The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) invites qualified individuals to become members of the MBL Society. From its inception in 1888, the MBL Society has been guided by scientists who are invested in the MBL and its future.  Under authority established by the Board of Trustees, members of the MBL Society serve in an advisory capacity and as a resource to provide scientific and other guidance at the request of the MBL leadership.

The MBL Society has hundreds of Members and Emeritus Members, who comprise scientists, dedicated alumni, and committed and informed friends with a history of discovery at, commitment to, and interest in the MBL and its programs.

Members of the MBL Society are led by a Speaker of the Society who is appointed by members of the MBL Society.  The current Speaker is Anne Hart and she is guided by an MBL Society Steering Committee.

More information on the MBL Society can be found in the Bylaws and the MBL Society Membership Criteria and Procedures document. The latter document was adopted by the MBL Director in July 2020 and is primarily based on two MBL Society proposals approved by majority vote of Society members in August 2019. To ensure the adopted procedures are compliant with the MBL’s governing Bylaws, minor modifications were made to procedures outlined in the two MBL Society proposals; this resulted in the final 2020 Criteria and Procedures document found here. Membership dues were eliminated in the original two MBL proposals and, consequently, also eliminated in the final Criteria and Procedures document. The two original MBL Society proposals can be found here.

Why Join the MBL Society? We hope you will help grow the Society by to embracing your history with the MBL and applying for membership.

As a Society member you:

  • Are invited to participate in the MBL Society Annual Meeting and reception
  • Are eligible for nomination of and election to the MBL Society Science Council and the MBL Society Community Council
  • Are eligible for nomination of and election as Speaker of the MBL Society*
  • Will receive regular communication from the MBL Society Science Council and Community Council Chairs following Council meetings
  • Have year-round access to the MBL Lillie Library on weekdays, 9am – 5pm, and you are eligible to apply for extended hours across seven days per week, 7am – 11pm
  • Receive free online subscription to the Biological Bulletin
  • Receive a discount (10%) at the MBL Gift Shop

* Students and postdoctoral Fellows not eligible

Annual Renewal:

To remain a Society member in good standing, members (excluding Emeritus members) must opt-in yearly via annual MBL Society reminders sent to members. For additional questions regarding the renewal process, you may contact

In lieu of dues, annual donations to the MBL Annual Fund are encouraged and are tax-deductible to the Society member.

Minimum suggested level of donation:

Regular Investigators $100
Beginning Investigators $50
Postdoctoral Researchers and Graduate Students $25
Emeritus Members $100

Applying for Society Membership

A complete application includes: 1) a filled-in application form, 2) a CV, and 3) two endorsements by current Society members. To use the form, you must have the latest version of Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. 

The application form should be filled out, saved, and e-mailed with your CV as an attachment to Endorsements may be e-mailed separately to The Science Council and Community Council will review applications for approval at their meetings during the year.

MBL Society Annual Meeting

The Speaker of the MBL Society presides over an Annual Meeting each summer for Members and Emeritus Members in good standing.  The MBL Director and the Chairs of Science and Community Councils provide annual reports during the Business Meeting. The meeting emphasizes transformative ideas and cutting-edge research being conducted by scientists throughout the MBL, and the highlight is a scientific symposium, bringing renewed emphasis and engagement of the MBL Society in the MBL’s scientific mission and new strategic directions.

Science Council

The MBL Science Council is an advisory group consisting of not more than 15 scientists elected by Members of the MBL Society in good standing. Science Council is one of the major advisory groups that provide their support, knowledge, and experience to the leadership of the MBL.

Community Council

The MBL Community Council is an advisory group consisting of not more than 15 members elected by Members of the MBL Society in good standing. Community Council will advise on general aspects of MBL community life connected to and essential for the MBL research and education missions, but not the research or education missions themselves.