December 10, 2019

Images of Discovery
AIBS Selects 2019 Faces of Biology Photo Contest Winners

Three winners have been selected in the 2019 Faces of Biology Photo Contest, sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS).

"Telling the story of science can often be enhanced through imagery. A great picture can educate and inspire," said Robert Gropp, Executive Director of AIBS. "We have been working hard to help scientists strengthen their communication skills. Part of this has always involved challenging individuals to think creatively about how to share their excitement for their science with new audiences."

The AIBS Faces of Biology contest showcases biological research in its many forms and settings. The photos are used to help the public and policymakers better understand the value of biological research and education.

First Place - Michelle Jewell

Michelle Jewell, a science communicator in Raleigh, North Carolina, captured this photograph of graduate student Samantha Jordt measuring the health of streams by counting the amount and types of insect egg masses deposited on unembedded rocks. Jordt's M.Sc. studies in the Department of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University involve assessing the insect biodiversity of restored versus natural streams across North Carolina.

Second Place - Brandon Guell

Brandon Güell, a Ph.D. student at Boston University, won second place. In this photograph, Güell observes, photographs, and collects behavioral data during an explosive breeding aggregation of gliding tree frogs, Agalychnis spurrelli, at a remote pond on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. During explosive breeding aggregations of this species, tens of thousands of adults come to breed at large ponds and leave behind hundreds of thousands of eggs of which most die from desiccation, predation, and fungal infection.

Third Place -
Becky Schott

Becky Schott, an underwater photographer and diving instructor, won third place with this photograph showing Dr. Thomas Iliffe, Professor of marine biology at Texas A&M University at Galveston, collecting possibly a new species of a blind cave shrimp from inside Giant Cave, Belize. According to Schott, Dr. Iliffe's exploration process is very unique and he has perfected it in an extreme environment. His work could show how organisms survive in harsh environments on other planets.


A forthcoming issue of the journal BioScience will feature the first-place photograph on the cover and the second- and third-place photos in an article. All of the winners receive a one-year membership in AIBS, including a subscription to BioScience. Michelle Jewell will also receive $250.

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