The University of Maine and the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Boothbay were awarded two grants Thursday totaling more than a half-million dollars.

The $574,000 will be used to fund a joint study of a marine protozoan parasite that infects oysters. The grants were awarded by the National Science Foundation.

Maine’s U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King made the announcement Thursday in a joint statement.

“This funding will support the innovative collaboration between Bigelow Lab and the University of Maine and further our knowledge of Maine’s marine ecology,” Collins and King said.