FlowCam - Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

FlowCam Used to Detect CyanoHABs in African Fish Farms

Freshwater aquaculture is gradually becoming common practice in sub-Saharan Africa. Rural farmers raise fish in ponds for subsistence, to boost their family’s protein intake, and to earn supplemental income to help pay to send their children to school. Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) in these ponds, and in general, are starting to gain attention in Africa, as they can impact livestock and human health.

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Topics: Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, User Spotlight, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting Brings FlowCam Users Together to Share Research

In May 2022 our FlowCam Aquatic Team attended the Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting (JASM) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This historic meeting brought together scientists from nine different societies to form the largest gathering of its kind in history. It was a welcome change after two years of virtual meetings and limited in-person collaboration. 

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, News and Events, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), User Spotlight, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Announcing the 2022 FlowCam Aquatic Grant Winner

We are happy to announce the winner of the 2022 FlowCam Aquatic Research Grant, Kelsey Meyer, a Ph.D. candidate studying marine biology at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) College of Life Sciences and Agriculture in Dr. Bonnie Brown's research group. Kelsey is pictured here holding a European Green Crab (also referred to as the green crab).

Kelsey oversees Dr. Brown's lab field sampling efforts which include taking samples from Great Bay Estuary (GBE) in southeastern New Hampshire. Specifically, Kelsey's Ph.D. research aims to determine the extent to which green crabs are a predator of oysters, and if so, at what specific life stage for each species.

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Topics: Marine Research, Invasive Species, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Our FlowCam Team Tours the Aquaculture Facilities at the University of New Hampshire

In April of 2022, we brought FlowCam to NACE, the Northeast Aquaculture Conference and Exhibition, in Portland, Maine, a stone's throw from our FlowCam headquarters in Scarborough. FlowCam is frequently used in aquaculture operations to detect harmful algae and to monitor the health and growth of larvae.

About 15 conference attendees had the opportunity to take a side trip to tour the aquaculture facilities at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), not far away. That morning we caravanned down to UNH's Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex in New Castle, New Hampshire. The complex is located at the mouth of the Piscataqua River and shares space with a US Coast Guard base. After a quick round of introductions, our guides, Erich Berghahn and Michael Doherty,  brought us to the Coastal Marine Laboratory (CML). Here, we learned about lump fish (pictured here), a species found in the Gulf of Maine that has been used as a cleaner fish to remove sea lice from farmed salmon. At the CML, we saw lump fish of all sizes and saw how they are cultivated in the lab for research. 

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Topics: Marine Research, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

FlowCam Used to Study Algae Cultures: Training New Users on Gran Canaria

This week FlowCam Applications Scientist, Kay Johnson, visited the Canary Islands to train a new team of FlowCam users at ITC (Instituto Tecnólogico de Canarias). ITC in Pozo Izquierdo is using a FlowCam 8400 with 488nm laser to monitor marine phytoplankton. The team was originally trained by Nicole Gill when they first purchased the FlowCam in 2019, but this year a new group of scientists from Italy and Serbia have joined their team. 

Pictured here (left to right): Kay Johnson, Flavio Guidi, Tonia Principe, Marianna Venuleo, Maca Golezalaz, Zivan Gojkovic 

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Topics: Materials Applications, Algae Technology, Marine Research, User Spotlight, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

FlowCam Can Assess Cell Viability Using Fluorescein Diacetate (FDA) Stain

Determining whether algal cells are alive or dead is useful for a variety of applications including, but not limited to: wastewater analysis, algaecide testing, mesocosm experiments, and ballast water monitoring. Viability staining is a common approach used in flow cytometry to evaluate the relative abundance of live and dead cells in a sample. The FlowCam 8400, equipped with a laser, digital camera, and 2 channels of fluorescence detection, can be paired with various fluorescent stains to assess the viability of algal cells. Here we will describe how to pair an example of one such stain, fluorescein diacetate (FDA), with the FlowCam 8400 equipped with a 488nm blue laser.

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, FlowCam Technology, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

Introducing the FlowCam Aquatic Image Galleries

We are happy to announce that we have made available curated galleries of our favorite aquatic images from around the world, in a variety of applications. Are you curious what your water samples would look like when analyzed on the FlowCam? Check out all of the images in our galleries, or peruse below for a sampling of what's available. This is only a small sampling of what the FlowCam is capable of; please contact us if you'd like to see more.

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Topics: Algae Technology, Marine Research, Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

New Streamlined FlowCam Supports Shellfish Aquaculture

In order to reduce unnecessary travel and keep our team safe,  we have canceled our foreseeable conference appearances. In lieu of attending the Annual Meeting of the National Shellfisheries Association this month, they have provided us a platform to tell the story of the FlowCam and how it can benefit the Shellfish Aquaculture Industry. What follows below is taken from their quarterly newsletter and explains how the new FlowCam 5000 can support this industry.

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Topics: News and Events, User Spotlight, Aquaculture

Aker BioMarine Purchases FlowCam for use on Krill Harvesting Vessel - Antarctic Endurance.

Aker BioMarine (ABM) is a biotech, fishing, marine research and krill harvesting company. They recently purchased a FlowCam for use on their krill harvesting vessel, the Antarctic Endurance.  They plan to use the FlowCam to monitor the phytoplankton that the krill eat, in order to maintain a sustainable krill fishery.  

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Topics: Marine Research, Aquaculture, Aquatic Research

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