Stowers Predoc wins Nikon Small World in Motion Award

September 13, 2022

Ahmet Karabulut, a predoctoral researcher in the lab of Matt Gibson, Ph.D., was recently awarded third place in the Nikon Small World in Motion competition for his video showing a time-lapse of neurons and stinging cells in the body column of the sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis.

Ahmet Karabulut

Nikon Small World recognizes the artistic creativity and technological prowess of microscopists. “This is a huge honor,” Karabulut said. “I hope my video has a positive impact and inspires others to pursue exciting work that shows the beauty of life in exquisite detail”

Karabulut, a cell and developmental biologist, captured the video while working as a predoctoral researcher at the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute.

Fascinated by the biology of living things at scales not accessible to the human eye, Karabulut has been taking photographs through a microscope for more than 10 years and has used advanced microscopy techniques for the last five years.

When asked about the winning video Karabulut explained, “It provides a window into the complex and ever-changing events in the live animal, which are only observable under the microscope.”


Karabulut's award-winning video illustrates the dynamics between sea anemone neurons and stinging cells


“There is an exquisite beauty in nature that can be captured by photomicrography. I am especially interested in capturing intricate structures and dynamic processes at the micro and nano scales no one has seen before,” said Karabulut.

“I envisioned the video to feel almost as a still image, like a finished canvas but deep down, when you look carefully, you can observe dynamic and unique events occurring everywhere. It is like people watching in a busy street.  Every time I watch the video, I see something new and thought-provoking,” he added.