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Note from the Director
New Employee Announcement: Chelsea Donovan - Application Scientist
Request A Visit by Turner Designs Factory Personnel
New Website Resource: Turner Designs Applications Databank
New Accessory: Model 200 Display Unit/Datalogger for CYCLOPS-7
In the Spotlight: History of the 10AU
Jim's Corner: Model 10AU Standard Curve
Technically Speaking: Using Primary & Secondary Standards
Instruments In Action: Finnish Institute of Marine Research - Detecting Filamentous Cyanobacteria Blooms [10AU, CYCLOPS-7]
Instruments In Action:
Cawthron Institute - Integrating GIS with Fluorometry [10AU, SCUFA]
Upcoming Events: View Our Upcoming Tradeshows

TD News Archives: View the Archives

Note From the Director

Thank you for taking the time to read the latest edition of TD News. We have focused much of our sales and marketing efforts in the past 4 months on working with our customers to bring real-world examples of Turner Designs instruments being used for a wide range of applications. We feel strongly that presenting real-world examples and data is the most effective marketing strategy for our customer base. We have highlighted two examples in this Newsletter, however, to view the complete database please visit the new Turner Designs Data Bank that can be reached from our homepage. Also, please contact our sales team ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you would like to take part in the Databank Program.

You will also see an article titled 'History of the 10-AU' that describes the long history of our flagship instrument. The 10-AU continues to set the standard in field fluorometry, offering unparalleled versatility and sensitivity.

I hope you enjoy this edition of the TD Newsletter. We are always interested in hearing from you; please do not hesitate to contact us with feedback on the newsletter or our products and services.

Yours truly,
Rob Ellison
Director of Sales and Marketing

 New Employee Announcement

fluorometerWe are proud to announce the hiring of Chelsea Donovan as Application Scientist. Chelsea has an extensive background in instrumentation and the aquatic sciences. Most recently Chelsea spent six years at the South Florida Management District as an Environmental Scientist investigating the effects of freshwater inputs into Florida Bay. Chelsea then spent the past year working for the National Park Service at Point Reyes National Seashore in California where she focused on wetland restoration. Chelsea's main responsibilities at Turner will be in supporting product and application development and serving as an applications specialist to support customers and our sales and marketing team. Feel free to contact Chelsea with questions related to custom products or new applications.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
1(877)316-8049 ext. 148

 Request A Visit by Turner Designs Factory Personnel

fluorometerIf you have been waiting for someone from Turner Designs to visit you personally for any of the following reasons, please contact us to schedule a visit:

  • Show appreciation for your business
  • Assist with using fluorometers
  • Update you on what's new from Turner Designs
  • Demonstrate a product
  • Run a seminar on Fluorometer Applications
  • Provide application support
  • Tell us what new products you would like to see from Turner Designs
  • You just want to talk with us…..

We're putting together our travel plans for the next few months, and now is a good time to tell us when would be your preferred time to visit you. For more details, and to schedule a visit, please call Patrick Sanders on 1(877)316-8049 ext. 117, or e-mail your request to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 Turner Designs Announces Applications Databank

fluorometerTurner Designs is pleased to announce the launch of their Applications Databank, a powerful browser tool to provide access to the most comprehensive and useful database of "real world" applications provided by customers using Turner Designs fluorometers.

The purpose of the Databank is to provide prospective customers with the data they need to make the best purchasing decision, in an unbiased environment. In addition, it will enable the exchange of information between customers with ideas on fluorometer applications and results.

The Databank will be continuously updated with new applications from our customers. To encourage customers to submit applications, Turner Designs will offer significant discounts off our products in return for databank submissions.

To access the Databank Search page, follow this link:

Databank Incentive Details
To encourage our customers to submit applications for publication on the Databank, Turner Designs will offer customers a discount on their next purchase. For orders costing more than $4,300, customers will receive a credit note for $300 good for any future purchase from Turner Designs. For orders costing less than $4,300, we will provide a credit note for 7% of the cost of the purchase.

Additional details on the Application Submission process can be found by following the "Program and Promotion Details" link on the Databank homepage, see above.

