Bacterial Navigation and Applications to Sensing in Marine Environments
A variety of naturally-occurring and introduced microorganisms adversely impact marine ecosystems. They can affect human health, fisheries and even tourism. However, conditions under which aquatic microorganisms develop are not well understood, and methods for detecting microorganisms are too slow and complex for timely intervention. With the development of technology, sensor networks provide a method to monitor the microorganisms in real time and solve the problem. The ability to autonomously detect, locate and track such phenomena (the source of the induced gradient) would give scientists a tool to monitor and study ecosystems at an unprecedented level of detail. We are in particular motivated by the research goal to track the brown-tide algal blooms in nature and follow their migration over time. We plan to locate these algae and measure their concentrations using a chlorophyll sensor.