Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 20 Issue 02

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Volume 20, No. 2
Pages 14 - 15


FROM THE GUEST EDITORS • Introduction to "A Sea of Microbes" Special Issue

By Lita M. Proctor  and David M. Karl 
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In 1688, after seeing a copy of Robert Hooke’s Micrographia, Antony van Leuwenhoek, a Dutchman who worked as a fabric merchant, surveyor, and wine assessor, was inspired to take up lens grinding to observe that which could not be seen by the naked eye. Among other things, he observed bacteria and protists from seawater and other natural habitats. Direct observation of microbes from the marine environment would not be perfected for another 300 years until Hobbie et al. (1977) provided a method for the quantitative estimation of bacteria in the sea. This special issue of Oceanography on “A Sea of Microbes” captures the extraordinary and unimagined advances that have occurred in the few short years since that paper was published.


Proctor, L.M., and D.M. Karl. 2007. From the Guest Editors: Introduction to “A Sea of Microbes” special issue. Oceanography 20(2):14–15, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2007.68.

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