Dear Microbial Diversity faculty and staff,

It is with regret that I write to inform you that the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is cancelling the 2020 Microbial Diversity course. As I am sure you are aware, the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus global health emergency have triggered a series of events that require travel constraints, stay at home orders, and social distancing. Given these circumstances, the MBL has a responsibility to protect the health and safety of the entire MBL community, and therefore, has chosen to cancel the course following guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Given the number of participants many of whom would be unable to come to the MBL even if we did hold the course, it is clear that it would not be possible to recreate the full Microbial Diversity experience this summer. If you have any questions regarding the cancellation, please contact George and Rachel are hoping to replicate the course schedule, curriculum and design and they will be in touch soon.  It is unfortunate that this cancellation corresponds to the course’s 50th anniversary celebration, but rest assured that an equally exciting event awaits us in 2021.

The decision and steps being taken to mitigate the spread of the virus are disruptive to all of us and I thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.  MBL will host a virtual town hall for all faculty and staff involved in our Advanced Research Training Courses in the next few weeks.

I hope that most of you will be able to join us in Woods Hole next year.


Nipam H. Patel