Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

Semi-automated method for detecting and counting cells of cyanobacterial colonies and filaments


Cyanobacteria Microcystis & Anabaena imaged by FlowCamAt the 2nd Interdisciplinary Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms (IFHAB) Workshop in Toronto, Ontario (April 16-18, 2018) Sales Representative Frances Buerkens presented a session on how the FlowCam was used by scientists from the California Department of Water Resources to estimate cell abundance of colonial Microcystis.


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Topics: Freshwater Research, News and Events, Harmful Algal Blooms

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

Monitoring for Taste & Odor Algae at Newport News Waterworks

I recently had the opportunity to speak with FlowCam users at Newport News Waterworks in the City of Newport News, Virginia.  Serving over 400,000 people the waterworks owns and operates 5 reservoirs and more than 12,000 acres of watershed property.

Sherry Williams is the Water Quality Control Supervisor, and Anna-Maria Miller is the Laboratory Analyst who uses the FlowCam regularly.  They originally bought their FlowCam in 2011 to help monitor for taste and odor algae, as well as filter clogging algae.  Recently they took advantage of a trade-in/upgrade option and are soon getting a new FlowCam Cyano to monitor for harmful cyanobacteria. 


Anabaenopsis, one type of cyanobacteria responsible for the blooms in Newport News resevoirs. PC: Newport News Waterworks

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

Monitoring for HABs and Invasive Species with the FlowCam at Big Bear Municipal Water District.

Big Bear Municipal Water District (BBMWD) is a small water utility located in Big Bear California. The MWD is responsible for the overall management of Big Bear Lake, one of Southern California’s premier recreational lakes. BBMWD’s recent purchase of a FlowCam allows them to quickly monitor for harmful algal blooms (HABs) and invasive quagga and zebra mussels.

Maintaining healthy algae populations and preventing HABs are a priority for BBMWD. Foul odors, toxin releases, and wildlife deaths drive visitors away, as well as restrict the use of the lake.  

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

Carnivorous Pitcher Plant Food Web Analysis with Alicia McGrew

Alicia McGrew, a PhD student at the University of Florida, visited Fluid Imaging Technologies headquarters in Scarborough, Maine to get trained on the FlowCam for her upcoming research. I snagged an interview with her to discuss her research and her journey into science. Read on!

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Topics: Freshwater Research, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

FlowCam selected as Algae Industry Magazine Readers' Poll Winner

The 2017 Readers' poll winners were recently announced for Algae Industry Magazine. In the category of laboratory equipment, FlowCam 8000 was awarded Bronze.  

 

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Topics: Algae Technology, Freshwater Research, Aquatic Research

Quantification and Morphological Analysis of Algae Using Dynamic Imaging Particle Analysis

Coral Jane Fung Shek, a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, explored the efficacy and accurary of using dynamic imaging particle analysis, also knowns as imaging flow microscopy, for conducting quantitative morphological analysis of algae, and the accuracy of this method for color sensitivity and algal cell counting. 

 From the Fluid Imaging Technologies Lab: Chlorella vulgaris captured by the FlowCam at 20X

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Topics: Algae Technology, Marine Research, Freshwater Research, FlowCam Technology, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

UNE Students Excited to use FlowCam for Research


On a recent training visit to University of New England's Center for Excellence in Marine Sciences, a few of us lucky folks were given a tour of the Center's Ocean Clusters which house the student-run Phytoplankton Lab.  The Ocean Clusters are a diverse group of student-centered applied research areas spanning from phytoplankton to seaweeds to oysters and mussels and recirculating aquaculture and fisheries ecosystem experiments.  UNE just purchased a FlowCam which will be used by many researchers and students to automate and expedite plankton and particulate research. 

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Topics: Marine Research, Freshwater Research, News and Events, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

McGill University uses a FlowCam for Large Experimental Array of Ponds (LEAP) project

In July one of our technical customer support specialists, Kay Johnson, successfully completed FlowCam training at Gault Nature Reserve, Mont-Saint Hilaire - McGill University in Quebec, Canada. The research team at McGill will use the FlowCam to help with their Large Experimental Array of Ponds (LEAP) project. LEAP has been built at McGill's Gault Nature Reserve and is designed for highly replicated experiments to study how complex aquatic communities respond to environmental stressors. 

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

FlowCam for freshwater lake systems studies in Kazakhstan

Our technical customer support specialist, Heather Anne Wright, traveled to Astana, the capitol city of Kazakhstan to provide FlowCam training at Nazerbayev University. The interest in using FlowCam technology in their imaging analysis repertoire came about from a unique set of conversations between Harry Nelson, our VP of Aquatic Markets and Dr. Natasha Barteneva. Dr. Barteneva is an adjunct professor at Nazerbayev University, but her primary role is Director, Flow and Imaging Cytometry Resource, Harvard Medical School. Harry and Dr. Barteneva met at Bigelow Laboratory’s Algae Culturing Techniques Course in 2014.

While the region is primarily an arid grassland, our new customers at Nazerbayev University are going to be using the FlowCam in freshwater lake systems. To complete their study, Heather Anne accompanied 2 research scientists to the National Park region to sample several of the lake systems. In addition to completing a survey of the National Park region, the team from Nazerbayev will be characterizing the biodiversity in the disappearing Aral Sea.

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Topics: Freshwater Research, User Spotlight, Aquatic Research