BMC Ecology Image Competition Announcement 2017

We are delighted to announce that the 5th annual BMC Ecology image competition launches today! We are calling for ecologists around the world to submit their images.

We created the competition as a chance for ecologists to share their research and photographic skills, and celebrate the intersection of art and science. The four previous competitions (the overall winners of which can be seen on this page) have certainly achieved this, providing us with superb images demonstrating the complex web of interactions that ecologists are dedicated to unravelling.

The winning images from previous years have attracted substantial attention not just from ecologists but also from the wider public, featuring in international media outlets such as the Guardian, Scientific American, and the BBC.

Judging the competition will be the BMC Ecology Section Editors, who are experts in biodiversity, ecosystems, ecological models, and behavioral ecology. The overall winner will be chosen by a special guest judge, whose identity will be announced later in the year.

The overall winner will receive a cash prize of £250 (~ €300/$325), while the runner-up will receive £100 (€125/$150). Additional prizes of £50 (€65/$75) will be awarded for those images selected by the Section Editors that best represent their section.

The overall winner from 2014, “A Namaqua rock mouse (Aethomys namaquensis, Muridae) getting dusted with pollen of the Pagoda Lily (Whiteheadia bifolia, Hyacinthaceae) while lapping nectar at the flowers.”
The overall winner from 2014, by Petra Wester, “A Namaqua rock mouse (Aethomys namaquensis) getting dusted with pollen of the Pagoda Lily (Whiteheadia bifolia) while lapping nectar at the flowers.”

How to submit

Anyone who is affiliated with a research institution can enter.  We ask that entries be submitted to one of the five categories listed below and that they depict a specific ecological interaction.

  • Behavioral and physiological ecology
  • Conservation ecology and biodiversity research
  • Community, population, and macroecology
  • Landscape ecology and ecosystems
  • Theoretical ecology and models

We will consider all images from photos to data visualizations, or a mixture of both – as long as they are striking, meaningful, and creative.

Please email your images to with the subject line “BMC Ecology Image Competition”.

2015's overall winner, by Mohamed Shebl, “Palestinian sunbird female forages on Echinops sp.”
2015’s overall winner, by Mohamed Shebl, “Palestinian sunbird female forages on Echinops sp.”

The following information must be included:

Description (Max. 300 words):
File type:
Data attribution (if applicable):
Contact details of Research Institute:
I agree to release this image under a Creative Commons License:  Y/N
Twitter handle (optional):

Please attach your image entry to your email. All images must conform to the following criteria:

  • A minimum 300dpi (1831 x 1831 pixels for a raster image).
  • In one of the allowable formats – EPS, PDF (for line drawings), PNG, TIFF,  JPEG, BMP, DOC, PPT [Please note that it is the responsibility of the author(s) to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce figures or tables that have previously been published elsewhere.]

In line with our policies on open access, entry to the competition implies release of the images under a creative commons license, to allow file sharing with proper attribution.

We’ll be posting regular updates on the competition throughout the coming months, so don’t forget to keep up to date by reading our blog or by following us on Twitter @BMC_series

Closing date for entries is 31st May 2017, with winners being announced in August.

Good luck!

2013's overall winner, by Moritz Muschick, "Timema poppensis perfectly camouflaged on its host, the Redwood Sequoia sempervirens"
2013’s overall winner, by Moritz Muschick, “Timema poppensis perfectly camouflaged on its host, the redwood Sequoia sempervirens

Use the links below to see a full list of winning and highly commended images from the past four years:

2013 competition

2014 competition

2015 competition

2016 competition

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