Marine scientists from the USA visit the Marine Biological Association

The Marine Biological Association (MBA) welcomed scientists from three USA universities as part of new collaborative project to better understand dynamic sinking behaviour in diatoms.

Dr Glen Wheeler hosted Brad Gemmell, Associate Professor at the University of South Florida, Kevin Du Clos, Assistant Professor at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and Professor Lee Karp-Boss from the University of Maine.

The team of marine scientists have recently published results on their findings of dynamic sinking behaviour in marine diatoms. They have now embarked on a new collaboration with the MBA’s Dr Glen Wheeler and Dr Matthew Keys to better understand the cellular mechanisms that modulate dynamic sinking behaviour in diatoms, as well as how flow dynamics change around single cells during periods of increased sinking velocity.

Taking advantage of some of the MBA’s unique research facilities, the team worked on simultaneous experiments using the group’s already established cell sinking chambers with high resolution optical image recording capabilities.

Glen Wheeler led experiments on the confocal microscope evaluating potential cell membrane processes responsible for cellular buoyancy control, while Matthew Keys led microelectrode experiments, mapping the diffusive boundary layer around a range of diatom cells under flow conditions mimicking the natural environment. This research is expected to continue later this year.