Bring 'em Back Alive

Created by Lorraine Olendzenski, St Lawrence University

Bring 'em Back Alive is a series of activities that demonstrate various techniques for capturing free-living microbes from the environment. The series is part of Living in the Microbial World , a Teacher Enhancement Workshop held at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA.


Pond Trap
  • Uhlig Extraction: This modified and simplified "Uhlig Ciliate Sandy Separator" is primarily for the extraction of ciliates from marine and estuarine fine grain wet sandy sediments.
  • Coverslip Traps: Coverslips are used as a substrate to encourage formation of biofilms. They can be easily observed under the microscope.
  • Styrofoam Traps: The tiny spaces in styrofoam peanuts and blocks of polyurethane foam can be colonized by microorganisms and can be used to fish bacteria and protists out of marine and freshwater environments.
  • Plankton Nets: An easy way to sample planktonic organisms is with an inexpensive, easy to assemble net. This variation uses nylon stockings or knee high hose.

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