University of Ottawa "Pick of the Pic" 2015

Lumenera is a proud partner of the University of Ottawa and Dr. Jon G. Houseman of the Biology Department. This partnership enables the biology students at the University to excel in their studies through access to state-of-the-art camera technology provided by Lumenera's INFINITY line of microscopy cameras.

As a pioneer in the biology industry, Dr. Jon G. Houseman's focus on innovation and excellence is a perfect match for Lumenera, a trusted leader in high-performance digital cameras.

We are excited to showcase the exceptional talent of the biology students and to offer a prize for the best photo taken in the "Pick of the Pics" Contest! Below are images taken by students using Lumenera's INFINITY microscopy cameras.

Congrats to the Pick of the Pics 2015 Grand Prize Winners: Allyson Banville and Amal Hussein. See their winning photo in the "Arthropoda" lab below.

View images by Biology Lab:

"Arthropoda Lab" Pics

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The shot of the rostrum of the crayfish is fantastic. It might have a bit too much light but it works because the specimen itself is dark. Well done.

Taken by David McCann and Tony Pham

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This is a very interesting shot of the mosquito adult and pupa. Look closely at the pupa on the right and you can see the adult mosquito inside the pupal case: It's legs, compound eye and thoracic hump for the flight muscles are all visible. This pupa was just about to moult when this slide was made.

Taken by Sasha Newer and Christina Salamy

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Like the crayfish, insects are hard to photograph because they have such a dark cuticle and its a delicate balance between too little light and not seeing the sutures and grooves, or too much and bleaching the specimen out. The lighting is perfect and with the nice sharp focus you can see a lot of detail for the head appendages.

Taken by Sai Anand and Roxana Filip

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Mites are soo small but they still challenge the depth of field and getting all the parts of the body into focus is difficult. That's why this picture makes it into the Pick of the Pics: you can see great detail on this little mite.

Taken by Ashleigh Ooi and Irene Patrinos


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There were lots of pictures of mouth parts and appendages but most of them were either not colour balanced or too dark. This picture of the tip of the leg shows its chelate characteristic. The tip has two opposable part but they are actually the second to last segment and the last. Don't confuse this morphology with being biramous.

Taken by Brittany Pegg and Zoe Price

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This is an excellent picture of the ventral surface of the feeding appendages of the tick as seen from the ventral side. The barbed hypostome lies in the center and the pedipalps on either side. The picture is so good you can see the sensory hairs and structures on the surface of the palp.

Taken by Lubo Faisa and Jean Kayijamahe

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GRAND PRIZE WINNING PHOTO: This a very detailed look at the labrum of the grasshopper. You can see the various sensory hairs and bristles that the hopper uses to taste its food.

Taken by Allyson Banville and Amal Hussein

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As I mentioned before there were lots of pictures of mouthparts but most were too dark or not white balanced. Allyson and Amal make into the Pick of the Pics with this shot. The secret is that has mild back lighting from the stage of the dissecting scope and overhead light to show the details of the mouthpart!

Taken by Allyson Banville and Amal Hussein


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Once again we have a great mite shot with excellent detail because there is a deep focal field.

Taken by Linda Dam and Derek Ye

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There is so much detail visible that I could mention but rather than doing that I'll point out the 4 pairs of legs inside the carapace on which you can see the setal hairs that sweep through the water collecting phytoplankton.

Taken by Stephanie Rivest and Sharon Sia

"Annelida Lab" Pics

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There certainly is a lot going on in this cross-section of the leech and you can see it all because the picture is perfectly white balanced.

Taken by Theodora Broadly and Brittany Powell-Lee

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This is a superb shot of the mouth of Ascaris. You can see the three lips of the triradiate mouth and even the paired amphids on either side.

Taken by David McCann and Tony Pham

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This section through the male Ascaris shows the detail of the lateral line and the cytroplasmic extensions of the longitudinal muscle. There were lots of attempts at good shots but most were lacking good focus and white balance - that's why this one makes it to Pick of the Pics.

Taken by Sai Anad and Roxana Filip

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These two students are back again with another great shot. Having taken the time to white balance the picture the detail in the specimen is fantastic. You can even see the fine blood vessels in the body wall along with aorta and seminal vesicles. Spectacular!

Taken by Jeffrey Do and Kyle Law


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Photo of the jaw. In this and the following shot you can see the small teeth, denticles, that help to hold the prey in place.

Taken by Jessica Lin and Fatima Mahmood

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Photo of the jaw.

Taken by Melanie Milito and Nicole Murphy

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Very nice section through the triradiate pharynx of the nematode.

