Abstract time: Structures for motility are non-existent in vegetative-stage centric diatoms yet they exhibit a sinking property and have been found to be positively buoyant. The sinking and ascent rates of diatoms can vary for different reasons within species as well as between species. This could allow them to migrate to areas abundant in nutrients and light which is key to their survival. These rates can have a large impact by affecting the transport of carbon to the ocean floor. To obtain these rates, the following methods were used: the SETCOL method, where the rates are a measure of a homogenous population, and particle tracking via video recording, where the rate of each individual particle is measured. To study the differences in mean sinking and ascent rate outputs of both methods, a model incorporating the basic principles of each was created using Python 2.7. The model will prove useful in determining combinations of sinking and ascent rates that lead to a positively buoyant SETCOL measurement. We will also be able to assess how individual sinking rates modify the population’s mean sinking rate and the percent of buoyant particles that must be present in a population for there to be a significant mean ascent rate measurement.
So this is the last blog post. It’s been an amazing experience with amazing people. I learned so much from my mentors and I really appreciate the time they spent teaching me. I also want to thank them for turning me into a diatom believer. This summer would not have been complete without my REU family. They’re the best bunch of people. I’ll definitely miss it all and look forward to our REUnion.