The 2015 Submissions

The Swarthmore College Biology Department received 18 submissions for the seventh annual Robert Savage Image Award and we are pleased to present them here.

We will announce the winners at the Biology Department Picnic on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.

(Click each image to view a larger version).

1. “Fireflies: Drosophila at Sunset” One evening, I was working in Jodi’s lab and happened to glance over at the bottles of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) lined up on the counter. The sun was just going down, and they were glowing!  I couldn’t help but snap a photo.

1. “Fireflies: Drosophila at Sunset”
One evening, I was working in Jodi’s lab and happened to glance over at the bottles of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) lined up on the counter. The sun was just going down, and they were glowing! I couldn’t help but snap a photo.

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2. This is an image of a Nudibranch feeding on marine debris on Michaelmas Cay in the Great Barrier Reef. The picture was taken with a GoPro at a depth of twenty-two meters on one of my dive trips during my study abroad semester in Townsville, Australia.

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3. I captured this image of these young daffodils, sometimes called Narcissus flowers, at Longwood Gardens. You can’t see it, but these small flowers contain toxic fluid and crystals which prevent animals from eating the flower and will harm other plants that the liquid comes into contact with.

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4. Capture of 4-day-old Arabidopsis thaliana plants and seeds arranged in a double helix following a one hour exposure to high temperature stress. These plants contain a construct which results in the expression of GFP whenever the ubiquitous heat shock response protein Hsp17.6 is transcribed. Fluorescence microscopy was used to capture an image of reflected red light (from chloroplast auto-fluoresence), green light (from GFP fluorescence) and yellow light (from seed coat auto-fluorescence). Cotyledons stand as nitrogen bases, roots as deoxyribose, and seeds as the phosphate groups that together constitute the DNA of all living organisms. Of interest is the central plant shining brighter than all the rest: much like the unique single nucleotide it artistically signifies, this plant contains in every one of its cells a single nucleotide substitution in its fourth chromosome which results in a universal heat shock response protein (and thus also GFP) over-expression phenotype. For both this image and this plant, the change of a single base-pair has made all the difference.

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5. Queen Anne’s Lace, a biennial of the carrot family that originated from Europe, in two stages of development. Structural changes occur after pollination by insects, as the fruiting umbels and stems curve inward to form a concave complex, commonly known as the “Bird’s Nest”. The fruits, which can be seen as yellow beads in the “Bird’s Nest”, are known as schizocarps and eventually divide into two seeds. The bristles aid in dispersal by clinging to the fur of passing animals. Photo taken in late August, 2014.

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6. When disturbed, an Aiptasia pallida anemone scrunches in its tentacles and produces a nebula of mucus around its stalk. This anemone was photographed using a stereoscope.

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7. Tears of Lysozyme Biochemists shine X-rays on protein crystals in order to learn about protein structure. Proteins, however, are notoriously fickle when it comes to crystal formation. Crystallographers have to sample a variety of different salts and salt concentrations in order to induce a crystal. The crystal structure varies widely based on the conditions used and can often form surprisingly complex shapes, such as this seashell-like form produced by lysozyme in a 1.5% sodium iodine solution.

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8. This photo was taken during a field trip to Longwood Gardens with a tour group of Biology 002 students. This sunny walkway is known as the “Acacia Passage”, and the walls and ceilings are adorned with some of nature’s most beautiful plant life.

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9. Close-up photograph of the inside of a Magnolia flower in early Spring of 2015. The center has pollen brushed around the stamen of the flower delicately. The photo was taken spontaneously because the flower was opened widely and I used a MicroLens on my phone, which was able to focus on the tiny particles of pollen. I tried to capture the full essence of the center of a flower, which is normally less photographed than the flower or tree itself.

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10. This is a venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), which is a carnivorous plant native to the East Coast, and a threatened species. It was taken at Longwood Gardens with my Canon Rebel t2i.

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11. The red eft pictured here is the juvenile stage of the eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens), also known as the red spotted newt. As larva, eastern newts breathe through gills and remain submerged at all times but they lose their gills as they transform to their juvenile eft stage and move onto land. After a few years, the adult newt moves back to the water and develops a rudder-like tail which, along with its mature green body, is perfectly suited for aquatic life. In communities surrounded by water year round, larvae transition directly to adult newts and the juvenile eft stage can be skipped. The dramatic transformation and flexibility of the eastern newt is one of nature’s foremost examples of metamorphic plasticity.

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12. European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera). Medford, MA. This honey bee has been marked with a pink fluorescent powder so that researchers can identify her as they evaluate the foraging preferences of workers in the field. The colored powder allows biologists to explore the relationship between colony health and nutrition by comparing the diets of workers to the success of their home hives. Here, a worker rests from a long day of foraging flights.

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13. A southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) from Queensland, Australia. While it cannot fly, the southern cassowary has powerful legs and has been known to kick the occasional human who ventures too close. This photo was taken at The Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas.

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14. The photo was taken this February in the Crum Woods. It captures a leaf frozen in time and space on the surface of the Crum Creek. Surrounded the half submerged leaf are crystalized air bubbles in the ice.

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15. This little fellow is a male California Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) perched up on the branches of a red fir tree in Yosemite National Park. He keeps a close eye on the humans right below his nest as they tramp through the undergrowth in search of owl pellets. His gaze occasionally flits to the female and a pair of fledglings nearby.

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16. This is a grayscale image of a St. 31 Ciona intestinalis embryo using confocal microscopy. Ciona is a chordate used in developmental biology research. Embryos were developed to the late adhesion stage (St. 31) and stained using Phalloidin (alexis 635).

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17. A maple leaf changing colors in the fall, with the last streaks of chlorophyll highlighting the veins and the brilliant red of anthocyanins and carotenoids starting to show. “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”-Albert Camus. Taken fall 2013, Kettunen Center, MI

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18. This photo was taken using a bright field microscope during the process of establishing Köhler illumination on a sample of Aspergillus (stained blue; Carolina #B223). The photo was taken with a NEX-5.

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