MBL | Biological Discovery in Woods Hole Contact UsDirectionsText SizeSmallMediumLarge

Resources for Reporters:

MBL Publications:

Join the Conversation:
Facebook Twitter Youtube Wordpress

Nobel Laureates

press releases

For further information, contact the MBL Communications Office at (508) 289-7423 or e-mail us at comm@mbl.edu

Bookmark and Share

Contact: Andrea Early, (508) 289-7652; aearly@mbl.edu

MBL Establishes New Center for Library and Informatics


Shinya Inoue

Nathan Wilson, the director of Biodiversity Informatics for the Encyclopedia of Life, has been named the director of the Center for Library and Informatics. Full size image.


Holly Miller, director of the MBLWHOI Library, will serve as the associate director of the Center for Library and Informatics.. Full size image.

WOODS HOLE, MA—The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is pleased to announce the creation of the Center for Library and Informatics, a new research initiative that addresses the challenges of data management, promotes data-driven discovery, and develops innovative visualization and analysis tools. The effort brings together the expertise of a host of MBL computer scientists, librarians, information scientists, and life scientists. The MBL has appointed Nathan Wilson as the Center’s director. Holly Miller, director of the MBLWHOI Library, will serve as the associate director of the Center.

Informatics, or the collection, management, and analysis of large data sets, is an increasingly important and exciting research area in all fields of science. The volume of data being generated across science is increasing and, in many fields, novel informatics-driven discoveries are coming into their own. Extracting concise information from these large data sets is a particularly important form of data analysis and characterizes one type of innovative research at the Center. Libraries are also changing in response to new technologies. The library of the 21st century is increasingly a digital environment, with the need for high capacity data storage, sophisticated search and retrieval systems, and remote access from all corners of the world.

“The life sciences are becoming increasingly data-intensive through the growth of high-throughput technologies in molecular biology, intensive data collection for ecology, and massive library digitization programs,” said Gary Borisy, MBL President and Director. “Addressing the challenges of organizing and preserving this data demands a collaborative response. By combining the informatics expertise of a number of scientists and staff in this new Center, we will broaden our ability to promote and support research in the Woods Hole scientific community."

The MBL’s Center for Library and Informatics provides a framework that consolidates 12 existing informatics initiatives at the laboratory including the MBLWHOI Library, Encyclopedia of Life, Data Conservancy, Biology of Aging, Biodiversity Heritage Library, uBio, Global Names Architecture, History and Philosophy of Science, MBL/National Library of Medicine Biomedical Informatics Course, LifeDesks, Enhancing Organism Based Diseases Knowledge, and Woods Hole Data Repository Project.

One of the Center’s goals is to link with existing MBL science programs to find innovative ways for these groups to manage their data and more effectively extract useful biological information. It will also offer expert services for integrating, curating, publishing, and archiving data generated within the MBL as well as external projects to help meet the data management expectations that are increasingly required by funding agencies.

"The Center for Library and Informatics will allow the MBL and the MBLWHOI Library to expand on our considerable past achievements in digital information management and create a cutting edge team that integrates the entire data life cycle—from aggregation to analysis—to maximize the scientific impact of data sets relevant to the MBL,” said Wilson.

Nathan Wilson is the director of Biodiversity Informatics for the Encyclopedia of Life, an online reference and database on all 1.9 million species currently known to science. Prior to joining the MBL, Wilson worked for more than a decade as a software architect and manager in the R&D Department for DreamWorks Animation—famous for such movies as Shrek and Madagascar—where he focused on large-scale collaboration tools and open source software.


The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is dedicated to scientific discovery and improving the human condition through research and education in biology, biomedicine, and environmental science. Founded in 1888 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, the MBL is an independent, nonprofit corporation.