Volvox wall art giveaway!

I had eight prints made (on canvas) of a micrograph I took in grad school of Volvox aureus. They turned out much better than I expected…it’s really hard to know how the color balance of something you’re looking at on a computer screen will look when it’s printed out. I’m going to give one away by random drawing. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment identifying your favorite species (of anything; rules below).

Volvox aureus

Volvox aureus by me

This is a 12″ x 12″ print of an integrated z-stack; that is, the in-focus portions of several different focal planes are combined so that more of the image is in focus than any single focal plane can capture. It was taken with a Nikon DS-Ri1 digital camera mounted on a Nikon Eclipse Ti inverted microscope. I don’t remember which objective I was using, but at around 10″ diameter, the final image is about 500x (assuming the colony was ~0.5 mm). The photo was printed by Canvas Champ, and I had it laminated (which is supposed to make it last longer). The canvas is stretched on a wood frame and ready to hang:


The rules:

I will use a random number generator to pick one commenter out of however many submit a species in response to this post by 11:59 p.m. Friday, December 7, 2018, and I’ll send the photo to the winner. Eligible entries must be a species, but common names are fine (e.g. bluejay is fine, but Volvox, being a genus, is not). If there’s some question about what counts as a species, eligibility will be decided at my sole discretion. Optionally, you can say why your preferred species is the coolest. Multiple entries won’t increase your odds (and will complicate my randomization), so one entry per person, please. There’s no catch; I’ll pay the postage, and I won’t ask for any information beyond your mailing address.

I’m going to try to sell the other seven prints; if you don’t win, you can find them here (yeah, I set up an Etsy store for this).


  1. says

    Jaculus jaculus is my current favorite, although it is chosen primarily for the name and my enduring passion for the television show “A very secret service”. In other news, all offices are lonely without you.

  2. Piotr Lukasik says

    Oncorhynchus clarkii. No explanation needed, right? I miss them! Also, I reasoned that specifying this one might get me an extra entry 😉

  3. Raucous Indignation says

    Pomatomus saltatrix! The bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) is the only extant species of the family Pomatomidae. I loved fishing for snappers and bluefish when I was a child. But, if you must know, I think Callinectes sapidus is mighty tasty. Especially fried soft shells.

  4. says

    Salpingoeca rosetta. Not because I am partial to any specific species of choanoflagellate, but because that seems to be one that the King Lab at Berkeley is looking at. The animal-like yin to the plant-like yang of Volvox.

    • Matthew Herron says

      Hopi Hoekstra gave a talk here last week that included a photo of Xerus inauris. Or was it princeps? Jane would have known. Either way, it made me happy.


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