Adam and I, arrived in Puerto Montt after a long journey. Imagine an interesting city in the North of Patagonia that none of the Chileans we met seems to like. We got a chance to visit IFOP where Jorge, our host, is working. Jorge is the reason we came to this side of the world. He launch a project called MicroToxMap in order to monitor the presence of toxic algae in the Gulf of Ancvud be engaging fish & shellfish farmers, local fishermen, students and general public.
In good conditions such as sun and nutrients algae can develop very fast and create a phenomena called “Bloom“. Because some species of phytoplankton are capable of producing toxins, a bloom of toxic phytoplankton can affect human health and aquaculture activities.
Jorge contacted Manu Prakash to use the Foldscope as the way to image the target species. It will be the first time Foldscope is used for a large scale problematic applied marine ecosystem.
Jorge invited us to develop the entire protocol to make sure we can detect very precisely the first target – Alexandrium catenella. In our way to Huinay, our field site, we were luckily exposed to different interesting spots to sample and having the time to image on the way.