Maine Ocean Lab to Test for Microbes on Solstice

Jun 20, 2014

The Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences will be among 160 sites around the globe that will sample ocean water on the summer solstice to identify naturally occuring microbes.  

Bigelow scientists plan to take the samples during high tide tomorrow morning.  Bigelow research scientist Nicole Poulton says this will provide a global snapshot in time of what the microorganisms are and what they are doing.

"And then the idea would be in the future to be able to do this again," Poulton says. "And as with global climate change, as all in the news we have been hearing lately, we'll be able to see how these microorganism are changing over time."

Poulton says marine microbes sustain a large majority of the life on the planet. She says this year is the first test run for the European Union initiative to see how it works and what sort of data is produced.