FlowCam - Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

Boston University Students use FlowCam to Analyze Oyster Habitats from Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island

Nick Ray (PhD Candidate) and Gretchen McCarthy (Senior) from the Boston University Marine Program (BUMP) came to visit our FlowCam lab in Scarborough this week. Nick Ray had used a FlowCam in 2016 in Dr. Robinson Fulweiler's lab when he was a recipient of our Student Equipment Grant. Gretchen has worked in this lab since she was a freshman. She's planning to begin graduate school next year and will focus her studies on fisheries and aquaculture.

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Topics: Marine Research, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Norwegian Research Group Studies Krill in Antarctica using FlowCam

In the Austral Summer of 2018-2019 a Norwegian research group aboard the RV Kronprins Haakon, an ice-breaking polar research vessel, traveled to the Antarctic on a research mission with two objectives: 1) to update the estimate of biomass and distribution of krill off the coast of West Antarctica and 2) to become educated on the marine environment in this area for the purpose of implementing a Feed-Back Management (FBM) system, allowing fishery managers to set catch limits based on current ecosystem health.

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Topics: Marine Research, User Spotlight, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

FlowCam Assists Harmful Algal Bloom Mitigation in Salmon Aquaculture

In 2016, 23 million salmon died from a harmful algal bloom (HAB) at a farm in Chile.  The economic cost of  that die-off is estimated to have been $800 million.  The impact of such mortality events is serious.  Grieg Seafood is employing cutting-edge technology to expand monitoring, stay ahead of HABs, and keep their fish stocks healthy.

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Topics: Harmful Algal Blooms, Aquaculture

The Oyster's Effect on Silica Cycling and Diatom Abundance in Temperate Estuaries

Nicholas Ray, Boston University PhD Candidate, collecting samples in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, for his study on the oyster's effect on silica cycling and estuarine health. (Credit: Nicholas Ray)

Nicholas Ray, PhD candidate at Boston University, was the 2016 recipient of the Fluid Imaging Technologies student research grant program.  Applicants submit proposals for how they intend to use the FlowCam within the scope of their research, and the winner is awarded the use of a FlowCam for a 4-month period. Fluid Imaging Technologies also provided Ray with a paid registration to the 2017 Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) Conference where he gave an oral presentation on his research. 

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, User Spotlight, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Salmon Aquaculture Leader Grieg Seafood Purchases 3 FlowCams to Mitigate Harmful Algal Blooms

Historically, Grieg Seafood has relied upon manual microscopy to identify and count algae as they monitored for HABs and to determine if there was a need to employ mitigation strategies. On any given day, there could be upwards of 100 species of algae, and using manual microscopy can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. The quality of the analyzed data is not consistent, and the process is prone to error.

Grieg Salmon Aquaculture pens in Shetland Scotland

Grieg Seafood plans to use the FlowCam to make more informed decisions around HAB monitoring. They have the experience and the judgment to make the right calls. What they need is more data.

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Topics: Harmful Algal Blooms, Aquaculture

Fluid Imaging Technologies Announces 2016 Aquatic Research Student Equipment and Travel Grant Recipient

SCARBOROUGH, Maine - June 7, 2016 - Laboratory instrumentation manufacturer Fluid Imaging Technologies, Scarborough, Maine has awarded its 2016 Aquatic Research Student Equipment and Travel Grant to Nicholas Ray, Ph.D. student, Boston University, Department of Biology, Boston, Massachusetts under the supervision of Dr. Robinson Fulweiler. His proposal, Bivalve Control of Coastal Phytoplankton Communities, was selected after a series of in-depth reviews by a panel of independent aquatic scientists. Judging criteria included scientific merit, appropriate use of the FlowCam® and the ability to obtain measurable results during a research period of four months. 

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Topics: News and Events, User Spotlight, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Maine algae community to capitalize on growing business opportunities

While aquafarmers in Maine have been harvesting seaweed for nearly 80 years, for a variety of uses and products, in recent years wild harvests have not been able to meet market demand for some species. The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) has stepped in to provide $50,000 to help form a Maine “algal cluster” that would include those involved in both macroalgae and microalgae to help the industry take advantage of a growing market. The funds awarded under MTI’s cluster initiative program will “encourage innovation and foster growth of a sustainable, ecologically sound and profitable algal industry in Maine.”
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Topics: News and Events, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research