Rights: University of Waikato. All Rights Reserved. Published 29 February 2012 Download

Dr Bronwyn Lowe (University of Otago) explains her passion for microscopy. For Bronwyn, the beauty of the microscopic world is a constant source of wonder. Microscopy also gives her a new perspective on the natural world she sees around her.


Doing microscopy, it’s a dream world, it’s just exquisite, exquisite things to look at. I think there’s no time do I sit down at a microscope and feel that I’m going to be bored because you’re always going to see something beautiful. And the world’s beautiful to look at when you’re just walking down the street, but when you can go in and actually see that that beauty exists right down, all the way down, it’s just lovely.

I’m a bit of a star gazer. I really like looking at the night sky and seeing the stars and imagining what all of that’s all about, and it’s the same when you use something like transmission electron microscopy and you get diffraction patterns – you’re just looking at these beautiful constellations. And the patterns of those constellations actually are telling you how all the little atoms are sitting next to each other right down at that atomic level, and that for me is part of the buzz too – understanding how things fit together, right down at the cellular scale, then at the organ scale, then at the whole body scale, then at the landscape scale. It’s all packed inside, and microscopy lets you start to see how things are related together, how things fit together.

California Department of Public Health
Brian Barber and Carol Best, University of Cambridge Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 2.0