New collection at TIB AV-Portal: 170 marine plankton videos

Impressive films on marine plankton taken in the sea off Helgoland by Prof. Dr. Otto Larink available

“Wherever you go to the sea and throw out a plankton net, you will catch something and usually immediately have much more material than you can examine microscopically in a given period of time”; Prof. Dr. Otto Larink, retired professor of zoology at TU Braunschweig, describes the special feature of his work with plankton. 170 plankton videos are now available exclusively on TIB AV-Portal – they are the result of years of documentation by Prof. Larink on the North Sea island of Helgoland.

As early as the 1960s, during his studies in Kiel, Larink was concerned with plankton, which is best observed alive. After his first stay at the Biological Institute Helgoland in 1963, many more stays followed, in the meantime about 75. He also regularly led marine biology courses there for the students of TU Braunschweig between 1969 and 2004. During this time, he built up an impressive collection of microphotographs, which were published in an identification book for marine plankton, written togetherr with the zoologist Wilfried Westheide.

Images of plankton: from photo to film

After his retirement, Larink continued to work annually as a visiting researcher at the Biological Institute Helgoland. Since 2010, he has been filming plankton on the microscope, because in his view, videos have two advantages: they reproduce the movement of the microscopic objects and allow much better documentation of the focused object. In the films, individual species are shown - in total and in sections, and their individual developmental stages (as far as possible) are shown from the egg through the (possibly numerous) larval stages.

These films can be used as illustrative objects in teaching and research. They are usually edited to a length of 30 to 100 seconds. There are five to twenty times as many films in each video. The videos are elaborately indexed with metadata, including comprehensive keywording, so that they can be discovered both in the overall context in a series or flexibly researched individually.

Another 100 videos of the plankton near Sylt will follow shortly, with an emphasis on diatoms.

To the video series