The Micropalaeontological Society

Microfossil Image Competition & Calendar 2021

Diatoms are tiny, silica-shelled phytoplankton. Not only are they an important part of marine ecosystems and useful tools for studying past climate – this Asteromphalus flabellatus proves that they are also amazingly beautiful!

The Micropalaeontological Society is delighted to announce the winner of the 2020 Micropalaeontology Image Competition!

The overall image winner was submitted by Isabel Dove from the University of Rhode Island – Graduate School of Oceanography, with a beautiful image of the diatom species Asteromphalus flabellatus. Not only does Isabel win the competition’s first prize of €200, but her image is also included on the front cover of our TMSoc2021 Calendar (see below for ordering details)!

On behalf of the Society we would like to congratulate Isabel on her success. Eleven additional winners were selected from the fantastic submissions, and are on display below! A wide variety of microfossils and imaging techniques have been championed this year, and we are already looking forward to next year’s competition.

The twelve winning images have been incorporated into the 2021 Micropalaeontology Calendar, which is now available for purchase! Like last year, the calendar has been produced in spiral-bound A4 landscape format with one page per month.

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Additional winners

Odysseas Archontikis and Jeremy Young, University of Oxford and University College London

Coccolith ultrastructure of Cyclicargolithus floridanus. Each coccolith is composed of two interconnecting cycles of the same crystal units, known as the R-units. Coccosphere specimen is c. 10μm in diameter and was collected from Early Miocene dark sapropelic sediments.

Hilary H. Birks, University of Bergen, Norway

Seed of mountain chickweed, Cerastium cerastoides. This creeping arctic-alpine plant bears large white chickweed flowers, characteristic of its family, Caryophyllaceae. It grows in seepage zones from melting snowbeds usually in open gravel or stones. The bean-shaped seeds, about 1.5 mm long, have an amazing pattern of humpy interlocking cells.
Seed of sea campion, Silene maritima. The grey-leaved plants form loose mats and bear large white flowers typical of its family, Caryophyllaceae. It inhabits sea-cliffs, seaside walls, shingle banks, and drift-lines on seashores. Its bean-shaped seeds, about 2 mm long, have an amazing pattern of interlocking jig-saw cells

Damián Cárdenas, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Catching a glimpse of organic-walled microfossils

Dimitris Evangelinos, Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra – CSIC – Universidad de Granada

Diatom buried in calcareous nannofossils

Sahina Gazi, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, India

Calcareous Nannofossils from the Indian Sector of Southern Ocean

Hannah Hartung, University of Cologne

Look, which surprise: a baby-like Radiolaria in the belly of its mother

Susan Richardson, Florida Atlantic University

Slice through shell of an ancient foraminiferan Rauserella erratica. Image shows the discoidal shape of the early shell which results from regular coiling in a single plane. In later stages, the shell becomes uncoiled as the axis of coiling shift. Shells collected from reef-associated habitats in Permian-aged rocks of North America.

Mariem Saavedra-Pellitero, University of Birmingham

During COVID-19 lockdown, I experienced a great personal tragedy. I drew these two coccospheres of Emiliania huxleyi (type A and type O) to cheer myself up. I hope this watercolor will bring a smile to others.

Nicolai Schleinkofer, Goethe University, Frankfurt

Parasitic foraminifera (Hyrokkin sarcophaga) on host organism (Acesta excavata, bivalve). The bored hole is visible as well as the defense reaction of the bivalve (callus formation to close the boring)

Yan Yu Ting, Earth Observatory of Singapore

A showcase of nature’s meticulous design skills – a handful of tropical benthic foraminifera imaged at various angles using microscope.

Pricing Table

  • Post to UK
  • £20
  • Post to EU
  • £24
  • Post to outside EU
  • £24

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