Eric Marson Awards for Slides – 2020

The judge this year was Graham Matthews. Graham judged and photographed the slides before they were revealed at the virtual Annual Exhibition of Microscopy on Wednesday 30th September 2020, and he had the difficult job of deciding which of the excellent submissions from members of the Quekett, the Iceni Microscopy Study Group and the Postal Microscopical Society were of a sufficiently high standard to deserve a certificate. The entrants who deserved certificates were announced after the lecture on Saturday 3rd October.

Graham commented on the submissions:

As in previous years the Marson entries cover a wide variety of topics and slide making techniques.

It is interesting to see two different aspects of pollen mounts, where John Rhodes’ slides were prepared to assess the sources of a specific honey, whereas Gordon Brown’s are intended to show specific varieties.

Pam Hamer has used similar preparative techniques on two very different subjects, a rock and a tooth, to good effect.

Mike Smith’s wonderful sections are both a treat for the eye and a challenge for the photographer.

Carel Sartory’s insect and shark tooth mounts provide similar treats and challenges.

Tony Pattinson has created some novel fluid mounts using refillable/top-uppable purpose-built cells. Due to the fragile and experimental nature of these mounts, Tony submitted images only of these slides.

Given the variety of entries, making for nigh on impossible comparisons, certificates will be awarded to all (Carel Sartory, Gordon Brown, John Rhodes, Mike Smith, Pam Hamer and Tony Pattinson)!

Graham prepared this PowerPoint presentation with photographs and photomicrographs of the slides, and his notes:


Click the arrows to move through the slides. Click the symbol at bottom right for a larger version.

You can also see photomicrographs of the entries, together with photographs of the slides and notes, in 2 photo galleries:

Carel Sartory – Eric Marson Award

Carel Sartory submitted 3 slides, whole mounts of a stalk-eyed fly (Teleopsis sykesii) and a mantis fly from Java, and and a fossil sharks tooth from the Isle of Wight.

Carel Sartory’s slidesCarel Sartory’s slides

Carel sent his slides in protective slip-cases that work well for protecting uncovered dry mounts.

Slide in protective slip-caseSlide in protective slip-case

Graham commented on the insect slides: “The specimen is mounted dry on glass in a deep mount so that, if desired, either side can be examined.”

Gordon Brown – Eric Marson Award

Gordon Brown submitted 3 slides of pollen stained with fuchsin, honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum), oil-seed rape (Brassica napus) and elderflower (Sambucus nigra). One sample was mounted in glycerin jelly, the other 2 in LOCA 1000.

Gordon Brown’s slidesGordon Brown’s slides

Graham commented: “Interesting to see use of LOCA as an alternative to the traditional glycerine jelly – maybe more durable and should not lose mountant or require critical ringing for sealing the coverslip.”

John Rhodes – Eric Marson Award

John Rhodes submitted 3 slides of pollen in Breckland honey, all stained with fuchsin and mounted in glycerine jelly. The slides were intended for analysing the sources of pollen in the honey, for a beekeeper who was worried that his honey contained ragwort pollen.

John Rhodes’ slidesJohn Rhodes’ slides

Mike Smith – Eric Marson Award

Mike Smith submitted 3 slides of stained sections, a cross-section of a hawthorn bud (Astra blue & safranin), a longitudinal section of a rhododendron flower bud (Mod. W3A), and a cross-section of a young rat (Masson’s).

Mike Smith’s slidesMike Smith’s slides

Graham commented: “Mike Smith’s wonderful sections are both a treat for the eye and a challenge for the photographer.”

Pam Hamer – Eric Marson Award

Pam Hamer submitted 2 slides of solid specimens (part of a tooth, and a stone from a quarry in Langton Matravers). The specimens were embedded in Gédéo crystal resin and then polished on one side.

Pam Hamer’s slidesPam Hamer’s slides

Graham commented: “A nice example of a mounting technique that can be used for all kinds of solid objects that can be ground and polished.”

Tony Pattinson – Eric Marson Award

Tony Pattinson has created some novel fluid mounts using refillable/top-uppable purpose-built cells. Tony designed the slides for whole specimens of tadpole shrimps (Triops cancriformis) in 50% glycerine.

Tony Pattinson’s slidesTony Pattinson’s slides

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