Welcome to the 3rd issue of the Macroscopic Solutions newsletter. In this issue, we will share the stories of people who have supported the growth of Macroscopic Solutions.  We will also be introducing our readers to Liquid, a recent startup from Ohio that is equally as motivated to improving the future of science and data digitization. 

Science is now so technical that it has become difficult for many people to understand, interpret and build upon.  Our hope is to share science and nature in a way that it becomes simpler to relate to.

The successful translation of scientific ideas and observations is important for all of our futures.  It’s for this reason that we want to introduce the scientific community to the wonderful world of photomacrography through using the Macropod.



Joint Aquatic Science Meeting 2014

The JASM meeting in Portland, OR was a weeklong success that was well timed with the emergence of spring.  Therefore, the samples that Macroscopic Solutions imaged consisted mostly of flowers; however, Macroscopic Solutions has good ideas brewing for next year’s aquatic sciences meeting: Caddisflies, Daphnia and Goniocotes!

(Right image: Pink Salal flower collected from Portland, OR., Left image: Anther of a red dahlia flower, which bears a significant amount of pollen. Collected in Portland, OR)

The Macropod and Scientific Illustrations

Observations of the natural world come to life through scientific illustrations. Scientific communication can be accredited at large to the illustrators that so wonderfully combine the arts and sciences. The mission of these illustrators is to accurately render scientific objects, which is no easy task, but as technology continues to advance, so can the truth behind their illustrations.

Macroscopic Solutions provides natural science illustrators with an innovative imaging tool that helps them produce their art more effectively. An article about their imaging system, the Macropod, was recently featured on the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators website. You can view the full article here.



Botany 2014

Macroscopic Solutions will be exhibiting their high-resolution imaging system, the Macropod, at the Botany 2014 conference in Boise, Idaho. The event is set to take place from July 26-30, and will feature symposia, workshops, field trips, and exhibits. To register for the conference or to receive more information, visit the Botany 2014 website.

Don’t forget to bring your favorite samples to the Macroscopic Solutions booth. By showing this newsletter, you will receive one high-resolution image of your plant for free!

Free Exhibit - Danbury, CT

Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1 Independence Way, Danbury, CT 06810 at 10:00AM

Macroscopic Solutions will be exhibiting for kids, parents and passerby’s for Mad Hackers 2nd annual exhibit in Danbury, CT.  If you’re a CT resident, come and see us outside for this event.

Read more information about this event here.



The Future of Science

As we continue making great strides in the fields of science and technology, we need not focus solely on the innovative devices and breakthrough research of today, but how we will breach new frontiers tomorrow. We must ask the questions, how will we continue to address these pressing matters effectively? When do we start? Maybe most importantly, who will be making these moves forward?

It is this final question that has inspired Macroscopic Solutions to begin working with young students. Through high-resolution scientific imagery, students begin to think more methodically. These students are the future of the field of science. This is why, for every ten systems sold, Macroscopic Solutions donates one Macropod to a deserving high school. Learn more about Macroscopic Solutions’ work with high schools here.

Teachers and faculty members can complete the application form for their high school to be considered. Nomination forms are available for students and family members to nominate the teacher/faculty member that applies to receive a Macropod.



Stan Malcolm

Stan has been a wonderful friend and supporter to the team at Macroscopic Solutions.  We would like to take this opportunity to share a brief summary about his research and day-to-day activities to acknowledge him for his help. 

Stan actively studies forked fungus beetles (Bolitotherus cornutus).  These beetles live between 2-7 years and occur in patchy environments of dead timber hosting large bracket fungi in and on which the beetles live. 

He specifically studies the complex territorial, defensive, and mating behaviors that are somewhat distinctive and interesting to learn about. 

Using specialized horns on the pronotum and a forked clypeus ("upper lip"), males joust with other males, prying them off females or the fungi with a motion that resembles nothing more than that of an old-fashioned bottle opener.  Both sexes have abdominal glands that release volatile noxious fluids in response to mammalian breath - particularly that of predatory mice.  Most unusual though is the way they produce sound as part of their courtship ritual.  While many insects produce sound, typically it is a male rubbing two parts of its body together as is commonly observed in grasshoppers, crickets, and their kin.  However, in forked fungus beetles, the male strikes structures on his abdomen against structures on the female's pronotum.  Thus it takes a pair to produce sound, a behavior he calls "collaborative stridulation." 

Stan is also an avid nature photographer and has been featured in the Hartford Courant and several regional publications.  A number of his photos have appeared in science textbooks, field identification guidebooks, and scientific journals.  The Trailside Gallery in Northampton, MA, the CT Audubon Center in Glastonbury, CT, and the CT DEEP has hosted major exhibits of his work.  View his work at

(Left image: Portrait of a male forked fungus beetle depicts the beetle’s “horns.” Right image: Profile of a male forked fungus beetle.)


Liquid is a young company that is addressing an issue that is prevalent within all scientific disciplines -- the lack of scientific data circulation. They have created a website and Android app (iPhone and iPad coming soon) that increases the accessibility of scientific data by allowing its users to register relevant information on their smart phones and tablets. Not only does Liquid allow you to easily log, analyze, and share data, but also provides you with customizable digital forms to include the specific parameters that are necessary for your team’s research (sample number, pH, elevation, etc.).

As if this is not enough already, Liquid allows you to view and analyze data in real-time! That’s right, the data is available immediately after collection, which increases the efficiency and accuracy of the overall scientific process. The cloud database allows for the construction of charts and figures that are accessible to each individual contributing data, providing early data visualization while still in the process of active data collection. This is absolutely crucial for projects of all sizes. Whether you have a team of 500 members collecting data in 16 different countries or you simply have one user upstream and another downstream, all logged information is instantly accessible by your research team.

Macroscopic Solutions met with Liquid’s Co-founder, Jacob Shidler, at the Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Portland, Oregon. Both companies were exhibiting their products, and at first glance, it may not have been obvious that they have common interests and goals. Both companies are working to enhance the means and methods of digitizing scientific data.

We asked Jacob to explain how the company got its start:

“Our story starts with our name, Liquid, which came from our research in Africa in 2012, where we studied the impact of gutters on rainwater quality. While we were in the field, collecting sample data, we experienced the painful need for a better way to collaborate over the data with our colleagues and advisors. We needed the data to be more shareable, more LIQUID. So our name stems from two passions: our heart for water quality and access to clean water around the world, as well as our desire to make data more accessible within and between scientific disciplines - improving the scientific process of data collection, collaboration, and ultimately, discovery.



For more information on Liquid:
Company website -
Facebook page -
Twitter - @LQDdata