Use it now!
Check out the existing customer applications on chlorophyll, cyanobacteria and dye tracing. Consider sending in details on your application - and enjoy an attractive discount on your next purchase of a Turner Designs fluorometer.

Coming Soon - Model 200 Display Unit/Datalogger for Cyclops-7

If you own the Cyclops-7 fluorometer or SCUFA fluorometers, but want an off-the-shelf companion display unit/data logger, ask for information on the soon to be announced Turner Designs Model 200 Analog Display Unit.


The Model 200 interfaces to the Cyclops-7 via a 10 ft cable, and provides the following functions:

  • Real Time Readings using LCD Display, (with backlight)
  • Internal batteries which also power the Cyclops-7
  • 1,000 Point Internal Datalogger
  • Data Interface to PC
  • Gain Range Selection to sensor, (X1, X10 and X100)

The Model 200 is completely self contained and is designed for field use. You can select to display the sensor output in Volts, µg/L, (chlorophyll a), or ppb (Rhodamine) in real time. Three averaging modes (Fixed, Free Running and Moving Average) provide signal processing capability.

For more information on the Model 200 Display Unit including pricing and availability, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

History of the 10AU

The 10-AU Field Fluorometer is an instrument that has played a key role in the long history of Turner Designs and continues to serve the scientific community as a versatile and reliable workhorse for environmental fluorescence applications.

fluorometerTurner Designs has a long and sometimes confusing history that stretches back to the mid 1960’s when our founder, George Turner, sold his company, Turner Associates, maker of the Turner 110 and 111 Filter Fluorometers. Often referred to as ‘The Green Box’ the Turner 110 was a great success as a sensitive laboratory instrument and an important tool in the development of extracted and in vivo chlorophyll detection methodology. The drawbacks of these vacuum tube instruments were that they could not easily be used in remote field stations, on-ships or other outdoor sites due to the high power requirements and exposed electronics. With the new owners of Turner Associates unwilling to invest into the development of a true field instrument, George Turner left the company to found his second company, Turner Designs.

fluorometerThe newly formed Turner Designs embarked on an ambitious project to build the first truly field-ready fluorometer and developed the Model 10 in the early 1970s, an extremely durable, sensitive and stable analog instrument. They succeeded and developed an instrument that was water-tight, consumed less power, accepted flowcells or discrete samples and most importantly maintained calibration even in the most extreme conditions. The instruments are so durable that customers will often ship them to Turner Designs for servicing without a box and tape shipping labels directly to the instrument (Turner does not advocate this activity!). To this day there are 100’s of Model 10s still working around the globe with owners who cherish them like they would a classic car. The Model 10 has come a long way since the early 70s but the qualities that made it such a trusted and beloved instrument are still present and make it a truly unique product.

fluorometerThe modern incarnation of the Model 10 is the 10-AU-005-CE and exhibits all the qualities that made the Model 10 so popular with the addition of modern conveniences such as automatic range control, temperature compensation, internal data logging, digital output, calibration and diagnostics saved to memory, etc.. The 10-AU-005-CE continues to be the field fluorometer of choice. As an example, the US E.P.A. has just released a new report titled, Rapid Processing of Turner Designs Model 10-AU-005 Internally Logged Fluorescence Data (EPA/600/R-04/053, August 2004) on the use of the 10-AU for dye tracing applications. If you are interested in a filter fluorometer that can be used for any application or environment and that will last a career; the 10-AU is for you.

For examples of how the 10-AU is used by scientists today please visit the Turner Designs DataBank.

Model 10-AU Standard Curve

We are preparing to do a dispersion study in a river, using Rhodamine WT dye and a Model 10-AU Fluorometer set up in the Flow through mode. The client has specified that a "multi-point" calibration should be performed on the Fluorometer. Since the Model 10-AU calibration consists of one Standard point and a Blanking point, how can I satisfy the multi-point requirement?

