Download SeaFlow data v1


The data set consists of SeaFlow-based cell abundance, cell size (Equivalent Spherical Diameter), cellular carbon content and total carbon biomass for small-sized phytoplankton populations, namely the cyanobacteria Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus and Crocosphaera (2-5 um), and unidentified protists (< 5 μm ESD), collected during oceanographic cruises since 2010 in the North Pacific Ocean. See data description at Scientifc Data: Nature Publishing Group for more information.

Towards Aquatic Flow Cytometry Data Repository and Reproducible Analytical Tools

Since 2010, the shipboard underway flow cytometer SeaFlow has been operated for more than 800 days across 200,000 km of ocean, counting over 800 billion particles in surface waters.

Meet the Team

Principal Investigators


François Ribalet

Principal Research Scientist

Population Modeling, Microbial Ecology, Oceanography, Flow Cytometry


E Virginia Armbrust


Phytoplankton, Oceanography



Annette Hynes

Research Scientist

Phytoplankton, Ecology, Diversity, Mathematical Modeling


Chris Berthiaume

Software Developer

Compute Infrastructure, Software Analysis Tools, Reproducible Research


Kelsy Cain

Research Assistant

Flow Cytometry, Bacteria, Phytoplankton, Field Research



Katherine Qi

PhD Candidate in Oceanography



Corinne Jones

PhD Candidate in Statistics


Denise Anne Devlyn

Undergraduate student


Jordan Winter

Undergraduate student


Kristof Glauninger

PhD Candidate in Statistics

Error Estimation, Causal Inference


Mattias Cape

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Phytoplankton Ecology, Polar Oceanography, Ice-Ocean Interactions, Ocean Optics, Experiential Education


SeaFlow v1

Continuous shipboard flow cytometer

Meet the instrument

The SeaFlow instrument is a shipboard underway flow cytometer that provides continuous multi-parameter single particle measurements without the need for clean water. The instrument eliminates the traditional need for a sheath fluid by employing a unique optical system that relies on three photodetectors to create a virtual core in the sample stream within which the properties of particles are accurately measured. In this way, the instrument is able to collect the equivalent of 1 sample every 3 minutes or every 1 km (for a ship moving at 10 knots) from the ship’s flow-through seawater system. See article for more information.”

The SeaFlow instrument was developed by Jarred Swalwell at the University of Washington, feel free to contact him with any questions related to the SeaFlow instrument and technologies.

Recent Publications

Determining drivers of phytoplankton carbon to chlorophyll ratio at Atlantic Basin scale

We demonstrate the ability of flow cytometry to determine species specific cellular carbon and chlorophyll content in vivo by using …

Modeling cell populations measured by flow cytometry with covariates using sparse mixture of regressions

The ocean is filled with microscopic microalgae, called phytoplankton, which together are responsible for as much photosynthesis as all …



Modeling cell populations measured by flow cytometry with covariates using sparse mixture of regressions. In this project led by Dr. Sangwon Hyun, we apply a sparse mixture of multivariate regressions model for flow cytometry data.

Matrix Population Model

A size-structured matrix population model to estimate rates of cell division, carbon fixation and carbon loss in phytoplankton measured by flow cytometry.


A Kernel-based change detection method to map shifts in phytoplankton communities measured by flow cytometry. In this project in collaboration with Dr.


Popcycle is an R package that offers a reproducible approach to process, calibrate and curate flow cytometry data measured by SeaFlow.


A Python package for SeaFlow flow cytometer data, available on Gihub. Seaflowpy A Python package for SeaFlow flow cytometer data.


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