One undergraduate who works in the CUIC will be graduating in May 2016 with five publications. He used the Macropod Imaging System to illustrate specimens in all of his papers. The imaging system is also used to take photographs of slide collections. This allows researchers around the world to view the CUIC and collaborate with the university.
Myllocerus undatus was the first sample to be imaged by Lourdes with the Macropod Pro system when it was fresh out of the box on delivery day. This first example goes to show how efficient the Macropod really is at imaging small-sized specimens for researchers with a wide range of skill sets.
Images captured with the Macropod by: Lourdes Chamorro, PhD | Systematic Entomology Laboratory, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
dozens of specimens, so loans are not always feasible. The previous solution while at collections was to take overview photos with a DSLR on a copy stand and then close-ups with a macro lens and hope for the best. I have over 30,000 images from various museums, and many are unusable as details were lost due to errors in lighting or focus. The Macropod will streamline the process dramatically, as one stacked image can reveal even more than the naked eye and details that previous required close-up images. Macropod images of specimens from previous projects show features that were previously only apparent after extensive microscope work. Plus, the procedure is entirely automated! The macropod will save us precious time on collections visits and in the lab while greatly increasing our imaging abilities.”
– Lauren Cole Sallan, PhD | University of Pennsylvania
|Left photo (plain light) and right photo (color-inverted): Tarrasius problematicus was an eel-like fish that lived in shallow bodies of water in what is now Scotland, in the Carboniferous period between 359 million and 318 million years ago. Click here for full text.|
– Brett Ratcliffe, PhD | University of Nebraska
pages of images captured with the Macropod.
“Spirematospermum seeds are some of the oldest fossils for the ginger and banana order (Zingiberales), dating back to the Cretaceous of North America and Europe. They are also somewhat common in Eurasia during the Cenozoic (ca. 66 to 2.5 Ma) – forming up to 16% of seed floras in the Neogene (23-2.5 million years ago)
- But, where do these seeds fit into the Zingiberales family tree? – there are arguments about whether they are most closely related to the ginger family (Zingiberaceae), or the banana family (Musaceae). Understanding this is important for being able to reconstruct their evolutionary history – when and where did the different families originate and diversify, and
what might have driven this process?
The Macropod has been incredible in helping to photograph th ese usually small, very three-dimensional seeds. We have been able to categorize the texture of the external seed surface much more accurately, and have seen features such as hairs that were not obvious before having this high-resolution macrophotography. This will be a great help for us in figuring out where these seeds belong (so far the data support them being most closely related to the true gingers, not the bananas!).”
– Selena Smith, PhD | University of Michigan
Riedelia sp. (Zingiberaceae) seed. This photograph was taken using Macroscopic Solutions Macropod, and is part of a larger project on evolution of Zingib erales, supported by the National Science Foundation and University of Michigan. sites.google.com/a/umich.edu/evolution-of-gingers/ Photo credit: John Benedict, Selena Smith’s lab at University of Michigan.