Symposium on Light ‘Pollution’ in Puerto Rico

Dr. Latz was invited to a symposium on light contamination in Puerto Rico, the 3rd Light Pollution Form, held in August 2016. In his presentation he discussed the importance of dark nighttime conditions for optimum viewing of bioluminescence. Joined by Puerto Rico scientists Prof. Juan Gonalez and Dr. Brenda Soler-Figueroa, he answered questions from an audience representing a broad segment … Read More

Artist in Residence Exploring Sound Stimulation of Bioluminescence

During April 2016, communication design student Jack Smith from the University of the Arts London performed a one-week residency exploring sound stimulation of bioluminescence. Jack used synthesizers to create an amazing series of imagery and films. Follow Jack’s journey as he journaled his project.

Bubble Stimulation of Dinoflagellate Bioluminescence

Bubbles are known to be high effective in stimulating dinoflagellate bioluminescence and are important in two-phase flows. Our new paper published in the journal Luminescence provides a quantitative study of the stimulation of dinoflagellate bioluminescence by bubbles. Bioluminescence was stimulated by single bubbles as small as 0.3 mm radius. Bubble clouds with low air flow rates produced bioluminescence levels as expected based … Read More

Returning Artist in Residence in 2015

London-based artist Iyvone Khoo, Artist in Residence in 2014, returned for an additional 6 week residency one year later. Joined by assistant Miguel Guzman, aka “The Dino Whisperer”, Iyvone explored high magnification high resolution imaging of the bioluminescence of unrestrained dinoflagellates. Iyvone intends to display the footage during installations in 2016-2017.

Artist in Residence Incorporates Bioluminescence into ‘Light Altar’

London-based artist Iyvone Khoo created the work called ‘Ara Lucidus’ involving glass sculpture and video projection of natural phenomena including bioluminescence. ‘Ara Lucidus’ was displayed at GLASSTRESS GOTIKA 2015 in Venice, Italy. The work was considered for a darc award, which celebrates the best in international architectural and decorative lighting design. Ms. Khoo filmed dinoflagellate bioluminescence while an Artist in Residence … Read More

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