December 14, 2018

Three winners have been selected in the 2018 Faces of Biology Photo Contest, sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS).

"We often hear from people that they do not really know what scientists do, or how it is done," said Robert Gropp, Executive Director of AIBS. "This is why AIBS launched this competition 8 years ago. We want to inspire biologists to explore how to communicate their work to others through the medium of photography."

The contest is an opportunity to showcase 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 Winner--Christopher Brown

Christopher Brown of the University of Miami Shark Research and Conservation program captured this photograph of graduate student Jake Jerome safely restraining a bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) while Dr. Natascha Wosnick uses a FLIR T420 thermal imaging camera to analyze the influence of solar irradiation on shark recovery. Dr. Wosnick's current research efforts include evaluating how the exposure to air temperature can influence the post-release thermal dynamics of coastal shark species.

Second Place Winner--Joan Meiners

Joan Meiners, a graduate student at the University of Florida, won second place. Her photograph shows researchers Glenda Yenni (left) and Ellen Bledsoe (right) checking rodent traps early one morning as a rainstorm lifts outside Portal, Arizona. Twenty-four long-term experimental plots enclosed by low metal fences have been censused nearly every month for the past 40 years at the site. The project, started by University of New Mexico biologist Jim Brown in 1977, has resulted in one of the longest-running public data sets on community ecology and ecosystem change in existence, and has been the focus of dozens of dissertations and scientific papers.

Third Place Winner--Zach Randall

Zach Randall of the Florida Museum of Natural History photographed Division of Fishes Curator Larry Page (right) and Collections Manager Rob Robins (left) examining two gar specimens collected from Cuba at the request of an outside researcher. The fish collection at the Florida Museum contains more than 2.2 million specimens and was ranked as the tenth most important fish specimen resource in North America.

An upcoming 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. Christopher Brown will also receive $250.

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