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oil drops, plankton drops

Tiny Things in a Big Ocean

As part of WHOI's response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, biologist Cabell Davis dispatched to the Gulf of Mexico with a new digital holographic camera system—the holocam. He and MIT/WHOI Joint Program graduate student Nick Loomis have been developing the holocam to identify and measure small phytoplankton and zooplankton in the ocean, but they quickly adapted the device to take images and measurements of similarly tiny oil droplets in seawater. The holocam captured these images in the Gulf. Clockwise from upper left: oil droplets, a fish egg, a crustacean larva, and a zooplankton called a larvacean. (Photo courtesy of Cabell S. Davis, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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