2010 Photomicrography Competition

Zebrafish olfactory bulbs

Oliver Braubach

Dalhousie University
Department of Physiology & Biophysics
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

The processes that shape and change the developing and mature brain are some of the most complex in science. That’s exactly what Oliver Braubach sought to explore when snapping the photo of zebrafish olfactory bulbs. These structures bulge out of the anterior part of the brain and serve to organize and relay incoming olfactory information. The image taken for Small World was taken as part of preliminary experiments aimed at developing anatomical labels for different structures in the olfactory bulb. Since developing these labels, Oliver has used them to investigate how fibers from the nose contact cells in the brain and how these connections refine after they are initially formed.

The general focus of his photomicrography is the structure of the intact vertebrate nervous system. Oliver notes, “I think that it is possible to learn a lot about the function of the brain by looking at its intact structure, such as the anatomical connections between cell populations.”

In addition to his science work, Oliver is also an avid photographer and devotes much of his free time to taking pictures of materials unrelated to his work. As such, he has become increasingly interested in technical and artistic aspects of photomicrography.