Taken by Erin Johnston and Sarah Prager


"Mollusca Lab" Pics

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Although this is a little over-lit the focus is fantastic and as you look along the tentacle you can see various parts of suction cups that the squid uses to hold onto its prey.

Taken by Minh-Toan Do and Riley Thompson

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Photo of the beak. This shot could have used a little more overhead light but you can still see the interlocking jaws that are used to tear at captured prey.

Taken by Hillary Morgan and Adhiyat Najam

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This is the first of two great shots of a close look at the section of the clam gill. You can see the lateral cilia and as well the supporting structure that hold the lamella surface rigid on the surface of the ctenidium.

Taken by Hefzi Alnajjar and Joel Johnston

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Excellent shot of the detail of the clam's gill. You can see the tissue bridge that connects the two sides of the demibranch to create the exhalent water chamber in between. Nice white balance makes this a great pick of the pics.

Taken by Brittany Peg and Zoe Alison Price


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This is a great radula shot. You can see how the different types of teeth articulate with each other which is essentially if the ribbon like radula is to grind away at food.

Taken by Paige Coombs and Katherine Noah

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There is a bit more detail in this shot because of the where the section was made. What makes this picture really good is the cilia at the tip of the ridges. The long lateral cilia pump water through openings into the exhalant branchial chamber. On the tip of the ridge you can see smaller cilia that trap the food and send to the edge of the gill an onto the mouth. Excellent shot!

Taken by Ferva Shahzeeen

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This shot of the radula doesn't have much biological information since the teeth are so smooth and regular, but it does have aritstic merit!

Taken by Juan Garcia Vaca and Amer Saleh


"Platyhelminthes and Bryozoa Lab" Pics

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This is a great shot of the cercaria, the swimming stage that hatches from the snail and searches out the next host in the life cycle. What makes this into a Pick of the Pics is the excellent lighting and the whole specimen is in focus!

Taken by Theodora Broadley and Brittany Powell-Lee

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There were lots of shots of the metacercaria to choose from but this one stands out because of the detail of the body of the dormant organism inside the protective casing.

Taken by Maryjo Fernandes and Sarah Sau-Han Lee

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The redia stage is a larval amplification where one larva undergoes asexual reproduction to produce buds that fill its body and then differentiate into the next stage of the life cycle. Redia are filled with cercaria and this one is about to burst. Look at the upper tip and you can see the head and tail of the cercaria inside.

Taken by Maryjo Fernandes and Sarah Sau-Han Lee

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This slide makes it into Pick of the Pics because of the focus showing the content and not the surrounding shell. This of course is the egg stage and you can tell the difference between it and a metacercaria (both have shells) by the uniform appearance of the egg content and the lid, operculum, of the egg which is missing in both these specimens.

Taken by Michael Brecka and Steven Price


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This picture of the lophophore is fantastic, great detail, lighting, and a deep depth of field leaves almost all the tentacles in focus. It's not an easy shot to get, and these two have pulled it off.

Taken by Hefzi Alnajjar and Joel Johnston

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Another super shot of the fluke egg. The operculum has popped off during the preparation of the slide and you can see some of the egg contents oozing out of the operculum opening.

Taken by Kevin Ladstaetter and Cole Niemi

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This is the second Pick of the Pics of a cercaria and it has all the same qualities as the first one. You can make out cellular detail of the head and tail regions and the lighting is perfect.

Taken by Brittany Peg and Zoe Alison Price

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There are lots of pictures of the scolex of the tapeworm but very few have the suckers and the hooks both in focus. This one does, and that's why it's here in this weeks Pick of the Pics.

Taken by Jeffery Do and Kyle Law


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I like this picture of the hooks. Its very artistic in its composition, lighting and layout. An artsy shot for this weeks Pick of the Pics.

Taken by Anna Jirovec and Daniel Migchels

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Great detail shot of the mature proglottid of the tapeworm. Everything you need to see in terms of reproductive organs is visible in clear sharp detail - you can't ask for more.

Taken by Kyna Biggs and Khaled Himmat

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Taking a picture under the dissection scope, particularly at low zoom is difficult. The light shining from underneath creates a "hot spot," but not in this shot. The lighting is almost perfectly even across the whole picture and the detail is magnificent. You can even see the vitelline dust on both sides of the flukes body- that's hard to get in a photo.

Taken by William Geldart and Lauren Griffith

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There were lots of pictures of the mature proglottid but this was one of the only ones that clearly showed the internal organ systems of the segment. Everything on the checklist is visible in this. Amazing photograph.

Taken by Dawson Bechwith and Amelia Burns

"Cnidaria Lab" Pics

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This is an especially nice shot of the strobila with a mature ephyra that is about to be released- you can even see the small rhoplaia at the tip of each arm.

