Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences has received a total of $543,189 to conduct research to better understand the distributions of trace chemical elements and their isotopes in the oceans. This funding was awarded through the National Science Foundation.
“Bigelow Laboratory is a leader in efforts to study microbes and their effect on processes within our oceans,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “The health of our oceans is vital not only to the fishing industry, but to the entire global ecosystem. This investment will help the skilled oceanographers and scientists at Bigelow Laboratory improve the health of sea life by better understanding the uptake and removal of micronutrient metals.”
Many trace metals, such as iron, manganese and zinc, are essential for life and serve as nutrients for phytoplankton. However, regions of the Pacific and Southern Oceans have very low concentrations of iron and manganese in particular, limiting the growth of phytoplankton at times.
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is an independent, nonprofit research institute located in East Boothbay. From the Arctic to the Antarctic, Bigelow Laboratory scientists use innovative approaches to study the foundation of global ocean health and unlock its potential to improve the future for all life on our planet.