Nikon Instruments Announces Judges for 44th Nikon Small World Competition

Nikon Instruments Inc. today announced the judging panel for the 2018 Nikon Small World photomicrography and Small World in Motion video competitions, which will be held on June 5-7 at the Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. 

Joseph Fetcho, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University and Tristan Ursell, Ph.D., assistance professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Oregon will be joined by CNN International broadcast journalist Adam Dunnakey and Quartz senior video producer Jacob Templin to review and select the 2018 winning images and videos. Submissions are evaluated on originality, informational content, technical proficiency and visual impact.

Marking its 44th year, the Nikon Small World competition is widely regarded as the leading forum to recognize proficiency and photographic excellence in photomicrography. Each year Nikon honors the Top 20 photography winners and Top 5 video winners, along with additional Honorable Mentions and Images of Distinction for their mastery and creativity in capturing the beauty and mystery of science under the microscope. Over the years the competition has featured awe-inspiring images of chemistry and the life sciences, ranging from keratin proteins within human skin cells to mold on a tomato. 

Nikon Small World strives to bring science to a visual level that both experts and non-experts alike can appreciate and understand. The ability of the competition to bring science to a mass audience relies on both the talent of the entrants and expertise of the panel of judges. The judges this year include:

  • Dr. Joseph Fetcho, Professor, Associate Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University: Dr. Fetcho is recognized for his pioneering discoveries around the use of zebrafish to reveal principles of the development and functional organization of the nervous system. His laboratory was the first to use in vivo imaging of activity in groups of neurons in the brain and spinal cord of an intact vertebrate, and other approaches now in common use in such studies.
  • Dr. Tristan Ursell, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and at the Institute of Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon: Dr. Ursell uses advanced optical microscopy techniques, computational image processing, and biophysical simulations to examine collective behaviors and processes in microbial ecology. He is also a member of the NIH META Center for Systems Biology, where he studies how cells move and invade, how cells die, and how cells engage in collective behavior that benefits the group over the individual.
  • Adam Dunnakey, CNN International: Dunnakey, a biomedical science graduate, is a broadcast journalist at CNN International with more than a decade of experience creating special programming on newly-discovered species, quantum computing, and more. In 2017 he created, CNN Inspirations: Unseen Earth, which revealed the hidden beauty of objects that are usually too big or too small to see.
  • Jacob Templin, Quartz: Templin is a senior video producer at Quartz where he develops videos on a range of topics, including robotics, drones and more. His coverage and attention to Nikon Small World over the years has helped to build prestige and reach for the competition.  He also serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia University, where he co-teaches a course on multi-platform storytelling at the School of International and Public Affairs.

“As the competition continues to grow, we are proud to host expert judges that are respected within their communities and share our mission of bringing together science and art in a way that inspires and educates the general public,” said Eric Flem, Communications Manager, Nikon Instruments. “We are pleased to once again bring together an impressive judging panel this year that can speak to the scientific significance and artistic storytelling of each image and video entry.” 

The Nikon Small World in Motion video winners will be announced in September, and winners of the Small World photomicrography competition will be released in October.

To get an inside look at the judging process and experience, follow the hashtag #NikonSmallWorld and conversation on Facebook, Twitter (@NikonSmallWorld) and Instagram (@nikoninstruments).