Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

On Board with the BLOOM Educators Program

For six days every spring, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences hosts 16 high school students (one from each Maine county) in East Boothbay, Maine, as part of the Keller BLOOM educational program. Students get a chance to work alongside research scientists studying marine life in the field and in the laboratory.

In recent years, Bigelow has expanded the BLOOM program to include a second session in August - this time for Middle and High School educators.

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Topics: Marine Research, News and Events, Aquatic Research

FlowCam at Bigelow Labs: Flow Imaging vs Manual Microscopy and the study of HABs

Every summer since 2015 scientists from around the country have come to Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine to be trained in harmful algae taxonomy and identification. This training course project is part of NOAA NCCOS’s Monitoring and Event Response for Harmful Algal Blooms (MERHAB) program and is lead by Dr. Michael Lomas.  Bigelow provides the theoretical and hands-on training to our next generation of HAB scientists so that they have the proper tools to effectively and accurately identify HAB species.

Pictured here: phyto- and zooplankton imaged by the FlowCam off the Maine coast

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Topics: Harmful Algal Blooms, Aquatic Research

What is that Algal Bloom in Casco Bay?

Yesterday Heather Anne Wright and I were invited to join the Friends of Casco Bay on a mission to track down and capture samples of the algae bloom taking place in Casco Bay.  Mike Doan skippered the Baykeeper, while Will Everitt and Ivy Fignoca accompanied the group this afternoon on a ride out to Chebeague Island.

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Topics: Marine Research, Invasive Species, Harmful Algal Blooms, Aquatic Research

KISR Uses FlowCam to Study Plankton in the Persian Gulf

Earlier this month, Harry Nelson traveled to Kuwait to train employees of KISR (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) on their new FlowCam Macro, and their 2012 FlowCam VS4. Dr. Rakhesh Madhusoodhanan and his colleagues at the Oceanography Research Group are very excited to expand their research with the use of their new FlowCam. 

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Topics: Marine Research, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

Visit us at NMEA 2019 and see our newest FlowCam in action!

Will you be at the National Marine Educators Association Conference in Durham, NH next week? Stop by our booth in the Strafford Room to see our new FlowCam 5000 in action!  Bring a sample to be analyzed in the booth and see the streamlined efficiency of our new instrument.

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Topics: Marine Research, FlowCam Technology, Aquatic Research

FlowCam Used to Track Larval Oysters with Goals of Population Restoration

In 2018, a research study was performed by our customers, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, using oyster larvae from the Mobile Bay - Mississippi Sound system off the coast of Alabama. There have been concerted efforts to reestablish a flourishing population of oysters and oyster reefs in this area, in order to protect the shoreline and to save the population from rapid decline. An important piece of this puzzle is the ability to track larval transport (the movement of oyster larvae from birth to adult settlements), and this study's aim was to establish a method of tracking these larvae.

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, 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

Effects of Microplastics on Maine Lobster: New Maine Sea Grant Awarded to Bigelow Lab

A Maine Sea Grant has just been awarded to Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science to study the effects on the lobster, one of Maine's most economically and commercially important resources. The ubiquity of marine microplastics is becoming well known. However, the impact of microplastics on ocean life remains poorly understood. 

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Topics: Marine Research, Aquatic Research

FlowCam for Semi-Automated Algae Analysis

How do you analyze algae populations? Algae analysis is simplified using the FlowCam®'s image analysis software VisualSpreadsheet®. While manual identification may still be required for taxonomic purposes, algae identification and population analysis can be achieved with little effort using this system. 

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Topics: FlowCam Technology, Aquatic Research

My Travels with the FlowCam in Asia and the Middle East

When I started at Fluid Imaging Technologies one of the draws of the position was that I would get to see the world. In supporting our customers, I have done exactly that. Recently I was able to spend a significant time abroad traveling to Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and India. I had the opportunity to work with scientists in a variety of industrial and research applications to ensure that their instrument and methodology were optimized for their needs.

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Topics: News and Events, Aquatic Research