Microscopy expert receives image award

Microscopy expert receives image award

Capturing a hair-raising image of a Moth Fly in minute detail has earned a University of Aberdeen microscopy expert a prestigious award.

Kevin Mackenzie, manager of the Microscopy and Histology Facility at the University’s Institute of Medical Sciences, has won a Wellcome Image awardfor his stunning image of a scaly Moth Fly.

The awards are run by the Wellcome Trust and recognise technical excellence, visual appeal and ability to convey the fascination of science. 

Kevin’s image has been selected alongside 15 others by a judging panel as a winner of the 2012 awards. For the first time this year the best overall picture will be announced at the prize-giving ceremony at the Wellcome Collection in London on June 20.

Kevin, who was also one of last year’s Wellcome Image winners, said: “I am delighted to win such a prestigious award. I’ve always respected the work of the Wellcome Trust and so to be commended by them makes it all the more special.”

Kevin discovered the fly on his kitchen wall before capturing its image on a Scanning Electron Microscope.

“Even to the naked eye this fly was unusual in appearance – like a tiny moth, holding large wings across the top of a distinctly fuzzy hairy body. I’d seen nothing like it before so it definitely warranted a closer look”, added Kevin.

The Moth Fly, also known as a drain fly, is a mottled black/grey colour but Kevin has added  colour to the image to create visual impact.  

This year’s awards will be presented by the BBC’s medical correspondent Fergus Walsh, who was a member of the judging panel. He said: “This was another year of diverse, fascinating and beautiful images. In what other field can you celebrate the hidden beauty of a diatom frustule or caffeine crystals?”

The winning images will be on display at Wellcome Collection from June 21, as well as on the Wellcome Image Awards website (http://www.wellcomeimageawards.org/), where you can find more information on the remarkable scientific stories behind the stunning images.

Wellcome Images is one of the world's richest and most unique collections, with themes ranging from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and over 40 000 high-quality images from the clinical and biomedical sciences.

Now in their fifteenth year, the Wellcome Image Awards were established to reward contributors to the collection for their outstanding work.