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To swim or not to swim? Daphnia's stress responses as a biosensor

Daphnia sp. is one of the most widely distributed freshwater organisms, present in most lakes and ponds around the world. Its biology and physiology have been studied in depth. This, together with its high sensitivity to environmental changes, has presented great potential for environmental monitoring.

Project Robocenosis looks at Daphnia's stress responses and, through extended laboratory testing, tries to extrapolate its behaviour into information on the environment. One of the behaviours of interest is so-called "spinning" (See video below!).

With this, we can analyse the footage automatically and extract data with Raspberry Pi (see below). The spinning is an early warning signal of a stressor in the environment. Thanks to the extensive research on Daphnia, we are able to narrow down the source of the disruption.

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