[Coral-List] Fluorescence adapter system for stereomicroscopes for coral recruitment work

Charles Mazel mazel at psicorp.com
Fri Jul 6 16:43:23 EDT 2012

Dear Coral-listers,

Disclaimer - the following message has commercial overtones. I appreciate and respect the scientific nature of the list and have cleared prior notices of this sort with Jim Hendee. Since the initial R&D of the equipment was supported by NOAA for the express purpose of producing new tools to aid coral recruitment research, one-time notification of availability of new devices was deemed to be appropriate.

Several years ago I had NOAA funding to develop a variety of fluorescence-based tools to assist in coral reef research, especially in the area of coral recruitment. A number of you use the lights and photo accessories that resulted from that project. One of the prototype technologies developed during that project was a simple adapter system that adds a fluorescence capability to almost any stereomicroscope, with no modification to the microscope itself. I built a couple of copies of that early version for Alina Szmant, my science collaborator in the program, but that was as far as it went. However, the need for a simple fluorescence adapter continued and the Stereomicroscope Fluorescence Adapter system has finally been turned into a product. You can see it at http://nightsea.com/products/sfa-coral/.

During the initial R&D program we found that fluorescence was very useful in finding coral recruits not just on natural reef surfaces, but also on settlement tiles both on the reef and back in the laboratory with a stereomicroscope. The motivation for developing the fluorescence adapter was that fluorescence stereomicroscopes and available fluorescence retrofits were expensive and ‘scope-specific’, and therefore financially prohibitive for many researchers and marine labs. If all you want to do is look at small corals you don’t need all of the capabilities of a high-end instrument, and conventional stereomicroscopes are fairly easy to come by and not very expensive. The adapter system is modular to allow for several different excitation/emission wavelength combinations in order to meet the needs of a broad spectrum of research fields, but for coral work all you really need is the blue-light+yellow-filter combination that replicates what researchers use in the flashlights and barrier filters for underwater work. Please contact me if you have any questions about the system.

Unfortunately I will not be able to be at the ICRS Conference next week, but I wish you all the best for a productive meeting.

Best regards,


Charles Mazel
Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810
tel: 978 738-8227
fax: 978 689-3232

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