The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is an international center for research and education in biology, biomedicine and ecology. Founded in 1888, the MBL is the oldest independent marine laboratory in the Americas, taking advantage of a coastal setting in the Cape Cod village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts. As of 2009, 54 MBL-affiliated scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize.
The MBL has three main research centers: the Ecosystems Center; the Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution; and the Whitman
Center for Research and Discovery.Each year, hundreds of scientists from around the World
come to the MBL to conduct research. Often, they form collaborations at the MBL that continue throughout their professional lifetimes.The MBL and Brown University share a research and educational affiliation, The Brown-MBL Partnership, which includes a Ph.D.-awarding Graduate Program in Biological and Environmental Sciences.
The MBL is a cornerstone institution in the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) project, a global initiative to electronically document all 1.8 million named species on Earth. The MBL is home to the EOL's Biodiversity Informatics Group, which is developing the software infrastructure for the EOL. Also, the MBLWHOI Library is a member of the Biodiversity Heritage Library consortium, which is providing content to the EOL by digitizing thousands of books and other publications on natural history and the biological sciences.