This page is presented as a tribute to the work of Fred Rost who died 24 March, 2012. It is included on the Find-a-spider website because one of Fred's many hobbies was to photograph spiders and many of his spider images are worthy of public display.

Fred Rost graduated from the University of Sydney with the degrees of BSc(Med) and MBBS. In the 1960s he moved to London where he undertook a PhD specialising in microspectrofluorometry at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London. He then worked for many years in the Department of Histochemistry, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, London, and during his working life established an international reputation for cutting edge work in fluorescence microscopy of pathological material, a field in which he published many journal articles as first or sole author in the field. He had a particular passion for optics and imaging of histological sections and the image on the left at the top of this page shows one of his photos of fluorescence in rat kidney cells. At this time the powerful technique of confocal fluorescence microscopy was just emerging and in 1991 Fred published Quantitative Fluorescence Microscopy which was one of the first monographs on that technique. His work in the period from 1969 to 1976 involved the ground-breaking use of fluorescence techniques to trace embryonic neural crest cells and the quantitative analysis of physiologically active chemicals like histamine and adrenaline in living tissue. His later publications included the two volume Fluorescence Microscopy published in 1995 and Photography with a Microscope, written in collaboration with Ron Oldfield, in 2000.

Fred returned to Australia in 1974 to take up an appointment as Professor of Anatomy at University of NSW. He served as Head of the School of Anatomy until his retirement in 1994. During that time he revitalised the School of Anatomy, leading to a great increase in its research productivity. Fred Rost was famous within the University of NSW for his entertaining lectures which brought to life the important, but sometimes dry, subject of histology. He was a highly regarded teacher and was looked upon with affection by his students. His passion for histological methodology led him to establish an advanced course in Histological and Histochemical Techniques in 1977 with Patrick de Permentier, this course material continuing to be taught within the Anatomy Department under different names right up to the present day.

Having retired from university life Fred Rost had more time to indulge in his many other interests, including cosmology, zoology, painting, and photography, especially macrophotography. The image that forms the background to the title of this page is one of his astronomy photos.

Fred Rost was a camera enthusiast who liked to assemble special-purpose photographic systems, as illustrated by his astronomy camera, an image of which is presented above. At various times he was a member of the Lakemba Camera Club (for which he served as president), the Inner West Photographic Society, the Stereo Camera Club, the Drummoyne Art Society and the Sutherland Astronomical Society. He also was a member of the Mosman Camera Club and regularly entered their competitions via the internet.

Fred wrote articles and book reviews for a variety of magazines, including some on cosmological theory and several biographies of artists for Dictionary of Australian Artists Online. In an attempt to better understand astronomy he used his first home computer to create a mathematical model of the Universe, his approach being that of a mathematician attempting to model what astronomers actually see rather than a physicist trying to explain how the Universe works. This approach turned out to be fruitful. He also gave occasional guest presentations on cosmology, photography and art.

He enjoyed painting and developed a painting style that he referred to as 'a kind of marbling'. This is illustrated in his painting Blazing Glory which is featured on this page.

There was always an abundance of spiders around his house and garden and these became favoured subject material for photography during his later years. Images of two of the camera systems Fred used specifically for photographing spiders are shown below:


The images in the following gallery are among the best of the many photos Fred took of spiders that he found in his house and garden in the Sydney suburb of Ashfield. Fred Rost's wife, Sarah Cartmell, was also somewhat infected by his enthusiasm for photographing spiders and hence the gallery also includes a few images taken by Sarah.

Click on each image if you would like to see a larger view of it.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

To view more images click here