Three winners have been selected in the Faces of Biology Photo Contest, sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). The contest was launched four years ago by AIBS as a way to put a face on biology and to showcase the varied forms of biological research. The photos are used to help the public and policymakers better understand the value of biological research and education.
Jean Polfus, a doctoral candidate at the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, won first place. The winning photo—shown on the cover of this issue of BioScience—depicts a volunteer collecting caribou scat on Tets'ehxe (Drum Lake) in the Northwest Territories, Canada. The scat samples are analyzed for genetic information about caribou populations in the region. The researchers work with local hunters and trappers to collect the samples.
“For me, photography is a way to acknowledge the important link between the people who live in the region and the scientific research that takes place here,” said Polfus. “I believe that images can act as a universal language, helping to foster communication and understanding between people with different cultures and worldviews. Art is a medium through which scientists can expand on their ideas and share their interests.”
Second place was awarded to Daniel Le, the Botany Collection's digital media specialist at the Field Museum of Natural History, in Chicago, Illinois. His photo depicts a fellow museum employee working with tropical butterflies in preparation for digitally imaging the specimens from the museum's vast collections.
Ben Adams won third place for his photo of a field crew trekking to their sampling site on Sawmill Creek, near Juneau, Alaska. Adams is the coordinator of the Interactions of Hatchery/Wild Chum Salmon Project at the Sitka Sound Science Center, Sitka, Alaska. He is working on a research project that investigates how wild and hatchery-reared chum salmon interact in streams in southeast Alaska.
All three winners received a one-year membership in AIBS, including a subscription to BioScience. Polfus also received $250.
The 2015 Faces of Biology Photo Contest is now accepting entries. Learn more at www.aibs.org/public-programs/photocontest.html.