Making “Lemonade”: Chance Observation Leads to Insight on Microbial Bloom Formation

By Jennifer Tsang A scientific discovery often starts with a chance observation made by open minds who realize its potential. This happens over and over again in the MBL’s Advanced Research Training courses. In 2014, students and faculty in the MBL’s Microbial Diversity course made such a serendipitous observation. A team followed up on it […]

The Legendary, Mysterious Giant Squid’s Genome is Revealed

Contact:; 508-685-33525 WOODS HOLE, Mass. — How did the monstrous giant squid – reaching school-bus size, with eyes as big as dinner plates and tentacles that can snatch prey 10 yards away — get so scarily big? Today, important clues about the anatomy and evolution of the mysterious giant squid (Architeuthis dux) are revealed […]

On the Frontline of Climate Change

For more than 40 years, MBL scientists have been on the frontline of research on Cape Cod and worldwide to understand how ecosystems function, respond to stress, and recover—or not. With a deep understanding of Cape Cod ecosystems borne from decades of research, MBL scientists are best positioned to predict and mitigate the impacts of […]

From Crab Studies, a Broader Approach to Identifying Brain Cells

Contact:; 508-289-7423 By Raleigh McElvery WOODS HOLE, Mass. – A longstanding goal in neuroscience is to classify the brain’s many cells into discrete categories according to their function. Such categories can help researchers understand the complex neural circuits that ultimately give rise to behavior and disease. However, there’s little consensus about what metrics should […]

The Winners of the 2019 MBL Photo Contest

The Marine Biological Laboratory is excited to announce the winners of the 2019 MBL Photo Contest. We received dozens of stunning images of life science specimens and macro photos highlighting MBL research. Below are the 12 photos chosen by our judges. Photo winners are featured on the 2020 Marine Biological Laboratory calendar, now available online […]

The Good News: Wetlands Can Keep Up with Sea Level Rise to Offset Climate Change

By Stephanie M. McPherson WOODS HOLE, Mass. — Coastal wetlands provide stunning views and are hosts to  a vast biodiversity. But they provide another service to the warming Earth: they capture carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it in their sediment at high rates. In the United States alone, coastal wetlands can offset the yearly […]

High School Students Discover Science in the Nipam Patel Lab

By Sophia Kelly Patel Lab, Marine Biological Laboratory This month, we were fortunate to take a break from our day-to-day lab work to host a group of 25 high-school students from the Glenbard East High School in Lombard, Illinois, and the Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas. We reinforced Nipam’s colorful lectures on development through hands-on […]

Video of Coral Growing Wins Nikon Small World In Motion Contest

Contact: Diana Kenney, Marine Biological Laboratory; 508-289-7139 WOODS HOLE, Mass. —  Philippe Laissue of University of Essex, U.K., a Whitman investigator at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), has won first place in the Nikon Small World in Motion Competition, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious scientific video competitions. Laissue’s beautiful, winning video […]

Caught on Camera: The Bacterial Communities ‘Hitchhiking’ on Marine Plastic Trash

Contact:; 508-685-3525 WOODS HOLE, Mass. – Millions of tons of plastic trash are fouling the world’s ocean, most of it tiny pieces of microplastic less than a quarter-inch in size. Even the smallest marine animals can ingest these microplastics, potentially threatening their survival. Marine microplastics aren’t floating solo, either – they quickly pick up […]

Deepening Diversity: First In-Depth Study of Marine Fungi and Their Reproduction Emerges from MBL

Contact: Diana Kenney; 508-289-7139 By Stephanie McPherson WOODS HOLE, Mass. — Marine fungi have long been overlooked in the research community, despite their likely contributions to the health of ocean ecosystems. Now, a first deep dive into the diversity of marine fungi and their cell division cycles has been published by a collaborative team […]