Winners of the 2014 Cover Contest

From a total of more than 800 images submitted, the jury selected the two images below as winners of the “scientific” and “non-scientific” categories of The EMBO Journal Cover Contest 2014. A few other favourites of the jury are showcased in our Online Gallery. Congratulations to the winners and compliments to all participants!





Close-up of a Portuguese man-of-war, Physalia physalis, from the Pacific Ocean (Hawaiian Islands). The man-of-war is a siphonophore, an animal made up of four types of polyps that form an entire colony. The pneumatophore is a gas-filled filled polyp that floats on the water surface and allows the colony to sail across the oceans. The polyps that form the long and venomous tentacles (dactylozoids) are responsible for catching the prey and supplying the gastrozoids (polyps in charge of digestion) with food. The fourth type of polyps, the gonozoids, are in charge of sexual reproduction.

About the winner:

Eric Röttinger is a developmental biologist who recently joined the Institute for Research on Cancer and Aging in Nice (France, to study the molecular mechanisms underlying embryogenesis, regeneration and aging in a sea anemone. He is also the co-founder of the non-profit organization Kahi Kai (‘one ocean’ in native Hawaiian) and initiator of a worldwide project to portrait sea creatures. Eric has not only a profound interest in illustrating the fascinating elegance and beauty of these marine organisms, but also to show their important roles in fundamental and biomedical research. Visit to see more amazing portraits.

© 2008 Eric Röttinger. All rights reserved. See below for limited licence.

Posted 10 February 2014

Feeding Hairs — Roughly 3000 different Mosquito species live in almost every climate and ecosystem all over the world. Over thousands of years, they have evolved many tricks to survive. Special adaptations include blood-sucking and filtering mouthparts, and the development from an aquatic life to an airborne home.

A mosquito's life can be divided typically into four major life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The larva is a wormlike creature that floats in the water. You can usually find it close to the surface, because it needs air to breath just as we do. It is a filter feeder and has a fan-like mouth brush that can be moved to create a water flow in front of the mouth in order to filter out micro-plankton. The mysterious looking mouthparts are a true piece of science & art and belong to the most beautiful structures you can experience under the microscope.

About the winner:                       

Swiss photographer Martin Oeggerli sees the world as a scientist and an artist. Both perspectives are reflected in his pictures, as he studies the shapes and sublime beauty of the Earth’s smallest living organisms: "I love to explore hidden places and mysterious creatures — the ones that get left behind on the list of people’s most adored pets — living orphans. Concealed by [their] size, various forms of life spend their time quietly, just below the radar of the human eye."

Find out more about Martin Oeggerli, also known as Micronaut, and his explorations of the hidden microcosm on his website Martin would like to dedicate this image to his two-year-old son, Nelson.

© 2013 Martin Oeggerli. All rights reserved. See below for limited licence.

Licence: The copyright of the two winning cover images is reserved by their creators. You may, however, reproduce the images at their current size (or smaller) 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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