Seagrass & Algae

The waves washed up a lot of seagrass and algae on Bulabog Beach, Boracay, Philippines on a recent stormy day. I collected a few samples to prepare for marine biology classes with Foldscopes. I first examined the specimens for hitchhikers like this juvenile sea urchin and returned them to the sea. There were two seagrasses…

Symsagittifera roscoffensis

I have the chance to live by the sea in the north west of France, in Brittany. Here, it’s quite easy to sample Symsagittifera roscoffensis directly on the beach during the low tide. They basically look like this under the foldscope : These free-living acoelomorph worms, formerly called Convoluta roscoffensis, have a characteristical green color…

Micro Fairy at UCMerced ponds

I had fantastic day working with students , undergrads, local high school students – teaching and testing foldscope. We had around 60 participants with lots of high school students from local areas. I am personally inspired to meet the students; and really excited to see what they share and post with the community. Happy to…

Manu Prakash demonstrating time lapse with foldscope

The video presents Manu Prakash demonstrating how to capture time-lapse using foldscope and a smartphone.  The audio is clear enough to understand the trick used.     The outcome of the activity is presented in this video posted by Manu Prakash:

Freshwater algae?

I recently examined a water sample from the reservoir at Pinnacles National Park in California. I saw some cool  cells–I think they are filamentous algae? I am intrigued by the alternation of clear and green (chlorophyll containing) regions. This post is part of Stanford BIO60  

Surveying store supplements

Algae based supplements have become relatively common in the American market over the past 10 years and I’ve always been curious to assess 1) Is the organism on the label the same in the container? 2) Is the organism on the label the only organism in the container.  At Wholefoods in Berkeley I purchased the…

Algae: The Unsung Hero of the Intertidal

Hello Foldscopers! When people visit the intertidal, most think about all the animals they can see: limpets, urchins, hermit crabs…the list goes on and on.  Quietly, in the background, algae is playing an important role for those organisms. They cover rocks in various shapes and sizes; providing nutrients, habitat, and even protection from the sun.  This…

First shot with Foldscope

I’m not sure what this is, but it seems like an arthropod. While I was waiting my Foldscope to arrive to Argentina, I prepared a small pond water container with some decaying algae, copepods and water fleas. The first image is a stalk of 3 pictures taken with the Foldscope. The creature shown was less than…

A food web in a fluid droplet (algae, rotifers, and anemone)

In my ongoing quest to explore marine microfauna, I recently observed rotifers under a Foldscope. Like many motile marine invertebrates, rotifers use cilia to maneuver through the water column. They also use these cilia to feed by generating currents.  The anterior end of the animal is in the top right of the pictures, and there…

Symbiosis!

Aiptasia are unusual beasts. To a naive eye, these palm-like anemone could easily be confused for plants. In fact, aquarists often refer to them as weeds, owing to their ability to rapidly grow and multiply in seawater aquaria. These creatures are most definitely animals. However, they do serve as a home for photosynthetic algae (dinoflagellates). In…

Swimming dynamics of a mono-flagellated algae – “cow boy algae”

Continuing my theme of documenting pond scum with Foldscope; I decided to focus this post on a beautiful algae I discovered in pond water collected from “Abbotts Lagoon This was a remarkable ecosystem; with water from the ocean meeting sand dunes as far as eye could see and a saltwater lagoon merging talk grass on…