Grand prize winner "Deep Hanging Out" by Rachel Phillips Hall.

Images of Research 2016 winners

Close to 100 images were submitted to the second annual Images of Research competition. The top images were selected in a range of categories as well as a viewer’s choice category.

By University Communications
All the winners, as well as runners up, can be seen on the competition page.

Grand Prize

Deep Hanging Out (above)

Rachel Phillips Hall, graduate student, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, College of Arts and Science

Susan Sontag (1990) suggests that photography captures and selects, but also interprets our view of the world. Like photography, ethnography is an artisanal practice that involves interpretive and political choices. This particular photograph, I believe, captures the core complexities of my ethnographic experience in southern Belize. That is, by engaging and participating in the daily lives of my participants, I gained a deeper understanding of the complex experiences of Maya communities in Toledo, Belize, where infectious and non-communicable diseases converge with the stresses of everyday poverty. My research provides unique insight into how individual-level factors contribute to the health and well-being of these communities, thereby exemplifying how public health can apply anthropological approaches to provide insight into complex epidemiological trends.


Viewers' Choice


Colours of Chemistry

Hridaynath Bhattacharjee, PhD student, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Science

Human eyes are always attracted by colours. May- be that is why flowers are widely appreciated all over the world. For the same reason, chemistry becomes one of the favourite subjects when kids are introduced to science. I was introduced to this colourful part of chemistry in a science workshop. Eventually I chose chemistry as my field of study and now enjoying this colourful world of research. This picture depicts the wide range of colours you can see in different chemical compounds whether they are in the form of powder, shining crystals or solutions. As a researcher in chemistry, my field work is all about working with these beautiful compounds in the laboratory and I love it.


Best Description


One point nine billion years in the making

Camille Partin, assistant professor, Department of Geological Sciences, College of Arts and Science

The past can be a beautiful place to work. This photo was taken during geological field work in Arctic Greenland. Coastal mountains expose ancient ocean sediments that were thrust onto the continent about 1.9 billion years before the present time. These rocks in west Greenland hold special significance, as they were once connected to Canada and record an ancient mountain-building event that helped form the Canadian Shield on which we live today. Studying these rocks not only garners scientific data that helps us understand the complex history of the Earth, but can also provide economic benefits as they often host base and precious metal mineral deposits used by modern society.


Community and Impact


A horse's eye view

Amber-Lynn Backwell, undergraduate student, Western College of Veterinary Medicine

A lone male horse looks out over the beach on Sable Island, Nova Scotia. The McLoughlin Lab with the university has been conducting research on the roughly 500 horses that reside on Sable Island since 2007, and has collected a vast array of information related to their health and population dynamics. The horses here are a perfect model for a population ecology study, and what's neat is that the knowledge gained from them can be applied to other isolated populations throughout the world, potentially helping with conservation efforts. For instance, the horses' social structure can be compared to that of the mountain gorillas of Virunga, so imagine if the lessons learned here could benefit other wild and endangered species.


From the Field


Not Your Average Gopher

Colleen Crill, master's student, Department of Biology, College of Arts and Science

Over the past several decades the number of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in Canada has been declining. The entire Canadian population lives within 12 square km in Grasslands National Park in Southern Saskatchewan. In my work, I get up close and personal with these unique animals to research what limits their population growth, and help understand the big-picture causes of their decline. This particular animal, marked with the letters "Bb" on his back for identification from afar, is a frequent visitor to our traps. My lab group is working to understand the role that highly social animals like Bb play in population growth, and how this compares to shyer animals within the same colony.


More than Meets the Eye


Capturing Memories

Veronica Finkas, undergraduate student, College of Arts and Science

Some of nature's most beautiful creations are not visible to the naked eye. This scanning electron microscopy image captures neurons from the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus of a mouse brain with familial Alzheimer's disease. These five-micrometre neurons are responsible for all of life's timeless memories. Images such as this one gives us an in-depth look at what is occurring in the brain of one with Alzheimer's disease to understand the underlying changes associated with this disease. We're capturing memories!


Research in Action


The Auroral Radar

Ashton Reimer, PhD student, Department of Physics and Engineering

The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, seen over the Saskatoon SuperDARN (Super Dual Auroral Radar Network) radar. On December 20th, 2015, a large geomagnetic storm produced this show, which was caused by the impact of two successive coronal mass ejections from the Sun. While storms produce beautiful aurora, they also produce adverse effects on airplane communications systems, GPS, and the electrical power grid. SuperDARN radars measure the velocity of the aurora, in a manner similar to a police radar gun, and this radar data is an essential tool used in space weather forecasting, which can predict the intensity of these effects. My PhD thesis discusses methods to improve the quality of and the uncertainty in SuperDARN radar data.