Image Measuring photosynthesis

TLF ID M008763

This is a colour underwater photograph of marine scientist Candida Savage using a scientific instrument known as the diving-PAM. The diving-PAM is being used to measure photosynthesis in corals in Fiji. Candida Savage is wearing full diving clothing and equipment including mask, wetsuit and oxygen tanks.

Educational details

Educational value
  • Measuring photosynthesis in the oceans is important for understanding marine ecology. It may also contribute to an understanding of how activities on land affect marine life. For instance, as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere increase, scientists are trying to understand the effect this might have on ocean ecology.
  • Photosynthesis is the process by which producers make their own food from carbon dioxide and water, using sunlight as energy. In the marine environment, algae and phytoplankton are the main producers. Most marine producers are found where there is sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis, such as in shallow waters or in the upper layers of the ocean.
  • Underwater equipment and technology is becoming more sophisticated and is allowing people to probe further into the marine environment. The diving-PAM (or Pulse Amplitude Modulated Flurometer) is an example of modern equipment helping us to better understand marine environments.
  • Candida Savage is a marine biologist with a particular interest in understanding how human actions on land affect coastal ecosystems. Her research topics include investigating climate change and its consequences for coral reefs. She teaches marine science at Otago University, New Zealand.
Year level

5; 6; 7; 8

Learning area
  • Science

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: University of Waikato
  • Organization: University of Waikato
  • Description: content provider
  • Address: NEW ZEALAND
  • URL:
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
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  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
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  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd 2011 (except where otherwise indicated). You may copy, communicate and adapt this metadata for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.