The multi-point requirement can be accomplished by creating a series of standard sample concentrations of the Rhodamine WT dye. Perform the blanking and single point calibration on the 10-AU using a standard concentration between 20 and 100 ppb (ug/L). Then read the series of standard samples and construct a "standard curve". The standard curve will demonstrate that the 10-AU is producing a linear correlation for the series of standard sample concentrations that are below 100 ppb.



fluorometerTechnically Speaking, It All Adds Up…….

is a series of articles for people who want to obtain the best possible results from their fluorometer. This month's article will describe some good measurement practices to produce consistent and reliable readings when using submersible fluorometers in the lab. The effects of sensor positioning, optimum bench top characteristics, etc will be described. The principles apply to all submersible fluorometers when used for making lab measurements.

While many applications for fluorometers require only monitoring for changes in concentration, when absolute concentration values are required, the fluorometer, or the solution, needs to be referenced to a standard.

Turner Designs sells Primary Standards for chlorophyll a measurements and Solid Secondary Standards for use with all Turner fluorometers and flourophores such as chlorophyll a, cyanobacteria, CDOM, fluorescein, etc., see Figures 1 & 2.

For extracted chlorophyll measurements using discrete sample fluorometers, Turner Designs Primary Standard for chlorophyll measurements consists of pure chlorophyll a prepared in 90% acetone. The standard is supplied with calibration certificates for two accurately known concentrations, a precise high value around 150 µg/L (high), and a precise low value around 15 µg/L, (exact values are provided).

Figure 1: Turner Designs Chlorophyll a Primary Standards are sold in 20 mL ampoules for the high and low values.

Note that Extracted Chlorophyll a Primary Standards should not be considered as direct primary standards for in-vivo chlorophyll measurements, because for in-vivo measurements, the chlorophyll is contained inside the living algal cell. When performing in-vivo sampling, using Solid Secondary Standards is the most convenient approach for calibrating. Then, when you extract samples, you will determine the correlation of the Solid Secondary Standard for a given "in-vivo" Chlor a concentration, visit our web site for more details.

For dye trace measurements, Primary standards are normally made from the same dye that is being used for the study. Typically these Primary standards are made to concentrations of 100 PPB or lower. Turner Designs sells Rhodamine WT dye, as a liquid of 21% active ingredient. Visit our web site for more details.

Turner Designs Solid Secondary Standards are Secondary because they are not the same solution as the fluorophore being measured. They are made from a very stable fluorescent material making them ideal for validating fluorometer calibration.

Figure 2: Selection of Solid Secondary Standards, note the SCUFA and Aquafluor standards are adjustable.

Some other advantages of the Solid Secondary Standard are:

  • Very high stability. The signal is extremely stable over time, (years).
  • Easily adjusted to provide a stable desired equivalent concentration value
  • Low total cost of ownership - break even point is around 2 sets of chlorophyll standard.
  • No solutions to mix, store carefully, run out, spill, etc.
  • Easily used in the field and other "non-lab" environments.
  • Check for loss of sensitivity resulting from the growth of bio-fouling organisms on the sensor optics.

Using Solid Secondary Standards:
Solid Secondary Standards are very easy to use because all that is required is to insert the standard into the fluorometer and note/set the reading. At a subsequent time, the standard is reinserted to the fluorometer, and any variation in reading is then applied to the fluorometer sample readings.

Good Operating Practices :
The Solid Standard should be treated as any other precision standard. It should be kept in a box when not in use. This will minimize the collection of dust on the exposed section of fluorescent material.

In the event that dust is present on the fluorescent material, it should be removed with one of the aerosol can dust removers.

It is possible for humidity to effect the performance of the Secondary Standard. To avoid/minimize this, it is suggested that the Solid Secondary Standard is kept in a ZipLoc bag with some desiccant bags.


Detecting Filamentous Cyanobacteria Blooms in the Baltic Sea Using Turner Designs Model 10-AU Fluorometer

About The Finnish Institute of Marine Research
The Finnish Institute of Marine Research (FIMR, is a government-funded institution under the Ministry of Transport and Communications. FIMR is a multidisciplinary research institution carrying out basic research and providing services in the fields of physical, chemical and biological oceanography. The activities are mainly focused on the Baltic Sea. FIMR employs approximately 120 people, about half of them are directly involved in research activities.

