Office of Undergraduate Research

Fluidic Dynamics and Biomechanics: Observing Zooplankton Behavior in the Presence of Micro-bubbles

Micro-bubbles are known to be generated in aquatic environments by a variety of processes including: water turbulence, temperature and pressure changes, and chemical dispersion. Their presence has been suggested to affect the behavior of microorganisms, primarily in swimming and feeding mechanics. In the past, it has been difficult for scientists and engineers to simulate micron-sized droplets; however, with the advancements in the technology of microfluidics, this is now possible. Microfluidics is the study of the fluid dynamics at the micro-level with applications ranging from biomedical engineering to environmental monitoring. Using microfluidic devices, we are able to produce mono-dispersed micro-droplets of predetermined size (5-300microns) and frequency. The primary goal of our research is to observe the behavioral responses in zooplankton in the presence of fluid micro-bubbles of varying composition. Digital microscopic holography was used to record and view experiments since it allows multiple focal planes throughout the vessel. This project focuses on the design and use of the apparatus and systems used to produce such results.

Tasks and responsibilities:

Students will help conduct hands-on experiments in the lab. An interest in experimental fluidic dynamics, biomechanics, optics, and/or oceanography is ideal.

This project is located at the School of Freshwater Science: 600 E. Greenfield Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53204

***Campus Shuttle Service to The School of Freshwater Science is now available!***