Winners of the 2012 Cover Contest

From a total of more than 1,500 images submitted, the jury has selected the two images below as winners of the “scientific” and “non-scientific” categories of The EMBO Journal Cover Contest 2012. A few other favourites of the jury are showcased in our Online Gallery. Congratulations to the winners and compliments to all participants!





Superhydrophobic Swimming Beauty I — This hand-coloured scanning electron micrograph was the favourite of the jury in the section "Best Scientific Image" of The EMBO Journal Cover Contest 2012. The image shows the surface of a mosquito egg (from Culex pipiens), which generates a water repellent network by connecting microscopically small structures to trap a thin layer of air. The vitally important structures avoid immersion and enable the egg to float and aggregate with neighbouring eggs. "Mosquito eggs are as much revolutionary as they are evolutionary - they are so fascinating, you think you must be dreaming", says science photographer Martin Oeggerli. You can see more of Martin's exciting explorations of the microcosm on his website,

© Martin Oeggerli 2011. All rights reserved.

Posted 4 April, 2012

Portrait of a file clam This is the second first-prize winning image of The EMBO Journal Cover Contest 2012, the "Best Non-Scientific Image 2012". The picture, taken by Eric Röttinger, shows Lima sp., a bivalve mollusc that is able to swim by clapping its shells together, and using its tentacles to change directions. Eric is a developmental biologist currently working on marine invertebrates in Mark Martindale's lab at the Kewalo Marine Laboratory in Hawai'i, USA. He is also the co-founder of the non-profit organization Kahi Kai (‘one ocean’ in native Hawai'ian) and has a profound interest in portraying and protecting the fascinating, colorful and highly endangered marine world. Visit if you would like to see more amazing portraits of sea creatures.

Licence: The copyright of the two winning cover images is reserved by their creators. You may, however, reproduce the images at their current size on your own public website, under the condition that you give full copyright attribution to the creators, and provide a reference link back to Please contact the winners directly (via their websites) if you would like to reproduce larger versions of their images.

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