Welcome to MOTILITY

A group of optical engineers, microbiologists, and astrobiologists who want to convince the world that the best way to study bacteria is to watch them swim.

Home of the Motility Database

An open archive of videos of microbial motility in three dimensions For scientists, educators, and the public

What role does microbial motility play in aquatic environments: oceans, lakes, and inside the pores of sea ice?

When microbes lose the ability to swim, what will make them swim again--temperature, amino acids, sugars? How long does it take to go from motile to non-motile?

Is microbial motility substantially different in extremely cold and nutrient poor environments (such as the Arctic) than in more temperate environments (such as off Scripps pier?

Can we build a microscope to look for microbial motility on an icy moon of Jupiter or Saturn? How can motility be a biosignature that complements biochemical biosignatures of life on other planets?

Contact Information

010 Firestone Building
1200 E. California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91125
Telephone: (626)395-2405
Email: motility@caltech.edu

Helpful Links

  • Caltech
  • GALCIT
  • Medical Engineering
  • Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation
  • Deming Research Group at UW
  • Useful Resources

  • Nikon MicroscopyU
  • LynceeTec
  • Textbook on Molecular Biophysics