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

Studying the Effects of Seasonal Water Differences on Microplankton in the Southeastern Arabian Sea

A research group with CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography in Kochi, India (https://www.nio.org/), has used the FlowCam® to provide new evidence that temporal changes in the coastal waters of the Southeastern Arabian Sea (SEAS) cause size and structure changes in micro-plankton communities. Nutrient-rich coastal areas typically produce large-sized phytoplankton, and nutrient-depleted waters tend to produce smaller phytoplankton. These variations in plankton size can impact the food web, and therefore the economics of the area, where fishing is an important socioeconomic activity. 

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Topics: Marine Research, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

Our Most Popular Blog Posts of 2019

We use our Flow Imaging Microscopy blog as a platform to bring you relevant news and academic research, as well as highlighting developments and new uses of FlowCam technology. This year we published 68 blog posts on a large variety of subjects. Keep reading to see the countdown to the most popular post of 2019.

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Topics: Industrial Applications, Protein Therapeutics, Marine Research, News and Events, Harmful Algal Blooms, FlowCam Technology, Aquatic Research, Biopharmaceutical Research

The FlowCam Cyano for automated analysis of algae and cyanobacteria

Based on proven FlowCam® technology, the FlowCam Cyano automatically identifies cyanobacteria from other algae and particles in aquatic samples. Using a patent-pending combination of excitation wavelength, phycocyanin fluorescence measurement, and image recognition software, the system automates what was previously done using manual microscopy. After differentiating the cyanobacteria from the other algae in the sample, VisualSpreadsheet and Advanced Classifier software can be used to further characterize specific types of algae found in the sample using 40+ physical parameters. 

Keep reading to view our new video and see the inner workings of the FlowCam Cyano, as well as a detailed demonstration of VisualSpreadsheet's automated classification process.

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Topics: Harmful Algal Blooms, FlowCam Technology, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), Aquatic Research

Using the FlowCam to Study Harmful Algae Blooms Around Sanibel Island, Florida

It's hard to imagine a more picturesque location from which to perform one's research than Sanibel Island, Florida. However, as can be seen in the picture at the right, our most beautiful places are not exempt from the effects of climate change. Pictured here is what is commonly known as "red tide", but to Dr. Eric Milbrandt and the researchers at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) is known to be an algal bloom caused by the phytoplankton Karenina brevis.

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Topics: Marine Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

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