Department News

MCO Student Places in Photomicrography Competition

MCO Student Places in Photomicrography Competition

Tessa Montague, a former MCO student who recently graduated from the Schier Lab, has won fifth place in the annual Nikon Small World Competition. The contest rewards entrants who use light microscopes to take stunning images of some of the smallest objects on Earth.

Tessa’s image depicts the embryo of a Parasteatoda tepidariorum, or common house spider, which has been stained for its nuclei, microtubules and embryo surface. She captured this as a summer student on the Embryology Course at the Marine Biological Laboratory. Other top images from the competition include a beetle eye, a spittlebug nymph, and a section of peacock feather. Tessa’s photo was chosen from almost 2,500 entrants around the world.

Nikon’s Small World division has celebrated light microscopy since 1975. They also host a separate competition for microscopic time-lapse photography, which is called Small World in Motion. Tessa’s video depicting the dramatic movements of a fertilized frog egg was awarded honorable mention in this competition.

This fall, Tessa will head to Columbia University to work on her postdoctoral fellowship with professor Richard Axel. She will study the neural basis of cuttlefish camouflage.


 Parasteatoda tepidariorum (spider embryo) stained for embryo surface (pink), nuclei (blue) and microtubules (green)


 Photomicrography Competition


by Mary Parker and Tessa Montague