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John Hobbie Named Distinguished Scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory

WOODS HOLE, MA—The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) has named Dr. John E. Hobbie a Distinguished Scientist for his outstanding achievements and service to the Laboratory.  Dr. Hobbie is co-director of the MBL’s Ecosystems Center.  He joined the MBL in 1976.

Distinguished Scientist is a special recognition that is bestowed on an MBL scientist with outstanding scientific achievements and service to the scientific community.  Only one other MBL scientist, Dr. Shinya Inoue, currently holds this designation.

As an aquatic ecologist, Dr. Hobbie's research has attempted to identify the factors controlling decompostition and productivity within aquatic ecosystems.  His current research interests center on the role of microbes in freshwater, estuarine, and soil ecosystems.  Field sites for this work are located at the Plum Island estuary on Massachusetts’ north shore and the Toolik Lake Field Station on the North Slope of Alaska.  Both are part of the National Science Foundation’s 26 sites across North America and Antarctica designated as Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Programs.  Dr. Hobbie helped establish the Arctic Long Term Ecological Research LTER site and is the director of the Arctic LTER project, which focuses on the ecology of tundra, streams, and lakes at Toolik Lake.

Dr. Hobbie received a B.A. in Zoology from Dartmouth College, an M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from Indiana University. Following a research associate position at the University of California, Davis and a postdoctoral fellowship at Uppsala University in Sweden, Dr. Hobbie held a faculty position at North Carolina State University from 1965 to 1976, starting as an assistant professor and eventually advancing into full Professor rank.  Dr. Hobbie was Director of The Ecosystems Center from 1984 to 1989 and now serves as its co-director with Dr. Jerry Melillo.

In addition to his work at the MBL, Dr. Hobbie was President of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography from 1984 to 1986, served on the Board of Directors for the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. from 1989 to 2001, and served on the U.S. Arctic Research Commission from 1996 to 2004.  He is currently a member of the LTER Executive Committee.  As director of the Arctic Long Term Ecological Research project, Dr. Hobbie continues as a tireless and effective advocate of coastal and arctic research.

Dr. Hobbie received recognition as an outstanding scientist from the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography when he was awarded the Hutchinson Award for Research for revolutionizing the understanding of the importance of bacteria in natural waters.  In 1988, Hobbie was also awarded the prestigious Tage Erlander Visiting Professor Award from the Royal Academy of Science that supported a year of lectures and research throughout Sweden.

Hobbie has published over 140 research articles and has edited several books. His 1975 paper with Ralph Daley, Direct Counts of Aquatic Bacteria by a Modified Epifluorescene Technique, is known as one of the most cited papers in all of ecology.  He is noted as an author whose writings cover a wide range of topics ranging from arctic limnology to coastal ocean biogeochemistry and microbial activity in oceans, lakes and soils.

A long-time Falmouth resident, Hobbie lives with his wife Olivann, a teacher at Falmouth Academy.  Together they have three sons, Lawrence, an associate professor of biology at Aldelphi University on Long Island, Erik, a research assistant professor of terrestrial ecology at the University of New Hampshire, and David, an attorney in Boston.  Hobbie is the proud grandparent to four granddaughters and one grandson.  In his spare time, he enjoys playing the cello, gardening, running, skiing and sailing.

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The Marine Biological Laboratory is an internationally known, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere.