Researcher Andrew Mullen, Developer of an Innovative New Underwater Microscope, Thankful for BSF Support

Oceanographers and other scientists, around the world have been reading a lot about Andrew Mullen lately, and with good reason. As part of a team of U.S. and Israeli researchers, he helped develop a powerful new underwater microscope that is changing the way we look at corals on the ocean floor. But, years before he was featured in the New York Times, among many other publications, Andrew was looking for grant money to get this project going. That’s where BSF came in. We gave Andrew a travel grant, and he went from there.

Former BSF Rahamimoff Travel Grant recipient Andrew Mullen with the revolutionary new underwater microscope, the result of extensive research at Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat.

Former BSF Rahamimoff Travel Grant recipient Andrew Mullen with the revolutionary new underwater microscope, the result of extensive research at Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat.

Andrew is now a graduate student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. We’re thrilled with Andrew’s success, and we were so proud to receive the following letter from him, which he gave us permission to reprint the letter in its entirety. It shows how the early funding that BSF provides plays an important role in the eventual success of the scientific projects we support. Here’s what Andrew said:

From: Andy Mullen

Date: 16 July 2016
Subject: BSF Funded Research Published in Nature Communications & NY Times

Dear Binational Science Foundation,

I received the Prof. Rami Rahamimoff young scientist travel grant in 2013. This allowed me to spend two months at the Interuniversity Institute (IUI) for Marine Sciences in Eilat, where I conducted field research under the guidance of Dr. Amatzia Genin.

We recently published an article in the journal Nature Communications with significant results attained at the IUI. This paper has additionally attained significant media attention with coverage by major outlets including the New York Times (all the footage of coral polyps shown in the New York Times video was recorded at the IUI) and Ynet. (More info can be found on our lab website.)

I wanted to offer my sincerest thanks for your support, which directly enabled these new highly interesting results!

A researcher uses the new microscope to study living corals. This is the first microscope made for use on the seafloor that is powerful enough to show details of the corals in their natural enviornment.

A researcher uses the new microscope to study living corals. This is the first microscope made for use on the seafloor that is powerful enough to show details of the corals in their natural environment.

I also wanted you to be aware of the tremendous support and guidance Dr. Amatzia Genin provided on this project. His efforts played an essential role in the success and findings of this research. Additionally he served as a tremendous mentor offering more time and guidance than I could have ever asked for, while also welcoming me into your country and culture.

Finally, the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Science provided a truly unique and valuable setting to conduct this research. There are few other locations around the world that could have provided the same resources.

Sincerely,

Andrew Mullen