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Fouled But Flowing

Ian Hanley, first mate on WHOI's coastal research vessel Tioga, oversees offloading a FlowCytobot, which uses a laser to count and identify tiny marine plants called phytoplankton. The instrument spent several months at the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MCVO) and, although it came back covered on the outside with marine life, automated systems help keep FlowCytobot internally clean so it can continue making measurements even when fouled. FlowCytobot was developed by WHOI researchers Rob OlsonAlexi Shalapyonok, and Heidi Sosik and has been operating at MVCO since 2003, allowing scientists to track long term changes at the base of the ecosystem. (Photo by Taylor Crockford, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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