Pick of the Pics 2016

We are excited to showcase the exceptional talent of the biology students at the University of Ottawa 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.

Thank you to Dr. Jon G. Houseman of the Biology Department for taking the time to prepare the photo captions.

Congrats to the Pick of the Pics 2016 Grand Prize Winners: Leo Gitierrez and Michael Kalyn. See their winning photo in the "Chelicerata and Crustacea" lab below.

View images by Biology Lab:

"Atelocerata Lab" Pics

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This is an excellent picture of the labrum. This is the underside and the cluster of setal hairs and cuticular pits allow the insect to taste the food that is in the buccal cavity.

Taken by Livia Kumati & Linxi Mytkolli

You can see sensory setal hairs covering the labellum of the horse fly. You can also see the cuticular channels, grooves, on the surface that draw the blood from the wound towards the food canal at the center of the labium.

Taken by Jean-Michel Bondy & Tyler Dewar

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Great shot of the honey bee mouthparts. In this you can see all the pieces. The central "fuzzy" tongue that wicks up the nectar. The surrounding mouthparts then fold in, surround the tongue and squeeze sending food up and into the mouth.

Taken by Nicole Boyle & Allison Rich

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In this second shot of the honey bee mouthparts, you can see the detail of the hairs on the tongue and the curved inner surface of the mouthparts that will surround it and squeeze.

Taken by Natalie Litwinska & Peter Pham


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Look closely at this termite head and see that little circle in the centre, that is located in the tentorium that prevents the head from collapsing from the crushing pressure of the mandibles.

Taken by Cheuk Au & Dylan Tombs-Koscinski

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You can see the mouthparts of the horsefly and the serrated edge of the maxilla and the smooth blade of the mandible along with a palp and the hypopharynx. All that's possible because of the great depth of field and focus.

Taken by Collin Baker & Isabella Teeuwen

"Chelicerata and Crustacea Lab" Pics

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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 Celeste De Peiza & Chloe Rees-Spear

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This is a very interesting image of the idosoma of a tick. The two openings are the anal plate on the right and the genital opening on the left. There were a lot of other pictures of the same part of the tick but none had this great colour balance and depth of field.

Taken by Theodora Broadley & Marc-Alexandre Geoffrion-Lockhead

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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 Katherine Hilborn

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Great shot of the feathery gills from a crayfish. You can even see where some of the injected latex is visible inside the blood vessel connecting the gill to the heart.

Taken by Jenine Figurado & Kathryn Zwierzchowski


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There were lots of pictures of the teeth inside the gastric mill but I chose this for its depth of field and natural colours - characteristics that were missing in all the other pictures.

Taken by Emma La Fontaine & Mark Viani

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GRAND PRIZE WINNING PHOTO: This is another excellent view of the teeth but look to the left. You can see the setae of the setal sorting field the sorts food into either the digestive gland or the intestine.

Taken by Leo Gitierrez & Michael Kalyn

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This has mild back lighting from the stage of the dissecting scope and overhead light to show the details of the mouthpart! This is the first maxilliped.

Taken by Rachel Marcelissen & Hibo Yusuf

"Annelida and Nematoda 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 Jessica McPhail & Brooke Slepanki

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This a nice detailed section in the region of the central nerve cord of the earthworm and it's easy to see ventral and subneural vessels,and the three giant axons. You can even see the mesentery that attaches the ventral vessel to the digestive tract.

Taken by Rebecca Jardine & Sierra McCourt

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There were lots of pictures of the metanephridia but in many the prep was poor and it was difficult to see the various structures or the pictures weren't properly white balanced. That's not the case here. You can easily see the nephrostome on the upper right bladder on the left and the tubule connecting the two.

Taken by Sarah Bradford & Zahra Nanji

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What makes this shot worthy of this weeks Pick of the Pics is the details. You can see gut, ovary, oviduct and egg filled uterus!

Taken by Alexander Cook & Jeremie Lacroix


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There were literally hundreds of deep dark blue pictures of dissected earthworms. Not using of colour balance and increasing the gain to add more light. Not the case here though. Major structures of the anterior gut, reproductive system, metanephridia and nerve cord are all visible.

