PhotosynQ Workshop Recap

On Tuesday April, 30th 2019 the first annual PhotosynQ workshop was held in East Lansing, MI. We would like to thank all the attendees for joining us, for their feedback, participation and making this day a success! It helped us tremendously, understanding what the needs of our community are and how we can support them. Thank you for your support!

After a short welcome, Prabode Weebadde presented how PhotosynQ has developed over the years and announced new products. The PhotosynQ Academic Subscription for the PhotosynQ platform, allowing Projects to be private, as well as CaliQ, a device to calibrate the MultispeQ’s PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) sensor. Both will be available in Q3 this year. He also presented PhotosynQ Enterprise, a separate cloud instance of the PhotosynQ platform, helping enterprises to keep their data private.

Prabode announcing new products coming in Q3
Prabode announcing new products coming in Q3


Following the introduction, David Kramer presented an overview of possible use cases and how to use the PhotosynQ platform. Further, he gave an introduction into photosynthesis and the most important photosynthetic parameters that can be measured using the MultispeQ v2.0. Another important part of his presentation was on how to avoid bias when planning and collecting field data.

Dave presenting on comparing experimental approaches
Dave presenting on comparing experimental approaches


After that, Sebastian Kuhlgert gave an overview on how to set up a Project using the PhotosynQ platform. The focus was on how to use the MultispeQ in combination with the mobile application to collect measurements successfully together with meta data that can be used to analyze the subsequent dataset more efficiently. He also presented on some of the experiences reported from users who have already collected large amounts of data in the field.

Next, David Kramer started a hands on Project, that allowed all attendees to collect data comparing cowpea plants (Vigna unguiculata) grown in low or bright light. After the data was collected in groups, the analysis tools were presented, doing a “live” data analysis of the data that had just been collected.

Hands on, taking measurements with the MultispeQ for a test Project and subsequent analysis
“Hands on”, taking measurements with the MultispeQ for a test Project and subsequent analysis


In the afternoon, the attendees were able to gain a more detailed look into how to create protocols and macros to take measurements, analyzing collected data and on how MultispeQs are calibrated.

Sebastian explaining on how to create protocols for the MultispeQ and build a macro to analyze the data coming from the instrument
Sebastian explaining how to create protocols for the MultispeQ and build a macro to analyze the data coming from the instrument


During the last session, Isaac Osei-Bonsu, who collected more than 40,000 measurements at this point, was presenting datasets he had collected using the MultispeQ in combination with the PhotosynQ platform and a new method to account for collection bias he is developing to analyze his massive dataset.

We hope we were able to give insights into how the PhotosynQ platform can accelerate your research and how versatile and flexible it is, when it comes to data collection and analysis. The workshop was intended to be as interactive as possible and we would like to thank all the attendees for their questions and participation!

Feedback from the Workshop

When planning the workshop we wanted to offer a very broad program, that would touch topics that are relevant to experienced as well as inexperienced users and we hope we were able to accomplish that. We would like to thank everyone for giving us such positive feedback as well as providing ideas and requests when it comes to improving the workshop. The most frequent ones are listed below. Please feel free to contact us, if you have more ideas and suggestions.

  1. More insights into how to data analysis, statistical analysis and removing bias from data collection
  2. More details on the theory behind measurements, how to read them and how the instrument works
  3. More training on taking measurements and using the instrument, more time in general

Impressions from the Workshop

All Photos by Annie Barker

PhotosynQ at Feed the Future Legume Innovation Lab (LIL) Conference in Burkina Faso August 13-18, 2017

Following the PhotosynQ Workshop (see Dan’s post), we had moved to the LIL conference site at Laico Ouaga 2000, a high security hotel/conference venue outside of Ouagadougou city.  “Feed the Future” is a program funded by USAID under the US government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative.  This program has been engaging many universities, institutions and private organizations in the US, Africa and Central/South America to improve the quality and management of legume, and contributing to the well-beings of local people. Michigan State University ( is one of the leading institutions contributing researches and new technologies to the world.

One of the designated official languages being French, we had a simultaneous translation through headphone at this conference. The last time when I had to use French in daily basis was almost 20 years ago. Listening to the scientific talks was manageable, but my speaking ability was quite embarrassing. Another challenge was internet connectivity. As Dan mentioned, we had to manage the workshop with almost no internet connection. We were hoping to have a better connection at this best hotel in Burkina Faso, but unfortunately, it seemed the system could not handle a large traffic at once. The conference participants expressed that they had never experienced this in the past anywhere in Africa. It seems it was an isolated incidence, but we came up with some better solutions for the future.

  PhotosynQ booth (From right: Dan, Frank and Atsuko)

 Presentation by Dr. Irvin Widders, Director of Legume Innovation Lab, MSU. PhotosynQ was mentioned as one of the highlights of the ‘Feed the Future’ program.

At the last LIL conference held at Livingston, Zambia, Dave Kramer and Dan TerAvest presented the PhotosynQ project using MultispeQ Beta. This year in Burkina Faso, not only the people from Kramer Lab (Dave, Dan, Donghee Hoh, Isaac Osei-Bonsu and me), but also our PhotosynQ collaborators (Dr. Isaac Dramadri in Uganda, Dr. James Kelly with Dr. Jesse Traub and Dr. Wayne Loescher of MSU, and Dr. Kelvin Kamfwa of U of Zambia) presented more detailed and sophisticated data showing the correlations among photosynthesis, plant responses and gene expressions. It was very encouraging for us to see more people started thinking that the PhotosynQ platform and hand-held devices are useful and practical to the broad applications.

We are very excited about the new challenges, collaborations and long-lasting friendships. And we all hope to see you again!