Harmful cyanobacteria blooms in the Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea, in the northern Europe, is surrounded by 9 countries and approximately 85 million people live in its catchment area. Ecologically the Baltic, which is the second biggest brackish water basin in the world, is unique. Since the last ice-age this basin has succession from lake to brackish sea, nowadays the salinity varies from 20 PSU in southern basin to near zero values in the Bothnian Bay in north. The low salinity, together with ice winters, largely affects the distribution of aquatic flora and fauna in the Baltic.

Seasonality, with varying colors, in the open sea phytoplankton community can be perceived even by casual observer. Spring bloom with brownish colored diatoms and dinoflagellates is followed by clear water season in mid-summer. Towards the end of summer some locations suffer from frequent cyanobacterial blooms, with turquoise or green to yellow colors. In calm and warm days in the June-August, one can observe kilometer-wide pea soup-like surface accumulations of filamentous cyanobacteria. These summer blooms of nitrogen-fixing filamentous cyanobacteria, with main species Nodularia spumigena, Aphanizomenon sp, and Anabaena spp., counteract the reduction of anthropogenic nitrogen load, have possible toxic effects for the other components of the ecosystem and thereby may lower the value of fisheries, and affect the recreational use of coastal area. The intensity of these blooms is related to low inorganic N:P ratio, high temperature of surface waters, and low wind mixing.

Photo 1: Aimar Rakko from University of Tartu taking sample of filamentous cyanobacteria in a traditional way

To find out the triggering factors for these blooms and to analyze their environmental consequences, and thereby supporting science based management of the Baltic Sea, phytoplankton dynamics must be studied with the relevant spatial and temporal resolution. For this task, in FIMR the traditional methods for phytoplankton studies have been supplemented with automated detection systems placed on ships of opportunity, and with satellite data. In the Baltic Sea, the Alg@line system (, coordinated by FIMR, for the detection of phytoplankton biomass by fluorescence has been running for ten years. Alg@line utilizes merchant ships and ships of Finnish coastal guard. Currently 9 vessels have flow-through fluorometers and thermosalinographs operating, providing approximately 1.5 - 2 million observation per year.

Phycobilin fluorescence as a tool for cyanobacteria detection
Chlorophyll in vivo fluorescence is, however, not optimal for the detection of cyanobacteria as for these species fluorescence at the wavelengths specific for chlorophyll is very weak. Instead, these species contain phycobilin pigments that have their own specific wavelengths for excitation and fluorescence emission.

Our previous studies with pure phytoplankton cultures and experimental work in field has provided important background for cyanobacterial detection by fluorescence. We have noted that bloom forming filamentous species in the Baltic are the main source of phycocyanin related optical signals. Picocyanobacteria (i.e. cells <2µm), not forming the blooms, together with some eucaryotic species, is the main source of phycoerythrin signals. Studies with cultures provide us also information on the environmental control of the variability in cellular phycobilin content. That is extremely significant information when analyzing the field data.

Already 20 - 30 years ago it was suggested that phycobilin fluorescence could be used to estimate cyanobacterial distribution - and since that we have made some attempts in the Baltic Sea as well. Now, our aim in Alg@line is to start operational detection of phycocyanin in Baltic by summer 2005.

During EU-funded project FERRYBOX ( we have conducted vigorous laboratory tests with Turner 10-AU fluorometer with phycocyanin kit (excitation 620 nm, emission 650 nm), and we have verified that the sensitivity and linear range are suitable for detection of natural concentrations of filamentous cyanobacteria. As well we have noted the high specificity of instrument; the effects of light scattering and overlapping fluorescence from dissolved matter and other pigments are negligible. Phycocyanin fluorescence readings are further normalized to known concentrations of commercially available C-phycocyanin in buffer, as the actual in vitro phycobilin concentration measurements are hard to perform from discrete water samples.

Figure 1: Excitation - emission matrix for colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), and for cultured green algae with high chlorophyll a fluorescence and filamentous cyanobacteria with high phycocyanin fluorescence.

