Skip to content


Going With the Flow

Going With the Flow

November 17, 2016

WHOI research associate Alexi Shalapyonok deploys an automated flow cytometer called the FlowCytobot at the WHOI-operated Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO). Developed by WHOI scientists Heidi Sosik and Rob Olson, the FlowCytobot has been used to sample seawater and track levels of phytoplankton at MVCO for the past 13 years. A recent study of the data revealed how changes in ocean temperature affect a key species of phytoplankton, Synechococcus. As ocean temperatures increased during that time, annual blooms of Synechococcus occurred up to four weeks earlier than usual because cells divided faster in warmer conditions. Shifts like these could have a major impact on marine ecosystems worldwide. (Photo by Sean Whelan, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Image and Visual Licensing

WHOI copyright digital assets (stills and video) contained on this website can be licensed for non-commercial use upon request and approval. Please contact WHOI Digital Assets at or (508) 289-2647.