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Sally Warring

Bio 🔬🎥 Documenting the single cellular life of New York City (and occasionally beyond), one pond at a time.


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Sally Warring (@pondlife_pondlife) Instagram photos and videos

List of Instagram medias taken by Sally Warring (@pondlife_pondlife)

99 Scott Report Download 13 427

Next Saturday April 28th I’m running a workshop as part of @under_story, in collaboration with the New York Microscopical Society. If you buy a ticket to my workshop it includes entry to the whole @under_story event! More details and links to where you can buy a ticket in my highlights. . We will have microscopes and microorganisms from all over the city for participants to look at. We’ll learn about microorganisms and microscopy! . I’m really excited to be there with a ton of other great people and organizations from all over the city including @newtowncreek, @Publiclab, @girlsclubny, @tulahouse and many more! . More details and links to where you can buy a ticket in my highlights.

Instagram Image by Sally Warring (@pondlife_pondlife) with caption : "Last week I went on an adventure with @imaginescience in Abu Dhabi. Follow along in my stories to find out what kind of " at NYU Abu Dhabi - 1738524692968299543
NYU Abu Dhabi Report Download 33 1.59K

Last week I went on an adventure with @imaginescience in Abu Dhabi. Follow along in my stories to find out what kind of microbes live in super salty water like this pond!

Report Download 66 2.69K

A photomontage of green algal colonies from at least three species growing on agar. Photographed at 100 x magnification. Swipe for detailed images. 💚

image by Sally Warring (@pondlife_pondlife) with caption : "Two species of green algae meeting in the middle." - 1706748246457485314
Report Download 43 3.37K

Two species of green algae meeting in the middle.

Wee gonium at higher magnification. Most of the colonies here are four cell units. But, nature is not perfect and you can see many colonies here that are only two celled, and many more that are simply individual cells. It doesn’t matter to gonium. Each cell is perfectly capable of living and reproducing alone or in a group.

A wee four celled green alga called Gonium. It’s such a sweetie.

Instagram Image by Sally Warring (@pondlife_pondlife) with caption : "Anothe Pondlife print is off to a new home this weekend. Many more available on my website!" at Brooklyn, New York - 1701583223074518784
Brooklyn, New York Report Download 20 2.43K

Anothe Pondlife print is off to a new home this weekend. Many more available on my website!

I seem to be a little obsessed with these green algae of late. . I love how they look, like green jewels tumbling through the water. It blows my mind how graceful they are. Each colony is made up of multiple green cells. Each green cell is an individual. Somehow the cells communicate amongst their colony and coordinate their movements. I wonder how they do it. . All of these cells originated from a single colony that I isolated from some pond water. That means they are all genetically identical. Yet, they show great variation in the number and arrangement of cells. That’s because there are so many things that influence the way an organism looks, layers of control that work above the gene level, producing variation and individuality.

Instagram Image by Sally Warring (@pondlife_pondlife) with caption : "Pond scum is real beautiful sometimes." at American Museum of Natural History - 1694507727522292243

Pond scum is real beautiful sometimes.

This is a pandorina colony in the last stages of asexual reproduction. Each of the cells in the original colony has produced a whole new multicellular daughter colony. You can see that each new colony is encased in its own mucilage layer. . But then an additional layer of mucilage, left over from the mother colony, surrounds the entire group. What I like here is that we can see that the old mucilage layer is highly textured. I don’t know why this is. It could be because it’s old and is about to break down to release all these new colonies, or maybe it’s some kind of bacteria that grown on the surface of the colony. If you have ideas, tell me in the comments!

The green alga pandorina keeps its many cells in a tight ball by surrounding itself with a jelly-like mucilage. You can see it here as a thin band surrounding the colony. That mucilage also acts as a protective barrier, keeping marauding cells out! . In this video I’m using a technology called differential interference contrast microscopy or DIC. DIC makes it possible to view transparent structures, like the mucilage surrounding this algal colony.

The beautiful Collodictyon, at least thats what I think it is. This is a cell that I found living in The Lake in @centralparknyc. Collodictyon are odd, understudied microbes with no close living relatives. I’m trying to get this one into culture in the lab at @amnh so that I can find out whether this beauty is a new species of Collodictyon, or something else all together. The city is full of surprises.