Posts tagged: competition

Behind the image: Kyle Harrington


“Although much of the future of science will be driven by computational research, there is a critical need to maintain a close connection to the experimental research.”

A seven year old boy shown a computer program for the first time was so enthralled by it that he set himself up for a career working with computational models. Kyle Harrington, now a postdoctoral researcher in the Bentley Group at Harvard Medical School, is this year’s BMC Ecology Image Competition winner for the ‘Theoretical ecology and models’ section.

Kyle was hooked by the idea of using simple algorithms to generate complex patterns and behaviours and trained to apply computational techniques to biotechnological and ecological sciences. Later, at Hampshire College, he was

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Behind the image: Death Valley


“An endorheic basin in Death Valley, California. Although annualprecipitation rarely exceeds 100 mm/yr, a small number of plants are able to survive on the gravely slopes of the valley and on the muddy lakebed. Thousands of years ago this valley would have been far more wet and lushly vegetated.”

Ever since he was young, Benjamin Blonder, loved science, but only took to the outdoors at university. Here, an undergraduate on a whim, Benjamin took an ecology course and met an inspiring professor who encouraged his interest in the natural world.

This blossoming plant macroecologist showed off his mastery in photography and space and was recently announced Winner of Landscape ecology and ecosystems in this year’s BMC Ecology image competition.

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Behind the image: Ant being attacked by a fly


In this Q&A we discover how mere curiosity, and a spur of the moment shot, led to the first scientific study of a never before seen species interaction.

Bernardo Segura is this year’s BMC Ecology image competition Behaviour category winner. Near to completing a Masters in wildlife conservation in Chile, he has a head crammed full of potential research ideas and a desire to pursue wildlife documentaries about Chilean nature. Here we find out more about the passionate naturalist who loves just being out in a field to observe nature.

Tell us a bit more about this image?

“This photo is very special to me, because it represents the value of photography in scientific research and it also has some …

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Behind the image: King penguin-an endangered species??


A love of photography was passed down from one generation to another. Phd student, Laetitia Kernaleguen, became hooked on the pastime after she and her father studied his old film camera together. Since then she’s sought to capture the feeling and majesty of stunning scenery. This photo of king penguins is the Editor’s pick for this year’s BMC Ecology Image Competition.


Laetitia Kernaleguen is an ecologist with an interest in animal behaviour. Although currently working on a PhD studying the reproductive success in fur seals at Deakin University in Australia, this Q&A takes us back to her research on king penguins, at a time when she was collecting some data and samples to send back to the lab.



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Behind the image: a tender moment


Parental care is at the heart of this wonderful portrait of an adult black-browed albatross feeding its chick, photographed by Italian born researcher Letizia Campioni, a biologist specializing in the migratory ecology in birds. Spending many hours in the field, Letizia had the chance to combine her love for photography with her research, using her skill as a means to share her observations with others and this year’s runner up in the BMC Ecology image competition. Exploring isolated islands and inaccessible regions, she shares her intimate encounters with nature.

Where were you when you took this picture?

I was on New Island in the far South-western Atlantic, with my research team, to monitor a large colony of black-browed albatross. Every day we visited the …

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Behind the image: A sticky snack for mice

Petra Wester

Petra Wester’s charming shot of a Namaqua rock mouse (Aethomys namaquensis) lapping the nectar of the Pagoda Lily (Whiteheadia bifolia), wowed the judging panel for this year’s BMC Ecology image competition. In this Q&A we find out more about the woman behind the lens and her winning entry.   

Fascinated by nature as a child, Petra Wester went on to study biology, interested in the interactions between plants and animals. She spent many nights on the South African Sevilla rock art trail to study the Namaqua Rock mouse, hoping to capture a rare phenomenon, mouse pollination of the Pagoda Lily.

“Nectar is a snack (sticky in this case) for the mice, such as chocolate for us.” Petra’s live-action shot of …

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Q&A with Moritz Muschick, winner of this year’s BMC Ecology Image Competition

Courtesy of the author

BMC Ecology talks to Dr Moritz Muschick, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sheffield (UK), about his winning image in the journal’s first Ecology Image Competition. You can read more about what the judges made of the image –  a beautifully camouflaged stick insect resting on its host plant — in an accompanying Editorial.


What is the background story to this image, and how did you come to take it?

The photo was taken on a field trip to California last year. Patrik Nosil and myself were collecting Timema stick insects for my postdoc project. To document the different species we caught and the host plants we found them on, I had brought my camera along. It was …

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Final call for entries to the BMC Ecology Image Competition


There’s now less than 1 month to go to submit your entries to the BMC Ecology Image Competition!

More than 50 images have now been submitted from all over the world, so be sure to send in yours before 1st December to be in with a chance of winning.

The competition is open to everyone affiliated with a research institution, and we consider all images from photos to data visualizations. Entries should be submitted to one of five categories that reflect the editorial sections of the journal. The winner of each category will be chosen by each of the journal’s Section Editors and the categories are:

Behavioural and physiological ecology

Conservation ecology and biodiversity research

Community, population, and macroecology

Landscape ecology and

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BMC Ecology Image Competition 2012

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BMC Ecology wants to see your visual interpretations of ecological processes. The “BMC Ecology Image Competition 2012” is open to everyone affiliated with a research institution. So from muddy-boots fieldworkers to desk-based computational modellers, we want to know how you see the science of ecology.

Entries should depict a specific ecological interaction, and should be submitted to one of five categories that reflect the editorial sections of the journal. 

We will consider all images from photos to data visualizations, or a mixture of both – as long as they are striking, meaningful, and creative. The winner of each category will be chosen by each of the journal’s Section Editors (Michel Baguette, Michael Bonsall, Jean Clobert, Nick …

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