Hilda Canter-Lund 2020

This award was established by the British Phycological Society in recognition of Hilda Canter-Lund, whose stunning photographs will be known to many members. Her photomicrographs of freshwater algae combined high technical and aesthetic qualities whilst still capturing the quintessence of the organisms she was studying.

Winners 2020

Davis Laundon: “The Phycosphere”

Davis is a PhD student at the Marine Biological Association of the UK and the University of East Anglia, dedicated to applying quantitative microscopy tools to investigate the cell biology of understudied marine microbes. During his undergraduate degree in marine biology at the University of Plymouth (UK), Davis developed a fascination for marine microbiology and optical microscopy and he is currently investigating how parasitic protists influence the growth dynamics of marine microalgae. In addition to his work, Davis has a passion for bringing microbes to life and to a broader audience through the creation of ‘SciArt’.

Even the smallest organisms can be a home for others. The thin layer of mucus surrounding phytoplankton cells, known as ‘The Phycosphere’, provides a rich microscale habitat for bacterial communities and is an example of the many microbe-microbe interactions that exist throughout the plankton. This example of the phycosphere is from a Coscinodiscus diatom, about a 10th of  a millimetre in diameter, isolated from the English Channel (UK) with its associated bacteria. The diatom chloroplasts were imaged using their natural autofluorescence and are shown in red, while Hoechst-labelled DNA, representing the diatom nucleus and phycosphere bacteria, is shown in cyan. This image was taken with a Leica SP8 confocal microscope and is a maximum projection of a z-series. Diatom isolated by Angela Ward (MBA).

Michiel Vos: “Carpodesmia tamariscifolia (Bushy Rainbow Wrack) framed by Himanthalia elongata (Thong  Weed) in a rockpool in Falmouth, Cornwall, U.K.”

Michiel Vos has an MSc in Marine Biology from the University of Groningen but proceeded to work on terrestrial bacteria in subsequent posts in Tübingen, Oxford and Wageningen, before moving to the University of Exeter Medical School (Cornwall Campus). Moving to Cornwall rekindled his love for marine biology and he tries to spend as much time as possible submerged in rockpools. He blogs about his finds on his blog “an_bollenessor” which means ‘the rockpool hunter in the Cornish language, and posts on Instagram as @an_bollenessor.

I took this photo of this stunningly beautiful iridescent Rainbow Wrack spring 2020 at a low tide when this rockpool was no more than a meter deep. This species is a perennial that forms a home to many animals, from sponges to tunicates, and is often used by the Bull Huss to attach its egg cases to. Many seaweed species also grow epiphytically on Bushy Rainbow Wrack, such as the invasive red species Bonnemaisonia hamifera on this photo. Photo taken using an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with an 8mm fisheye lens and with a single automatic strobe.  The picture frame is about a metre deep.

2020 Shortlist

Erasmo Macaya  “Awesome Brown”

 “Macrocystis pyrifera” the giant kelp, the largest seaweed on earth. Photo at the intertidal: stipes,  pneumatocysts (floating structures) and blades in a nice combination and color. This image was taken during a Marine Botany Course in Punta Arenas, southern Chile. Equipment used was a Nikon AW300.

Galice Hoarau: “Fucus”

Fucus serratus, F. vesiculosus and F. distichus growing together in the shallow intertidal in Northern Norway (Bodø). Fucus species are important ecosystem engineer and are present in sympatry in several part of their distribution where they can hybridize.

John Huisman: “Stellate propagules of an undescribed species of Hypnea

The red algal genus Hypnea includes several species that reproduce vegetatively by coronate or stellate propagules. These are typically darker in colour than the bearing branches and are easily dislodged, growing into new thalli.  This image was taken on a Nikon Eclipse 80i microscope with a Nikon DS-Fi1 camera, using bright field illumination. Several images were taken at different focal planes and stacked in Adobe Photoshop 2020. The specimen was collected from Cape Peron in Western Australia and the image shows two propagules on a bearing branch. The scale represents 100 µm.

Thomas Proeschold: ”Cosmic volvocine alga: Pleodorina californica”.

Two colonies of Pleodorina californica (SAG 32.94), a strain isolated by Francis D. Ott from a drainage ditch in Maryland (USA), photographed with an Olympus BX60 with DIC contrast. This volvocine green alga represents one of the model organisms for studying the origin of multicellularity.

Kristy Sullivan: Staurastrum nova-caesareae

This unique Staurastrum specimen was collected from Lake Annie, a subtropical oligotrophic lake in Highlands County, FL, USA. The image was collected from a carbon-coated sample at 900x magnification in high vacuum using a JEOL JSM-5900LV scanning electron microscope at the Florida Center for Analytical Electron Microscopy.