TOAST site and instruments

The Imaging FlowCytobot (IFCB) is deployed in the pier laboratory at the  University of Texas-Marine Sciences Institute (, located on the Port Aransas ship channel at the entrance to the Mission-Aransas estuary on the Gulf of Mexico (27.84°N, 97.07°W).

There are very strong currents in the ship channel which makes submersible deployment difficult, so IFCB is installed in the laboratory at the seaward end of the pier and sea water is pulled up to the instrument by a peristaltic pump. The pump is located beyond the IFCB sampling point so sample water did not pass through the pump. 

Plant pigments in the phyotplankton cells produce a fluorescence signal that triggers a video camera. Images are saved to the computer, then sent to Dr. Campbell’s lab at Texas A&M University in College Station for processing and identification.