Microbial Masterpieces

Image of a Winogradsky column created for the exhibit Microbial Masterpieces - awarded a 2020 Experiments In Translation Grant

“Microbial Masterpieces”, the recipient project of the 2020 Experiments in Translation Grant, is a project devoted to helping people understand the importance of the microbial world through art and science communication.  

Winogradsky Panel

The project began with the construction a giant Winogradsky panel, an apparatus for culturing diverse communities of microorganisms from pond mud. Over the next few months, nutrient cycling and environmental gradients will drive the stratification of colorful microbial communities. We aim to render the panel accessible for the visually-impaired community through sound and 3D-printed tactile representations.

An image of a Winogradsky column of microbes evolving over time

Winogradsky columns (or panels) were invented by Sergei Winogradsky, a Russian microbiologist and one of the founders of modern microbial ecology, who spent his career studying how microbes contribute to nutrient cycling. In his honor, we have dubbed our Winogradsky Panel “Sergei”. You can visit Sergei in the Duderstadt Center Gallery.

Follow Sergei’s progress: 


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