisciplinary team of oceanographers, ecologists, biologists, geneticists,
and physicists to study the diversity of life in the oceans and the impact of global climate
change on oceanic ecosystems.
In the News: Science Daily, October 21, 2010
Emiliania huxleyi, a species of coccolithophore with a global distribution
from the tropics to subarctic waters.
Dr. Barney Balch’s research expedition off the Patagonian coast is featured in
Science Daily’s recent story about “Coccolithophore Blooms in the Southwest Atlantic.” The story
describes the research conducted aboard the R/V Roger Revelle during a period of peak coccolithophore
abundance in December 2008. Coccolithophores are a type of phytoplankton that live in large numbers
throughout the ocean. These microscopic, single-celled plants surround themselves with plates, called
coccoliths, made of calcium carbonate.
Presenting the Coccolithopumpkin... Happy Halloween from all of us!
Pumpkin carving by Ilana Gilg.
Become a part of our discoveries. Your help is more important to us now than ever before. Thank you!