Taken by Minh-Toan Do & Daniella Santos Munoz

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In this you can even see the small teeth, denticles, that help to hold the prey in place.

Taken by Jessica Duckett & Rana Sharify

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The fresh tissue mount of a metanephridium shows a worm within a worm. Nematodes are common in the bladder of an earthworms nephridium and you can see one here.

Taken by Samantha Beaulieu-Labelle & Sahar Khatib-Shahidi

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Although this shot is a little over exposed its exceptional in catching a vinegar eel while it was still enough, and in focus, to capture the anterior anatomy of the worm. You can easily see the distinctive pharyngeal structures at the anterior end of the round worm.

Taken by Leo Gutierrez & Michael Kalyn


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Great shot of the triradiate pharynx. It's easy to see it is only one cell layer thick with a myoepithelium and its three parts. You also see the large terminal end of the lateral canal and muscles of the body wall.

Taken by Harvin Komal & Kayla McIntee

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This is just plain creepy - all those nematodes!

Taken by Candle Kozak and Mackenzie Lowe


"Mollusca Lab" Pics

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Excellent shot of the detail of the clam's 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. Nice white balance makes this a great image.

Taken by Livia Kumati & Linxi Mytolli

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It's very hard to get a good shot of a dissected specimen. If you submerse the specimen and get the lighting you can a picture like this of the atrium leading into the clam heart.

Taken by Richard El Hage & Angela Martelli

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An interesting shot of the radula showing all the very small teeth that cover the surface of the specimen.

Taken by Kayleigh Godbout & Xinran Wang

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Although its a little over exposed this is still 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 Emma La Fontaine & Mark Viani


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This is a great shot of the collar of the squid showing the relationship of the interlocking cartilages that close the collar tight against the visceral mass when water is forced out of the funnel.

Taken by Haley Asbil & Melanie Ferland


"Platyheminthes and Bryozoa Lab" Pics

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What an absolutely amazing shot of the anterior end of the fluke. You can clearly see the eggs before and after the shell has been added, branching of the digestive tract, the sucker and even more!

Taken by Livia Kumati & Linxi Mytkoli

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Do you recognize the rosette of hooks of the rostrum surrounding the mouth of the tapeworm cysticercus? This particular picture stands out for its accurate color representation and the deep depth of field that has almost the entire hook in focus.

Taken by Alex Hind & Luca McGhee

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This is a great picture of the fluke egg. Eggs have uniform content and an operculum, which in this case has popped off when the slide was prepared. These two characteristics give this away as being an egg.

Taken by Jessica Lin & Fatima Mahmood

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There were lots of pictures of metacercaria but I chose this one because the focus shows that there is a complex organism inside the shell that protects it. Compare it to the previous picture and you'll see there's no operculum and the much more complex content inside. These are the best ways to tell the difference between a metacercaria and an egg.

Taken by Jennie Figurado & Kathryn Zwierzchowski


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This is a great shot of the cercaria, one of two swimming stages in the life cycle of a fluke. Because of the depth of field and focus you can easily see the attachment of the tail and the small ventral sucker in the head of the cercarium. Be sure to compare this shot to the redia that is coming up soon.

Taken by Esther Afolayan & Dragan Poposki

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This is a particularly nice shot of the whole bryozoan colony. You can see a nice sequence from left to right of the maturation of polypids. There are even less mature ones visible between the two larger ones on the right.

Taken by Cynthia Ehiozomwangie & Sunwoo Park

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This is not an easy shot. The detail visible of the dorsal epidermal surface of planaria. In particular the two rhabdites! Spectacular - even I don't have a picture this good in DigiDiv.

Taken by Adam Waldbilig & Morgan Walz

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A spectacular shot of one of the hooks on the rostrum of the tapeworm. The colour balance could have been a little better but the depth of field has almost the entire in hook in focus.

Taken by Amol Gill & Thomas Stow


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There is so much detail in this image. One of the hardest things to see in the fluke is the vitelline duct. In this shot you not only see it crossing the body to the ootype but you can see the lateral parts of the dust collecting yolk from the vitellline gland.

Taken by Aline Abou Zaid & Stephen Matthews

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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 Yannick Kramski & Lauren Lehman

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Compare this shot to the cercaria earlier on - you can see it here in side a redia! In fact, there are three of them.

