Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences Senior Research Scientist Ramunas Stepanauskas was in the enviable position of being asked to be in two different countries to accept two separate awards recognizing his significant contributions to science at the same time. Stepanauskas opted to travel to his native Lithuania to accept the Lithuanian Ministry of Science and Education award for achievements in science. The award was presented in Vilnius, Lithuania on November 4.
On November 5, Bigelow Laboratory Executive Director Graham Shimmield traveled to Freeport to accept the second award designating Stepanauskas as a “Nexter,” one of the ten people shaping the future of Maine's economy. MaineBiz selected Stepanauskas in recognition of his work in identifying secrets of microbial life in the deep ocean and his global collaborations. Stepanauskas is also director of the Single Cell Genomics Center at the Bigelow Laboratory in East Boothbay.
“It is with great pleasure that I accept this award on behalf of Ramunas Stepanauskas, whose vision, curiosity, and innovation led to the creation of the world’s first Single Cell Genomics Center. It has led to major discoveries in microbial ecology, evolution, and is helping to advance discovery and commercialization of new products based on biological resources. We are particularly delighted that the Center is part of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences for it allows all of our scientists the opportunity to see use the genetic material of microbes to increase understanding of how they help to keep the planet in balance.”
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, an independent not-for-profit research institution on the coast of Maine, conducts research ranging from microbial oceanography to large-scale ocean processes that affect the global environment. Recognized as a leader in Maine’s emerging innovation economy, the Laboratory’s research, education, and technology transfer programs are spurring significant economic growth in the state.