Puerto Rico Workshop on Phytoplankton Identification

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Maimonides   The Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust sponsored a workshop on the identification of phytoplankton common to Caribbean bioluminescent bays. The workshop was led by Scripps marine biologist Melissa Carter, who instructed participants from Puerto Rico and … Read More

Shedding Light on Mechanical Sensitivity

We have published a new paper in which we use dinoflagellate bioluminescence as an indicator of the response to mechanical stimuli. The full text article includes a movie as supplemental material. The cover image for the journal issue highlights our study, which we describe in an accompanying blog post. This study is interesting because it uses a sophisticated instrument, the atomic … Read More

Happy 20th Anniversary!

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of this web site, we have launched a newly designed site with updated content. Enjoy!      

Bioluminescence as a burglar alarm

What happens when a cardinal fish attacks an ostracod? The BBC calls it ‘fish fireworks’. You can see a video here. The ostracod produces a luminescent spew that serves as a burglar alarm, where the fish is the ‘burglar’ and the ostracod is the ‘victim’. In this case the ‘police’ is a predator of the fish that is attracted to the … Read More

Puerto Rico Bioluminescent Bay Under Stress

Mosquito Bay, Vieques, Puerto Rico is considered one of the best bioluminescent bays in the world. However, in January 2014 it went dark and then exhibited low bioluminescence for several months. Read more about this problem in a recent article in the NY Times. Alarmed that the problem was due to overuse of the bay by tourists, who flock to the … Read More

Symposium on a bioluminescent bay in Salt River Bay, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

Dr. Latz participated in a symposium reporting on scientific results of two projects studying the ecology of a ‘new’ bioluminescent bay in the Salt River, St. Croix. His research, supported by the St. Croix Environmental Association, involved field work by citizen scientists to study bioluminescence and water quality from June-December 2013. Measured bioluminescence was as bright as Mosquito Bay, Vieques, … Read More

Presentation on art and science for Art & Nature program

I was invited by the Laguna Art Museum to participate in their Art & Nature program the weekend of November 9, 2013. I joined two artists in first giving presentations of our ‘work’ and then answering questions from the audience. Later there was a reception and plenary lecture by historian Kevin Starr, who talked about the history of art and … Read More

Bioluminescence exhibit as public art in Santa Monica

Glow, a one-night public art festival in Santa Monica on Saturday September 28, 2013 that attracted more than 150,000 people to view 15 ‘out of the box’ interactive art exhibits, was located right on the beach surrounding the Santa Monica pier: http://glowsantamonica.org/ In collaboration with LA artist Glenn Kaino, we developed a bioluminescence wishing well. Visitors waited in line for … Read More

Red Tide in La Jolla

We are having an amazing red tide in La Jolla Bay. The water is discolored from dense numbers of the dinoflagellate Lingulodinium polyedrum, which has long been known as a source of red tides in southern California. But just wait until tonight – it should be excellent viewing for its bioluminescence. Just find a dark beach and enjoy the light … Read More

[FILLED] Seeking Postdoctoral Researcher in Cell Mechanics

We invite applications for a postdoctoral research position examining the morphological basis of mechanical sensitivity in bioluminescent marine cells. The successful candidate will join a multidisciplinary research group that studies the relationship between cell mechanics using atomic force microscopy, cell morphology using laser confocal microscopy, and physiological sensitivity using microfluidics. Whole-cell bioluminescence is used as a reporter of mechanical stress. … Read More