We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Light Microscopy Australia Image Competition.

We had 116 eligible entries across the four categories and with so many beautiful images this year, it was very competitive.

Each category will award a $400 first prize and a $200 second prize. We would like to thank the sponsors of each category, Optiscan, Zeiss Australia and Nikon for their support of the competition.

Please follow the links below to see this years winners.

Live Cell Category Winners
In Vivo Category Winners
Materials Science Category Winners



Proudly sponsored by Zeiss




1ST PRIZE: Brett Lewis – QUT

A Coral Nebulae – By developing novel sample processing methods we image reef-building coral tissues in cross-section linking internal strcutre with the surafce sturcture and tracking the change in autofluorescence during immune response, growth and colony recovery.
12 images were taken over 15 hours using A1R HD25 confocal fluorescence microscope (Nikon, Tokyo, Japan) with excitation wavelengths of 405 nm (DAPI), 488 nm (FITC), 561 nm (TRITC), 640 nm (CY5).
Images were then stacked to create a high resolution image.
These methods allow us to track coral tissues development, cellular turnover and skeletal microstructure (via SEM) at key stages of development.

2ND PRIZE: Alan Pickhaver – RMIT

At Home with a Tardigrade –  Optical Image taken at 400x magnification on Microlux Tokyo MLD optical microscope with 16MP phone camera.

At home, in lockdown, without access to high end equipment; the simple delight of exploring a world in micro is still accessible to all, as is highlighted by this image taken of a curious tardigrade captured using a basic optical microscope, a usb powered desktop lamp and a phone camera held up to the eye piece.


The Twisted Path to Symbiosis – Infection thread in Medicago truncatula root hair cell. A new and unique combination of fluorescent plant cell wall stains has given the striking contrast in the walls of this infection thread shown in cyan against the surrounding root hair cell walls in red. An infection thread is a tube of plant cell wall material that transports symbiotic rhizobacteria through legume root hair cells, and into growing root nodules. Image is a maximum projection from a confocal z-stack, captured on a Leica SP8.

DISTINCTION: Arthur Chien – Macquarie University

Inside the Mouse Brain – This is a zoomed out image of the thick (~550um) full brain section from mouse . To get this images I take 20k+ images and recombine them to see the full section. The coloured objects here are neurons expressing GFP signals at different positions within the brain. Olympus FV3000 confocal system with 10x air objective.

DISTINCTION: Yu Hung – IMB, University of Queensland

Crammed – Single slice in time of a live primary mouse microglia that constitutively expresses tdTomato. Captured by fast airyscan confocal LSM 880. All endocytic structures can be seen in negative relief including the enormous number of endosomes and mitochondria all squeezed into this one tiny cell. Image has been pseudocoloured in photoshop.

DISTINCTION: Leigh Nicholson – Westmead Institute for Medical Research

View from the Top – This is a section of mouse small intestine tissue, used to examine the histological effects of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), post-transplantation of human islet allografts of diabetic humanized recipient mice. For this study, we were looking for very small changes in organ histology to identify indicators of GVHD. This image was taken using the Hamamatsu NanoZoomer following hematoxylin-eosin staining.



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