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

FlowCam Part of GlobalHAB Symposium Intercomparison Study

GlobalHAB is an international scientific program on harmful algal blooms (HABs) that fosters collaborative research efforts aimed at understanding and predicting HAB events in aquatic ecosystems while also providing scientific data to help manage and mitigate their impacts. As part of their efforts to provide a structure for planning and coordinating international activities related to HAB research, the program recently facilitated the GlobalHAB Symposium on Automated Observations of Plankton. FlowCam team members, Savannah Judge and Nicole Gill, traveled to the Kristineberg Marine Research Station in Fiskebäckskil, Sweden to participate. The center’s boat basin is pictured below.

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Topics: Marine Research, News and Events, Harmful Algal Blooms, FlowCam Technology, 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

Recent Notable FlowCam Studies in Aquatic Research

Collage for blog and socialScientists from around the world have been using FlowCam for over 20 years to better understand the ecosystems in our lakes, rivers, and oceans.

As new research is published, we continue to review the literature where FlowCam is utilized for essential and innovative studies in aquatic research. The publications included in our most recent list showcase important FlowCam applications in marine and freshwater research.

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

FlowCam Education an Important Part of 2022 Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting

This May, nine aquatic science organizations will come together in person to host the largest aquatic science conference in history. The 2022 Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting "is designed to bring together deep, multidisciplinary subject-matter expertise to collaboratively educate one another and solve the complex environmental problems facing our society and our planet today".

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

Announcing our 2022 FlowCam Aquatic Grant Program

The FlowCam Aquatic Research Equipment & Travel Grant is now accepting applications for the 2022-23 academic year. This popular equipment grant, now in its 5th year, provides an opportunity for graduate students and undergraduate faculty members to apply for the use of a FlowCam instrument for the semester of their choice, plus funding to attend a conference to present their work.

Pictured here:  2020 award recipient Savannah Mapes, a graduate student in the Reece Lab at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), using a FlowCam 8100.

Graduate applicants are eligible for a FlowCam 8000 (8100 or 8400) and undergraduate applicants are eligible for a FlowCam 5000.

 

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

FlowCam Customer Methodologies to be Presented at the 2nd Annual Virtual Harmful Algal Bloom Research Symposium

In early January, the Algal Bloom Action Team, a collaboration of water professionals, researchers, and educators from twelve states in the North Central Region of the United States is hosting its 2nd annual Virtual Harmful Algal Bloom Research Symposium. Team members include the national network of Water Resources Research Institutes (WRRI), the North Central Region Water Network, and university extensions within each state in the North Central Region. The free-to-attend symposium will bring together researchers from across the US to present and discuss the latest developments in HAB research and outreach. Presentations will cover four different topics:

  • HAB Monitoring and Ecology
  • Cyanotoxin Treatment and Detection
  • Forecasting and Modeling HABs
  • Emerging Technology for Detecting and Monitoring HABs
Virtual Harmful Algal Bloom Research Symposium 2022
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Topics: Freshwater Research, News and Events, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater), User Spotlight, Aquatic Research

FlowCam Cyano is Part of a Proactive Water Quality Monitoring Effort

This past summer in June, The Gaffney Board of Public Works (GBPW), in South Carolina, issued a water quality advisement and posted signs around Lake Welchel in Cherokee County. An algal bloom on a portion of the lake exceeded the state’s water quality standards for Microcystis, a type of toxic cyanobacteria.

Microcystis FlowCam Cyano 10X - croppedLyngbya (002)

Pictured above, Microcystis (left) and Lyngbya (right) as imaged by FlowCam.

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Topics: Invasive Species, Harmful Algal Blooms, Municipal Water (Drinking/Wastewater)

Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians Integrate FlowCam into Environmental Stewardship Programs

The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI) recently received long-awaited funding to purchase a FlowCam Cyano instrument, after first learning about FlowCam at an east coast workshop a few years ago. CTCLUSI makes up three tribes (4 bands) who all reside in close proximity to one another along the Coos River Tributaries in Oregon. According to the CTCLUSI website:

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

Community Groups Take HAB Monitoring Into Their Own Hands, Recognize Need for Formal Strategic Guidelines

Harmful algal blooms can have a detrimental effect on the environment and on human and animal health. As a result of climate change, water utilities are experiencing these events with increasing frequency. Historically, many water monitoring agencies have not had a plan in place to proactively monitor for cyanobacteria, but rather found themselves reacting to the effects of a bloom after the fact.

Last month, the US EPA released a report that addresses concerns within the agency about the lack of a cohesive, agency-wide plan to monitor freshwater bodies for harmful algal blooms (HABs):

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