Discovery Centers

Bigelow Laboratory’s Discovery Centers provide cutting-edge services that drive discoveries, solutions, and inspiration across the institute. We make many of these same services available to other researchers around the world.

Bigelow Analytical Services (BAS)

Bigelow Analytical Services (BAS) offers expert state-of-the-art analytical services to public and private entities in a variety of fields including marine chemistry, aquaculture, pharmacy, and fisheries. Bigelow Laboratory was the first in the nation to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct quantitative biotoxin analysis to determine shell fish safety that aids in fisheries management.

Center for Algal Innovations (CAI)

Center for Algal Innovations (CAI) is a recently launched Impact Center at Bigelow Laboratory, that has developed from our research on the NCMA Culture Collection. CAI is a research and development engine focused on the translation of basic research on microalgae into commercial outputs and solutions-based applications. CAI has three 'legs', where we support both internal and external contracted research with microalgae, run professional development short courses, and provide fabrication laboratory facilities relevant to microalgae.

Center for Aquatic Cytometry

Established in 1983 by Dr. Clarice Yentsch, the J. J. MacIsaac Center for Aquatic Cytometry housed the first flow cytometer used in aquatic research. Flow cytometry was initially used in medicine to count cancer cells and Bigelow Laboratory scientists pioneered its use to see what resides in aquatic environments.

National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA)

The Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA) is a core facility of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. Established in 1981 and formally recognized as a National Resource Center in 1992, NCMA has grown to be the world’s largest and most diverse collection of marine phytoplankton. NCMA now maintains in its public collection about 3,000 strains of phytoplankton, macroalgae, and bacteria from around the world for scientic and industrial research.

Single Cell Genomics Center (SCGC)

The Single Cell Genomics Center (SCGC) is a core facility of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and the first of its kind in the world. Single cell DNA sequencing, pioneered by scientists at Bigelow Laboratory, reads the genomic blueprints of the most fundamental units of life without the need for cultivation. This powerful approach is used to analyze biochemical properties and evolutionary histories of uncultured microorganisms, which are thought to constitute over 99% of biological diversity on Earth.

Tandy Center for Ocean Forecasting (COF)

Ocean forecasting is a collaborative venture. The Tandy Center for Ocean Forecasting works with stakeholders to develop and deploy real-time ocean forecasting tools for industry, conservation, resource management, communities, and education. The forecasts use cutting edge machine learning algorithms and draw on big data sources ranging from satellites to measurements on the water.

Other Services

High Performance Compute Cluster (HPCC)

The High Performance Compute Cluster at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is the same system used by the brilliant theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.

Seawater Suite

The Seawater Suite provides a continuously flowing seawater system with both filtered and raw seawater for algal production and the capability to replicate ocean conditions in a controlled environment. The system can be used for experiments reflecting natural conditions or creating specific environmental conditions in a tightly controlled, measured way. Multiple-sized vessels provide the flexibility to tailor an experiment, as needed.


Bigelow offers fee-for-service nutrient analysis to both private and public entities from local, national and international researchers in marine chemistry, aquaculture and fisheries. Our experienced scientists and technicians provide the highest quality testing in a timely manner.