Taken by Michael Reynolds & Monica Zielinski

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The Metridium are very small and immature. In this wonderful picture there is only one siphonoglyph attached to the outer body wall by two complete septa; the other will appear when the polyp is larger. The wrinkled part is the pharynx. There are also some great trilobed, incomplete septa to the right of the siphonoglyph.

Taken by Minh-Tona Do & Riley Thompson

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Great shot of a single arm of the ephyra. You can see the details of the lappets that surround the statolith.

Taken by Jessica Lin & Fatima Mahmood

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Take a close look at the pharynx in the center of this Metridium and you can tell where the siphonoglyphs are because of their smooth surface. The one on the lower relft is the easiest to see. Follow the wrinkles of the pharnx to find the siphonoglyph on the opposite side, its bent like an upside down U.


Taken by Jessica Lin & Fatima Mahmood


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I know its not easy to submerse a thick specimen in our shallow dissecting dishes but most of this specimen has water covering it - it's why you can see the great detail of the gonads and stringy acontia that are armed with cnidocytes.

Taken by Suban Cabdulle & Rayan Mustapha

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This specimen is completely covered in water and there is no glare allowing you to get a good look at complete and incomplete septa and the retractor muscles midway down their length. The spongy tissue in between is gonad, the stringy tissues are stinging acontia.

Taken by Brody Rawding

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It is important when taking a picture of a specimen with the dissecting scope to have both light sources aimed at the specimen. You would be surprised how many students don't even know there is an upper light. This shot could have used a little more overhead light but in spite of that you get a great view of the velum, gonads and tentacles.

Taken by Shreena Kalaria & Chukwudi Onyekere

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There is great detail in the body wall in this shot and its easy to distinguish the outer nutritive epithelial layer (epidermis) and the inner gastrodermis - you can even identify the mesoglea. Better still, look closely at the tip of the siphonoglyph in the lower left and you can see the cilia that line the inner surface.

Taken by Hannah Ackerman & Olivia Pastore


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Again you can see how good the photo is when the specimen is underwater and there is no glare. There is a nice mix of acontia and gonadal tissue in this section adjacent to the pedal disc.

Taken by Jenna Lin

"Surface to Volume and Protozoa Porifera Lab" Pics

INFINITY 1 sample image of arteries and vein

Excellent mastery of the oil immersion lens and technique! In this great photo their slide has been cleaned, and the colour properly balanced. Really nice blood smear with lots of ring stage plasmodia.

Taken by Anna Jirovec & Daniel Migchels

INFINITY1 Sample image of Stained Tissue

This detailed view of the body wall of a sponge is great. You can distinguish the choanocytes lining the radial canal and amoebocytes wandering around in the mesohyl, and if you look closely you may also seee a few crumpled flagella on the choanocytes.

Taken by Erin Johnston & Sarah Prager

INFINITY X-32 sample image of stained tissue

This is a great shot of a sponge gemmule. It is impossible to get the whole specimen in focus but in this picture the focal plane is near the center and as a result the spicules covering the surface at its maximum diameter are all in focus.

Taken by Anchal Joshi & Vi Nguyen

INFINITY 3-3UR sample image of ilium brownii

This dissection scope shot of the liver fluke has spectacular detail. It's not easy taking a picture with the dissection scope. You have to create a careful lighting balance between the overhead illuminator and the one from under the stage. That has been achieved here and the result is this amazing shot.


Taken by Jessica Lin & Fatima Mahmood


INFINITY 3-3UR sample image of tissue

A combination of a good slide and increasing the depth of field produces this shot of the protozoa with a great view of the beaded macronucleus and also the feeding membranelles, modified cilia, that propel food into the cytostome.

Taken by Paige Coombs & Katherine Noah

INFINITY 3-3UR sample image of fixed cell

A combination of good sharp focus and white balance makes this one of the best images of the spicules.

Taken by Kevin Ladstaetter & Cole Niemi

INFINITY 3-3UR sample image of ilium brownii

There were a lot of good shots of this section through the sponge but what makes this one stand out is the sharpness of the focus which makes it easy to tell where the choanocytes are located and which are the radial and incurrent canals of the aquiferous system.

Taken by Hefzi Alnajjar & Joel Johnston

INFINITY 3-3UR sample image of tissue

Like the gemmule shot above, this one is also great for all the same reasons. You can see the gemmules, the artifact casing and spicules and all are in great focus and detail.

Taken by Tal Melamed & Kaira Bakkestad-Legare


INFINITY 3-3UR sample image of fixed cell

This shot has great white balance, brightness and contrast. The specimen in the upper left: you can see the margins of the pylome, the large opening, in the test.

Taken by Caroline Mcmillan & Sheena Parsons