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Semi-automated microscope will take UNE research to the next level

Professor Markus Frederich is the principal investigator on the grant from the National Science Foundation
Professor Markus Frederich is the principal investigator on the grant from the National Science Foundation

September 21, 2016

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $118,000 to the University of New England to purchase a FlowCam Imaging Particle Analysis System. A FlowCam is a semi-automated microscope to analyze plankton and other particles in water samples. It will allow faculty to take their research in a completely new direction, and allow students access to a state of the art instrument in their classes.

The FlowCam will be used in the Departments of Marine Sciences, Chemistry and Physics, and Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. Acquisition of the FlowCam system will allow faculty and student researchers to extend their current work, or start new projects at the plankton/particulate level. The FlowCam will also be used in teaching in several UNE departments, in local high schools, and will support undergraduate research projects in the context of the ongoing $640,000 NSF TURBO grant.

Markus Frederich, Ph.D., professor of Marine Sciences, is the principal investigator (PI) on this grant. He will use the FlowCam for his work on invasive crustaceans to monitor their larval dispersal. The co-PIs on this grant will utilize the instrument in a variety of ways. Barry Costa Pierce, Ph.D., Henry L. & Grace Doherty Professor of Marine Sciences at UNE, chair of UNE’s Department of Marine Sciences and director of UNE’s Marine Science Center, and Carrie Byron, Ph.D., assistant professor of Marine Sciences will investigate the roles of detritus materials in shellfish aquaculture. Steve Zeeman, Ph.D., professor of Marine Sciences will investigate phytoplankton blooms in Maine lakes. Assistant Professor of Chemistry Eva Rose Balog will investigate elastin-like polymer coacervates.

The community will also benefit from the award. Non-profit organization iXplore will facilitate educational outreach with high school students in Portland to conduct rainwater-monitoring projects.

To learn more about the University of New England’s College of Arts and Sciences, visit www.une.edu/cas

To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions

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