Hilda Canter-Lund Photography Award

Winner 2014: Herposiphonia by John Huisman


This image is of a potentially new species of the red algal genus Herposiphonia, growing epiphytically on the coralline alga Amphiroa anceps. The genus has a precise, and unique, branching pattern wherein sequences of three determinate branches are separated by one indeterminate branch. The urn-like structures are cystocarps. The specimen was collected from Cape Peron (south of Perth, Western Australia) in June 2014 and photographed live using a Nikon SMZ800 stereo microscope, using darkfield illumination. Several images were taken at different focal planes and then stacked in Adobe Photoshop CS5. For scale, the frame width is 8 mm.

John Huisman (right) received his Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne in 1986 and soon after moved to Western Australia, where he holds a joint appointment with Murdoch University and the Western Australian Herbarium. John’s research has been primarily into the taxonomy of tropical seaweeds, an interest that began during his student years and flourished during a life-changing sojourn to the Hawaiian Islands in 2002-2003. He has long held a passion for photography, particularly underwater and of his beloved algae, and while in Hawaii he began to see the potential of microscopic images to highlight the intricate, but mostly hidden, beauty of his subjects. He hopes his work promotes awareness of the algae in a different, positive light, not just as pond scum or smelly beach drift.

Contact: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, and Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, WA 6983, Australia.