FlowCam® - Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

Tackle Taste and Odor with Proactive Water Quality Monitoring

An article featured this month in the American Water Works Association (AWWA) publication Opflow describes the challenges currently facing water utilities across the country, and lays out a strategy to proactively monitor for cyanobacteria and taste & odor causing algae.

Read More

Topics: Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), User Spotlight

FlowCam Used for Analysis of Diazotrophic Organisms in High-Nitrogen Water

A long-term study undertaken by Chaffin et al. at Ohio State University monitored nutrient levels and phytoplankton growth in the Lake Erie central basin from 2014 until 2017. The purpose of the study was to determine the primary limiting nutrient determining phytoplankton growth, and determine if multiple limiting nutrients existed during this time period. The FlowCam was used to image and analyze phytoplankton species and to estimate biomass and biovolume of the species under consideration.

Read More

Topics: Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, User Spotlight, 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.

Read More

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

Answering Your FAQs about Analyzing Microcystis with the FlowCam

FlowCam customers frequently ask us how to optimize analysis of Microcystis, a globally pervasive colonial cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) which is seen in source water systems and recreational lakes. The colonies can range in size from a few microns up to several thousand microns in diameter. Customers are concerned about losing part of the sample or not being able to capture a quality image due to the colony’s size and density. Dense colonies superimpose cells in the image, making it easy to underestimate cell counts, while large colonies can make it challenging to determine what objective is best used to image the sample.

Question:  What protocol does Fluid Imaging recommend to analyze colonies and scums of Microcystis?

Read More

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

FlowCam Tracks 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 o f 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.

Read More

Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, Aquatic Research

Paleolimnologists Use FlowCam for Microfossil Research

Paleolimnologists study the diatoms, foraminifera, and other microfossils within sediment cores to reconstruct paleoenvironments and understand how they have changed over time. 

Diatoms are among the most common types of phytoplankton, and originated more than 200 million years ago.  They are commonly monitored when studying water quality, both past and present, because of their sensitivity to a variety of ecological conditions. 

Read More

Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, Aquatic Research

Congress Asks for Robust Funding in 2020 to Support Harmful Algae Research

In December 2018, U.S. Congress submitted a letter signed by 61 Congressional Members to the Office of Management and Budget to lobby for increased funding to support harmful algal bloom (HAB) research in 2020.

HAB events are widespread and their effects are diverse. Coordinated studies released in 2017 by the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that 39% of all lakes nationwide contained toxic algae, and cyanobacteria-produced toxins were present in 78% of those lakes at some point during the year. Additionally, 40% more HAB events were reported in 2018 than in 2017. 

Read More

Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, Harmful Algal Blooms, Aquatic Research

FlowCam and VisualSpreadsheet 5.0 Workshop at ASLO Puerto Rico 2019

We will soon be releasing VisualSpreadsheet (ViSP) 5.0, a significant advancement of the FlowCam software.  With ViSP 5.0 you will be able to organize your FlowCam files in a database format, allowing you to analyze multiple runs simultaneously as well as compare and contrast data sets.  This will be especially useful for time-series analyses, longitudinal studies, trend analysis, etc.

    

Read More

Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, News and Events

A Blueprint to Monitor Toxin-Producing Cyanobacteria With the FlowCam

Ensure Safe Drinking Water

Climate conditions are conducive to both harmful algae blooms (HABs) as well as taste and odor events in drinking water with increasing frequency and intensity. As a result, EPA regulations are moving toward requiring cyanobacteria monitoring. Proactive drinking water agencies are seeking a streamlined approach to monitor cyanobacteria and nuisance algae. Unfortunately, there is no single method that answers all the fundamental questions needed to make treatment decisions and ensure a safe water supply:

Read More

Topics: Freshwater Research, News and Events, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater)

New Method for Meiobenthos Analysis Using FlowCam

Researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, and Am-Lab Inc. developed a methodology to use the FlowCam® for analysis of sediment-inhabiting meiobenthos.  

Meiobenthos are small, benthic invertebrates often used as indicators of anthropogenic influence and other natural disturbances. They play a primary role in sediment nutrient cycling and stability in benthic ecosystems. 

Meiobenthos imaged by the FlowCam. Organic matter was stained with Rose Bengal to easily differentiate meiobenthos from inorganic particulates, such as sediment. Imaged organisms are labeled as follows: a) Nematoda; b) Copepoda; c) Nauplius larvae; d) Kinorhyncha; e) Foraminifera. Credit: Kitahashi et al. (2018). 

Optical microscopy, which is labor-intensive and time-consuming, is often the primary technology utilized for analysis of meiobenthos. In this study, Kitahashi et al. developed a method to use the FlowCam and VisualSpreadsheet® for analysis of these small, benthic invertebrates.

Read More

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