Steps towards operational use of phycocyanin fluorescence
In pre-operational testing phase in summer 2004, we used phycocyanin fluorometer during cruises of RV Aranda. It was operated in flow-through mode together with two fluorometers for chlorophyll detection (10AU and CYCLOPS-7), and flow-through spectrofluorometer. Discrete samples were taken from water flow to determine pigment concentrations, count phytoplankton cells and to measure the light absorption by phytoplankton. Yet these data are not fully available. More data is needed, but our objective is to obtain estimates on the variability in cyanobacterial biomass and pigment specific fluorescence intensities for calibration purposes of phycocyanin fluorometer.

Photo 2: Pasi Ylöstalo and a set of Turner fluorometers in RV Aranda

As an example of data collected thus far, the grid recorded in July 26-27, 2004 in the Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea, shows clearly the location of cyanobacterial bloom batches, with high phycocyanin fluorescence, in the middle cruise grid. The locations of these high phycocyanin areas are identical to visual observations of bloom areas. Clearly, phycocyanin and chlorophyll fluorescence were not directly related. Obviously, chlorophyll measured by in vivo fluorescence mainly reflects the eucaryotic part of the phytoplankton community while phycocyanin reflects only filamentous cyanobacteria in our study area.

Figure 2: Spatial variability of Chlorophyll a concentration, phycocyanin fluorescence and their ratio as estimated by two Turner AU-10 fluorometers during a bloom of filamentous cyanobacteria, July 26 - 27, 2004 in the Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea.

Next steps in our phycocyanin fluorescence research includes evaluation of Cyclops 7 phycocyanin fluorometer, and installation of one phycocyanin fluorometer for operational use in 2005. Then the seasonal phycocyanin profiles across the Baltic Sea will be used in evaluation of bloom development, to assist selection of sampling sites for dedicated cyanobacterial research, in validation of ecosystem models, and in validation of ocean color data for cyanobacterial distribution.

Study group
Other scientist directly involved in phycocyanin related studies in FIMR are Pasi Ylöstalo (instrument testing, phytoplankton physiology), Seppo Kaitala (satellite images, Ferrybox systems), Mika Raateoja (Alg@line coordinator, phytoplankton physiology). Additional information is available from Jukka Seppälä, Finnish Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 33, FIN-00931 Helsinki, Finland, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Integrating GIS and fluorometry for real-time mapping of coastal systems

About Cawthron Institute
Cawthron Institute provides science and technology solutions to enable the sustainable management and development of New Zealand's coastal and freshwater resources for the benefit of the region and the nation. Cawthron has been operating in Nelson, New Zealand for over 80 years and is owned by a trust that represents the local community and employs over 150 scientific and technical staff.

Within Cawthron, the Coastal Group provides expert scientific advice in both commercial and research settings in the fields of resource management, coastal ecology, fisheries and aquaculture sustainability, environmental effects of waste discharges and oil spills, biosecurity and environmental modelling.

This article focuses on our integration of the 10-AU and SCUFA fluorometers with desktop Geographical Information System (GIS) software for real-time mapping and data collection. To demonstrate this, we have highlighted two case studies: (i) tracking effluent dispersion/dilution from coastal outfall (using Rhodamine® WT dye) and (ii) mapping chlorophyll-a depletion around marine mussel farms.

The Monitoring Dilemma
While monitoring dye in effluent plumes or in-situ chlorophyll-a using fluorometers is by no means new, one of the biggest dilemmas is incorporating the data collected with positional data to create maps and/or charts. Historically, this was done in the field by writing down position and fluorescence readings or entering them into a laptop. However, manual data collection can be both tedious and fraught with potential transcription errors.

The change from analog to digital instruments has greatly enhanced the ability to collect and log fluorescence data, but that's only half the story, since position data are also required. The advent of Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and the subsequent removal of selective availability, has meant that accurate (i.e. ± 2-5 m) real-time position data are now both readily available and affordable. Also, along with the improvements in instrumentation, the ability to run desktop GIS has been rapidly improving. Therefore, in order to create real-time maps, these three components: GPS, GIS, and fluorometry need to be combined.

The Solution
Cawthron has created a custom add-on to Arcview ® 8.3 GIS that connects to the different simultaneous serial data streams of the instrumentation in the field (i.e. GPS, SCUFA, 10-AU), combines the incoming data and maps the fluorescence in real-time as graduated dots. The fluorescence data are overlaid on a rectified nautical chart or aerial photograph so that the actual position of each fluorescence reading in relation to the area being studied (e.g. outfall or mussel farm) can be determined. This approach has numerous benefits, including the ease of use, time-saving, the ability to collect large amounts of data, and the ability to view and make decisions in the field regarding the data collected.

