Hello from the Pacific Northwest

What is your microscopy history? What are your interests? What equipment do you use?
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:26 pm
Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Hello from the Pacific Northwest

#1 Post by PNWmossnerd » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:01 pm

Hi everyone,
I have found this forum to be an invaluable source of information, and wanted to introduce myself. I am a PhD student studying Botany at Oregon State University. I study the evolutionary history of mosses, hornworts, and liverworts (which are collectively known as"bryophytes"). Since the organisms that I study are small, I use a mircoscope to enter their tiny world. I have been fascinated with bryophytes for many years. These tiny plants are tremendously diverse (they are the second most speciose group of plants in the world!) but unlike larger plants, much of their morphological variation is on the cellular level and a compound microscope is usually required to confidently identify bryophytes. As a result, I spend a minimum of several hours per day using a compound or stereomicroscope.

The main microscopes I use are a Nikon SMZ 445 steromicroscope with an LED base and a Nikon Labophot which I have outfitted with a trinocular head and CF N plan apo objectives (4x, 10x, 20x, 40x, and 100x oil immersion). For photomicroscopy, I use a Canon Rebel T5 DSLR and a Martin Microscopes 1.6x adapter controlled from my computer using the Canon EOS software.

The focus of my PhD work is describing anatomically preserved (at the cellular level) bryophyte fossils from Canada, California, Japan, and Argentina. The fossils I study range in age from 25 million years old to 155 million years old, yet can be sectioned to produce preparations which look much like recently-living plant material which has been fixed, embedded, and then sectioned with a microtome. I enjoy photographing these exquisitely preserved fossils under a microscope (using brightfield) as well as their living counterparts. If you would like to see what these fossils look like, check out the images in publications which are freely available at this address: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Al ... tributions.

I also frequently fix and embed living bryophytes in paraffin for sectioning with a micotome, and prepare both living and fossil material for scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy.

This forum has been tremendously helpful and interesting since I have discovered it. It is a wonderful repository for all sorts of microscopy info, which I am thankful for!

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Re: Hello from the Pacific Northwest

#2 Post by wstenberg » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:24 am

Welcome to the forum. Your work sounds very interesting. I look forward to seeing more of your work.
Dallas, Texas

Zeiss Standard WL POL
Zeiss Axiomat
Zeiss Universal UEM
Zeiss Stereomikroskop

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Re: Hello from the Pacific Northwest

#3 Post by Hobbyst46 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:14 am

Welcome. Your field of research sounds and looks great - inspiring innovations and ideas! I wish you success.

Side note: IMO, the fact that present PhD-level lab work can be accomplished with a 30+ years old microscope to good results again demonstrates that quality is primarily determined by the person (microscopist), rather than by the modernity of tools.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

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Re: Hello from the Pacific Northwest

#4 Post by PeteM » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:06 pm

We've been trying to put a series of single image science lessons together for kids (local Children's Museum, Citizen Science, Lagoon Scientist, etc. programs.

I'm wondering if there is some cool thing to learn about bryophytes, along with an illustrative micro photo?? Maybe there's something about dating fossils containing them, evolution at that time, unique energy synthesis, or ???

Would love to give you credit -- and make it part of our "curriculum" for our Micronauts -- if you have an idea and photo to share.

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Re: Hello from the Pacific Northwest

#5 Post by coominya » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:22 pm

Welcome . Look forward to seeing some pix of these.

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Re: Hello from the Pacific Northwest

#6 Post by PNWmossnerd » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:26 am

Thanks everyone for the kind responses. Pete M, yes I would be happy to put together something for one of your programs. I will send you a PM with ideas.

charlie g
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Re: Hello from the Pacific Northwest

#7 Post by charlie g » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:34 pm

Welcome to a terrific forum which Oliver Kim ( thank you, Oliver!) setup for us, PNW. Thanks you for the interesting description of your current studies and work...complete with 'materials and methods'..what a great time to be a biology student..congrats on your chosen career path.

My dog and I are with regular chore of 'tending to our bryophyte assemblages ' nested at base of/ extending up perhaps two feet the tree trunks..and the assemblages on stout tree trunks. I'm chuming the patches chosen with water, or liquid plant food, or a sprinkle of " Grow Well" brand enriched garden soil. Our objective to keep meiofauna/protist sanctuaries for microscopy observations..water bear parks!

Back in the dark ages of cira 1972, my prof, Dr.Eric Randal, was a bryologist active in western NY plant surveys/audits...thank you for sharing your work...again, welcome to forum.

Charlie Guevara, finger lakes NY

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