'C' Food: Hungry Bacteria Devour Carbon From Phytoplankton

'C' Food: Hungry Bacteria Devour Carbon From Phytoplankton

Collections: Image Award Winners

2015 Award Winner

Vicente Fernandez, Steven Smriga, Roman Stocker
Environmental Microfluidics Laboratory

MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Parsons Laboratory at MIT

Carbon is a fundamental element of life on our planet. Here, swimming bacteria tracked over time (blue) consume organic carbon from a decaying diatom (silver, 0.1 mm long). The association between such primary producers and decomposers presents a microcosm of the complex biological and chemical interactions that occur in seawater. Microscopy, and the ability to turn images into data, allows researchers to make mathematical models for figuring out how microbe-scale activities can impact the carbon cycle and our global ocean.



Steven Smriga and Vicente Fernandez present the story behind their award-winning image.

You can also view their presentation from the exhibition opening event on March 10, 2015 or watch the image's teaser video on the Koch Institute's Facebook page.

More like this