The Arcview® add-on was written in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA®) and enables the user to select which serial port the instruments are connected to (Figure 1), the frequency with which data are to be collected (the capture interval) and the file name to log the data to. In addition, there is a real-time window that displays current position and fluorescence.

Figure 1. Screen shot of Arcview® serial data capture form.

Once a connection is made the incoming data are parsed into individual variables. For general monitoring, much of the GPS data is extraneous and just the position and time data are required. This includes Latitude, Longitude, Speed, Direction, and Time. Therefore, only certain GPS sentences are used in the add-on and are converted on the fly to local New Zealand Map Grid coordinates. All GPS and fluorometric data are parsed and logged in Arcview® as individual fields within a shapefile.

Case Study 1: Mapping Dye from a Coastal Outfall using a 10-AU Fluorometer
This integrated logging system was used for a recent study on the south coast of New Zealand's North Island, to study dye dispersion from a nearshore coastal outfall discharging tertiary treated wastewater.

Rhodamine® WT dye was injected into the wastewater at a constant rate (Figure 2) and effluent dilution and dispersion were mapped on both an ebb and flood tide. Continuous fluorescence readings were taken from a vessel using a 10-AU field fluorometer set up for flow-through measurements and linked to a portable PC and GPS. Data were collected by running a series of transects through the effluent plume both perpendicular to and along the effluent plume path. To verify effluent concentrations, grab samples were collected every 15 minutes using a sequential autosampler positioned downstream of the injection point.

Figure 2. Configuration of dye injection system in relation to autosampler and outfall.

A screen shot of the 4,300 data points collected on the four hour ebb tide study is presented in Figure 3. Receiving water dilutions of each data point were calculated from the effluent concentrations measured in the grab samples. Contours of these dilution factors were manually digitized using the GIS software to better illustrate the dispersion and dilution pattern of the effluent (Figure 4).

Figure 3. Graduated symbols of all data points collected for mapping dye dilution/dispersion.

Figure 4. Post-generated dilution contours of ebb tide data points.

Case Study 2: Mapping chlorophyll-a around a mussel farm
Another example of the application of this integrated GIS-fluorometry system is the real-time mapping of chlorophyll-a depletion around coastal mussel farms. In order to assess the sustainability of mussel farms around New Zealand's coast, the concentrations of chlorophyll-a (which represents phytoplankton) are measured at 3m (i.e. the active feeding depth) and incorporated into modelled predictions of sustainability. This information can then also be used by the farmer to optimise farm management.

The SCUFA can be employed in a similar way to the 10-AU in outfall dye studies, providing continuous measurements of chlorophyll-a (post-calibrated) through and around mussel farms (Figure 5). Typically, currents are also collected simultaneously with the GPS positions and fluorometry data, to give insight into the patterns of water movement around the farms.

In the example below (Figure 5), two synoptic snap-shots were taken in a bay containing four small farms (delineated by black dotted lines). The data were then plotted in 2-dimensional colour contours using an appropriate interpolation method. Depletion areas (blue regions) are evident in the vicinity of the farms, allowing the magnitude of depletion to be assessed and the behaviour of the water through the bay to be observed. The results are then compared against outputs from various models to improve our confidence in their predictive capabilities.


Figure 5. Subsurface (3m) contours of Chlorophyll-a concentration in the vicinity of four mussel farms under two different tidal states.

Cawthron's integration of Turner fluorometers with GPS and GIS for real-time mapping has had major benefits in the way we use these instruments. The efficiency with which data are collected ensures research is conducted in a cost effective manner. Further, field data can be tracked visually and any anomalies in spatial distribution are immediately apparent. This helps ensure data validation and overall data integrity.

For details on this and/or other capabilities that Cawthron offers, please contact Paul Barter ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or:




fluorometerCawthron Institute
98 Halifax Street East
Nelson, New Zealand
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