Are you studying marine, freshwater or estuarine ecosystems with a focus on microorganisms or other particles?
Wouldn't you love a method to streamline your research and speed up the tedious process of manual microscopy?
If yes, then keep reading to learn more about the research equipment and travel grant program. We are renewing this decade-old program after a 4 year hiatus and adding a new program for undergraduate students and professors.
Applicants who submit their research proposal will have an opportunity to win the use of a FlowCam for up to 4 months, plus remote software licenses, training and ongoing technical support.
Additionally, the winner will receive registration and travel funds to attend a scientific conference in North America, such as ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, within 12 months of project completion.
At the time of her FlowCam award, Keara was a master’s student at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER) at the University of Windsor (Ontario), where she compared the FlowCam to traditional microscopy to detecting and identifying rare zooplankton.
“I am very appreciative that Fluid Imaging Technologies has chosen me to receive this award. Use of the FlowCam is essential to completing my master’s degree, and this award will allow me to use the instrument at my University. I hope to understand the FlowCam’s ability to find rare species, specifically rare non-native or invasive species, so that preventative action can be taken in order to protect our natural environments.” Keara presented her work the 2016 International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) conference and Hydrobiologia published her paper in 2017. You can read the paper here.
Today, Keara is a water quality technician in the Stone Laboratory at The Ohio State University. “Our research is focused on harmful algal blooms in the western basin of Lake Erie. In fact, we just got a new FlowCam delivered recently, and we are hoping to start integrating it into our research projects soon.”
Karen received the 2011 FlowCam grant as a master’s student at San Francisco State University for her research on copepod feeding dynamics in the San Francisco Estuary.
“The summer I got the award I was about to start the second year of my masters program and had designed an exciting but complicated experiment to measure the phytoplankton prey of an herbivorous copepod,” Karen wrote. “The problem with my experiment was that I needed to rapidly enumerate and identify phytoplankton in up to 48 individual bottles, and I only had a couple of hours to find out what was in the bottles before the rapid growth rates of the phytoplankton would throw off my results. The FlowCam saved me and made this quick work possible! Days or months later I could use the software to verify the automatic sorting, categorize the harder-to-identify particles, and use the data on abundance and size to publish my results!” Karen’s work was published in the Marine Ecology Progress Series in 2017. Read her paper here.
Today Karen is an Environmental Program Manager at the Delta Science Program in the San Francisco area. She leads a team of five scientists working to support the use of science in planning for ecosystem restoration and water management projects in the Delta. For more about Karen’s work, check out @KarenKayfetz on Twitter!