Taken by Karl Francoeur

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Lots of pictures of the scolex of the tapeworm but very few have the suckers and the hooks both in focus. This one does.

Taken by Genevieve George & Alexandra Karabatsos


"Cnidaria Lab" Pics

INFINITY 1 sample image of arteries and vein

This is a nice section through the body wall of Hydra. The two cell layers, gastrodermis and epidermis, are easy to distinguish, as is the mesohyl that lies between the two layers.

Taken by Livia Kumati & Linxi Mytkolli

INFINITY1 Sample image of Stained Tissue

This is great shot, but it could have been better with a little more overhead lighting and a little less from underneath. There were many shots like this but in this one you get to see the velum, an autoapomorphy of the Hydrozoa. There is also nice detail in the bell margin.

Taken by Sharla Foster & Noah Johnson

INFINITY X-32 sample image of stained tissue

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

Taken by Courtney Azure & Kathy Pereira

INFINITY 3-3UR sample image of ilium brownii

This section though a young metridium shows the dense folds of the septa. These are mostly incomplete septa and the band of ciliated cells are easy to see.

Taken by Alexander Cook & Jeremie Lacroix


INFINITY 3-3UR sample image of tissue

Very nice shot of a gastrozooid, hydranth. It's easy to see the thecal covering and the tentacles surrounding the hypostome inside.

Taken by Ezekial Finuma & Nathalie Lopez-Arevalo

INFINITY 3-3UR sample image of fixed cell

This section through a very young Metridium shows excellent examples of complete and incomplete septa. You can see the attachment of the complete septa to the wall of the pharynx and the retractor muscles in both septal types.

Taken by Rachel Ma & Kyle Richardson

INFINITY 3-3UR sample image of ilium brownii

This is a great shot of the acontia bundles in a dissected Metridium. The reason this shot is so clear is that all the tissue is submerged under water. This eliminates glare and is a handy trick for taking pictures of dissected specimens.

Taken by Arrwa Al-Faesly & Naomi Mantley

INFINITY 3-3UR sample image of tissue

There is a certain "artistic" quality to this picture. Although it could have been improved with a better depth of field it does seem to convey movement as the uppermost ephyra breaks free from the strobila below it.

Taken by Anujan Mohan & Jonah Ray


INFINITY 3-3UR sample image of fixed cell

This is another excellent shot through a section of a very young Metridium. What makes this stand out are the incomplete septa with the typical tri-lobed free end and the retractor muscles.

Taken by Auwies Al-Badri & Kristina Slodki


"Protozoans and Porifera Lab" Pics

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This is a great shot of the live amoeba even though there is no cytoplasmic streaming visible. There is nice depth of field and most of the cellular inclusions are sharp and clear. On the left it looks like there is a developing hyaline cap indicating the specimen is about to move in that direction.

Taken by Livia Kumati & Linxi Mytkolli

Trying to find a porocyte in the wall of Leucosolenia isn't easy. Then to get it in focus and actually see the pore is even harder. But REALLY, to get two porocytes in the picture!

Taken by Celeste De Peiza & Chloe Rees-Spear

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You need a well aligned microscope to see this type of detail and that's what we have here. There is no blurring on the edges of the red blood cells - proof of the alignment. But as well four red blood cells all showing the ring stage of Plasmodium.

Taken by Shreyas Batra & Gabriela Bragues

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Great shot of the sponge wall. You can easily see the choanocytes lining the radial canals. There is also an egg and of you look closely at the walls of the chamber it is inside the incurrent canal which isn't lined with choanocytes.

Taken by Jessica Lin & Fatima Mahmood


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There are always lots of pictures of the Radiolarian test (shells) but I like this one for its sort of "arty" look that results from good light and colour balance along with depth of field that displays many of the openings through which this amoeba's unusual axiopods extend.

Taken by Courtney Azure & Kathy Pereira

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Nice mix of radiolarian tests (shells) showing the diversity of shell morphology within the taxon. Great light and colour balance and depth of field can be seen here.

Taken by Esther Afolayan & Dragan Poposki

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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 Harvin Komal & Kayla McIntee