Underwater Robot Swarm: A Birch Aquarium Interactive Exhibit

A new interactive exhibit is coming to Birch Aquarium featuring one of the robots from our underwater swarm. Guests will have an interactive experience with the robot and leave the exhibit more informed about modern ocean instruments researchers use. When the exhibit opens, you will see a post about it here!

Here is a website link with a description of the project and presentation slides.

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Applied Ocean Science Seminar

This is a video of a recent seminar presented by Jules, where he introduces his group and contemporary research projects that include building
swarms of underwater robots and a new project to measure the descent rate of marine snow in situ.  He also talks about recent results that use moderate to high (cm’s to mm’s) resolution systems to learn about larval distribution of Nassau Groupers in the Caymans and a, currently underway, project to measure photosynthetic efficiency of corals, in situ.

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Deploying The DEVIN

The DEVIN (Diving Ecological Vehicle In-Situ Navigator)—is a low-cost, open-source robot that can be deployed in the ocean to observe microscopic plankton. Our summer intern group developed this vehicle and named it after our lab engineer.  While The DEVIN cannot operate a laser cutter or make bad puns, it is well-equipped to take images of plankton.  Here are some photos of The DEVIN in action!

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Testing the BUMP in Maui

A few weeks ago, Or Ben Zi went to Maui to test the underwater image quality of the BUMP.   The video shows her making adjustments to the BUMP while maintaining buoyancy.  Quite impressive!

Unfortunately, Maui is suffering from a major wildfire outbreak at this time.  The Jaffe Lab extends our deepest condolences to those harmed or lost during the fire.  If you would like to support the people who have been affected by this disaster, please visit the Hawaii Community Foundation website where you can donate to the community relief fund.

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MPL Intern Cruise

Here are pictures from a recent excursion on the R/V Robert Gordon Sproul with a new cohort of bright-eyed interns.  This was a fun and fulfilling adventure for them as quite a few of them have never been on a boat before.


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Tracking Endangered Nassau Grouper Eggs with Underwater Microscope

We just published a new article about how we used  our underwater microscope to track the eggs of Nassua grouper fish.  This research is key to better understanding the spawing aggregation of this endangered species and find ways to help them.  Please check it out and congrats to the lab on another publication!

Scripps’ website post on our research.

(Image sequences of Nassau grouper egg and larval development)

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New Publication: Environmental and ecological drivers of harmful algal blooms revealed by automated underwater microscopy

Another day, another publication! Congrats to Kasia Kenitz lead author on her use of data from our in situ pier plankton cameras. Here is a link to the article for everyone interested in the topic: Article Link.

(Image below: The SPC micro and mini are microscopes that were deployed underwater and used to capture images of plankton)

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From Physics to Physiology

Check out this recent talk given by Jules Jaffe, where he discusses the experiments that bracket his career.

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New Publication: Non-invasive estimation of coral polyp volume and surface area using optical coherence tomography

Big congratulations to Jules Jaffe on a recent publication on his approach to a non-invasive way to estimate coral polyp volume and surface area. The article details a set of algorithms that Jules developed to define the boundary between the coral polyp soft tissue and the environment, resulting in the first-ever measurements of surface area and polyp volume based on soft tissue boundaries.  Below is a video of a  rendered point cloud in 3D that shows optical backscatter magnitude in color. If you’re craving coral and interested in learning more about this system, check out the article here.

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