Processes Affecting the Variability of Fluorescence Signals from Benthic Targets in Shallow Waters

Sponsored by: Office of Naval Research (ONR)

Principle Investigator:  Paul G. Falkowski

Co- Principle Investigators:  Zbigniew S. Kolber, Maxim Gorbunov

The major theme of this research project is to understand processes that contribute to fluorescence emission from benthic targets in the coastal and shallow waters with the overarching goal of developing parameterization schemes that optically detect anthropogenic objects. This effort is part of the larger Coastal Benthic Optics Program (CoBOP) DRI.

The research effort has three basic tasks:

  1. To analyze data obtained from in situ fluorescence detectors, especially the scuba-based Fast Repetition Rate Fluorometer and to iteratively improve the instrumentation and retrieval algorithms in support of CoBOP field measurements.
  2. To measure fluorescence lifetimes in the subnanosecond time domain from model organisms. This task, which will be carried out both in the field and at Rutgers University, will provide the fundamental knowledge for the interpretation of in situ lifetime measurements.
  3. To determine the molecules that give rise to the specific fluorescence signatures and to characterize their spatial and temporal distributions in relation to variations in fluorescence yields. This latter task will address the first order applicability of CoBOP optical models to subtropical and tropical shallow water benthic environments.
SCUBA-FRR Fluorometer

SCUBA-FRR Fluorometer