Project: The 3D Pollen Project

About the project

Pollen is amazing stuff. Made of sporopollenin, 'the diamond of the plant world', pollen grains are among nature's toughest creations. They can help reconstruct the past, solve crimes, deliver medicines, genetically engineer plants and figure out what's in your honey - and yes, they can give you hayfever too. But because these grains are so small it can be problematic for pollen scientists to showcase their work to others without using microscopes. And even with microscopes it can be difficult to interpret pollen's three-dimensional structure from flat, two-dimensional images. This means that learning pollen identification is often a significant challenge, making use of photos and drawings in a process that has hardly changed for decades. 3D-printing has the potential to transform this, but currently no freely available pollen model files exist. The 3D Pollen Project aims to address this. Led by PhD student Oliver Wilson, the Project is a collaboration between the Universities of Reading and Hull, UK, funded by the University of Reading Teaching and Learning Development Fund, and by Mangorolla CIC and the Wellcome Trust through the I'm A Scientist competition. Using laser scanning confocal microscopy, we are producing accurate, printable 3D models of pollen grains from reference and herbarium material, and making them available online for non-commercial use. We hope they will be of use and interest to scientists, communicators, teachers and the wider public, for outreach, education and research.

Metadata and usage reports

Warning: For large projects, this may take up to several minutes


Oliver Wilson


32 published media groups owned by this project
32 published media groups associated with project specimens
29 project specimens

More Information

sort by
CHIC:EchProj:1088, Echinacea angustifolia

Created 6/28/2019 at 9:11
Modified 6/28/2019 at 9:36
HLU:CCC:174, Scorzoneroides autumnalis

Created 11/30/2018 at 5:31
Modified 12/10/2018 at 8:44
HLU:CCC:4, Centaurea nigra

Created 12/7/2018 at 6:45
Modified 12/10/2018 at 8:44
HLU:CCC:413, Quercus petraea

Created 12/7/2018 at 8:48
Modified 12/10/2018 at 8:44
HLU:CCC:413incid, Corylus avellana

Created 12/7/2018 at 10:44
Modified 12/10/2018 at 8:45
HLU:CCC:43, Filipendula ulmaria

Created 11/30/2018 at 5:42
Modified 12/10/2018 at 8:43
HLU:CCC:444, Alnus glutinosa

Created 11/30/2018 at 5:54
Modified 12/10/2018 at 8:45
HLU:CCC:444incid, Incertae sedis

Created 12/7/2018 at 10:51
Modified 12/10/2018 at 8:45
HLU:CCC:595, Betula pendula

Created 6/28/2019 at 8:23
Modified 6/28/2019 at 8:23
HLU:CCC:61, Leucanthemum vulgare

Created 11/29/2018 at 11:22
Modified 12/7/2018 at 6:42
HLU:CCC:67, Dactylis glomerata

Created 11/30/2018 at 5:37
Modified 12/10/2018 at 8:46
HLU:CCC:695, Calluna vulgaris

Created 11/30/2018 at 6:05
Modified 12/10/2018 at 8:46
HLU:CCC:723, Plantago lanceolata

Created 12/7/2018 at 7:10
Modified 12/10/2018 at 8:46
HLU:CCC:731, Quercus robur

Created 12/7/2018 at 7:01
Modified 12/10/2018 at 8:46
HLU:CCC:731incid, Pinus sp.

Created 12/7/2018 at 10:58
Modified 12/10/2018 at 8:46
MANCH:PolRefCol:MA_AZR_72, Cedrus atlantica

Created 4/26/2019 at 7:41
Modified 6/27/2019 at 10:39
MANCH:PolRefCol:UK_MAN_10, Cedrus libani

Created 6/28/2019 at 7:29
Modified 6/28/2019 at 7:29
MANCH:PolRefCol:UK_WB_05_WB110159, Cedrus deodara

Created 6/27/2019 at 10:44
Modified 6/27/2019 at 10:44
RNG:P0003852, Chenopodium album

Created 6/28/2019 at 8:47
Modified 6/28/2019 at 8:47
RNG:P0020162, Carex lasiocarpa

Created 6/28/2019 at 8:40
Modified 6/28/2019 at 8:40
RNG:P0042290, Drimys winteri

Created 6/28/2019 at 8:54
Modified 6/28/2019 at 8:54
RNG:P0042291, Salix caprea

Created 6/28/2019 at 10:03
Modified 6/28/2019 at 10:03
RNG:P0042292, Tilia cordata

Created 6/28/2019 at 10:24
Modified 6/28/2019 at 10:24
RNG:P0042294, Acer campestre

Created 6/28/2019 at 7:57
Modified 6/28/2019 at 8:39
RNG:P0042296, Salvia pratensis

Created 6/28/2019 at 10:15
Modified 6/28/2019 at 10:15
RNG:P0042298, Hedera helix

Created 6/28/2019 at 9:30
Modified 6/28/2019 at 9:30
RNG:P0042299, Ambrosia psilostachya

Created 6/28/2019 at 8:06
Modified 6/28/2019 at 8:12
RNG:P0042300, Hordeum murinum

Created 6/28/2019 at 9:38
Modified 6/28/2019 at 9:38
RNG:P0042302, Artemisia annua

Created 6/28/2019 at 8:13
Modified 6/28/2019 at 8:13