The winner in the “set of images” category for Wiki Science Competition 2019 is Hans Stuessi with his set of images of seeds with their elaiosomes.

He is a retired biologist. After a PhD in botany (plant physiology and mycology) obtained at the University of Zürich, he worked as a self-employed professional in the pharmaceutical industry, where he was involved in the development and registration of drugs from medicinal plants for drugstores and pharmacies.

As he told us: “Macrophotography has fascinated me since I was a student, especially insects, plants and fungi. In parallel to my pharmaceutical work, I wrote popular science articles for newspapers and magazines and illustrated them with my photos (e.g. „Schnecken – langsam, aber nicht langweilig“ , « Snails – slow but not boring »).”

For five years now he has been intensively involved in the photography of plant seeds and fruits. He mainly collects them in the Botanical Garden of St. Gallen (with the permission of the director!), in his own garden or in the great outdoors.

Because his photo models are mostly tiny (the 12 seeds in the winning picture measure between 1 and 6 mm), he uses the focus stacking technique. This way, from about 50 – 120 individual photos, a seed image of astonishing depth of field can be created.

A selection of his photos can be seen here.

Image winner: CC BY-SA 4.0 Hans Stuessi 2019 Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Hans Stuessi


The runner-up is Stefan Meichtry. In his work, he showed the use of Scanning Electron Microscope for the description of Pyrrhocoridae (red bugs). This might look like a rather unusual subject, but the goal is to show the possible uses of the technique. His images are part of the website where, in cooperation with artists from all over the world, art is combined with science. The name of the project is a metaphor of the technique itself, because using the scanning electron microscope the surface of a sample is « kissed » with electrons.

Image of runner-up Copyright: Kissedbyelectrons, CC BY-SA 4.0 Stefan Meichtry (Kissedbyelectron) 2019 Wikimedia Commons