Impact of Turbulence and Growth Rate on the Scattering Signatures of Marine Phytoplankton
BIGELOW LAB FOR OCEAN SCIENCES WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR ME
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The long-range goal of my ONR-sponsored research has been to use bio-optical techniques to understand the distributions of phytoplankton, in space and time in the sea. An important control in this effort is to examine physical factors which affect particle size and shape which would change their optical volume scattering function. Turbulent shear is one such process which can have profound effects on the shape of large cells, and the length of filamentous chains and is the focus of my work in year 1. In year 2, I will focus on a method for identifying particles in the sea using their depolarization scattering properties. Phytoplankton species contain unique arrays of organelles and subcellular particles which depolarize light to varying degrees. I am using the angular dependence of depolarization to aid in identification of phytoplankton species and other particles.