Yarmouth, ME: Laboratory instrumentation manufacturer Fluid Imaging Technologies, Yarmouth, Maine (www.fluidimaging.com) has awarded its 2012 FlowCAM® Student Equipment and Travel Grant to Amanda Wenczel, a Ph. D. candidate in Ecology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Based at the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory, Port Norris, N.J., Ms. Wenczel is to study coastal ecosystem restoration including determining effective approaches for promoting healthy habitats to grow oysters, clams and other bivalve shellfish. Wenczel plans to use the FlowCAM particle imaging and analysis system to measure the size of individual phytoplankton cells and identify their species to help establish whether the bivalves demonstrate a dietary preference for any particular species or size microorganism. The results may also reveal the most efficient bivalve in terms of biofiltration potential, which offers vital knowledge for balancing ecosystem health with the economics of restoration and shellfish farming.
“If we’re to remain a world leader in marine research and be effective stewards in managing ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources, we need support for students from leading companies like Fluid Imaging Technologies,” says Elizabeth (Lisa) Rom, Program Director, Ocean Education for the National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA. “The FlowCAM program is a wonderful example of industry support for the development of our future ocean science workforce.” The FlowCAM instrumentation automatically images, measures and analyzes thousands of individual particles and microorganisms in seconds, yielding high volumes of reliable data that would be impracticable using microscopy or other technologies. Under the FlowCAM Student Equipment and Travel Grant, the company provides a FlowCAM unit for up to four months with on-site training at no charge and covers the costs of travel to the ASLO Ocean/Ocean Sciences Winter Meeting. For details on submitting a proposal for the 2013 grant, call 207.846.6100.