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MIT Sea Grant Visiting Artist Keith Ellenbogen & Koch Institute Image Awards

Two circular wall displays of microorganisms, one with three dinoflagellates, on display, winners of 2020 Koch Institute Image Awards

Ocean Plankton: Generating the Oxygen We Breathe | Keith Ellenbogen (MIT Sea Grant Visiting Artist and Photographer), Tom Consi (Scientist)

Dinoflagellates are a large diverse group of single-celled algae that are of immense importance to marine ecosystems worldwide, forming the base of the food chain upon which all aquatic life depends. Photosynthetic Dinoflagellates, like these three Ceratium, are major primary producers of oxygen. The process is driven by sunlight-absorbing chloroplasts that act as the engines of photosynthesis.

Selected as a 2020 Koch Institute Image Awards winner, the image is part of MIT Sea Grant Visiting Artist Keith Ellenbogen’s ‘Space to Sea’ project, which combines photography and microscopy to make visible the full range of life in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, 25 nautical miles off the coast of Massachusetts.