The Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolutionwas officially established at the Marine Biological Laboratory in 1996. It is made possible by a generous endowment from the Josephine Bay Paul and C. Michael Paul Foundation which has had a philanthropic interest in the MBL for the past twenty years.
Research at the Center explores the evolution and interaction of genomes of diverse organisms that play significant roles in environmental biology and human health. Projects span all evolutionary time scales, from deep phylogenetic divergence of ancestral prokaryotic and eukaryotic lineages to ecological analyses of how members of diverse communities contribute and respond to environmental change. The Center also houses the Mobile Genetic Element Cluster, which includes MBL-affiliated year-round and summer investigators who are studying mobile DNA, and the Imaging Microbial Diversity Cluster, which includes Bay Paul Center and other MBL investigators who are developing new methods to visualize the diversity of microbes and their spatial relationship. The Center is part of the Brown University - Marine Biological Laboratory Graduate Program in Biological and Environmental Sciences. Most faculty are currently accepting students.