"What happens to a diatom in the upper, sunlit strata of the sea may well determine what happens...to a prawn creeping over the soft oozes of the sea floor in the blackness of mile-deep water."

- Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us

The ocean is the largest biosphere on our planet

Hidden right under the thin veil that forms the surface of the ocean, key micro-scale biological processes shape the past, present and future of the planet. Scroll below to find how these micro-scale processes hold the key to understanding the global carbon cycle, dispersion of marine organisms in the ocean and more...

If you imagine a deep chasm cutting into the ocean, you would find highly stratified ecosystems organized along the vertical axis. Deeper we go - everything life cares about - light, temperature, nutrient distribution, pressure, all change rapidly...

The largest bio-mass migration on our planet

Every single day, marine plankton - microscopic in size - undertake vertical migrations from tens to hundreds of meters deep vertically.

The oceans absorbs almost a third of global CO2 emissions.

Marine plankton die, aggregate and sink as billions and billions of sinking marine snow particles impacting planetary carbon cycle; so poetically described as"...the most stupendous “snowfall” the earth has ever seen." - Rachel Carson (1951)

So, is marine snow dead or alive? How do we make measurements of such a microscopic particle traveling kilometers?

The Challenge

So, how do you track single cells or microscopic particles only a few hundred microns in size, at microscale resolution, while allowing them to move freely along the axis of gravity, say a kilometer?

A Solution

Here we present, "Scale-free Vertical Tracking Microscopy" (aka Gravity Machine) to take a step towards bridging scales, enabling a new paradigm of measurement in biological oceanography. We intend to bring a piece of the ocean to the lab and bring a piece of the lab to the ocean.

Explore the concept and technology behind "Gravity machine", discover a whole new kind of plankton data and follow our journey as we deploy these tools in lab and field settings.

Gallery of plankton behaviors

We present here first-of-a-kind datasets of never before seen plankton behaviors captured by Gravity Machine at multi-scale resolution. Are you ready for a deep dive?

Gravity Machine

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