Images of Research

From access to drinking water in Tanzania, to a synchrotron cross-section of a hockey stick, members of the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) community have been showing what research looks like to them.

By Thomas Onion
To showcase the diverse research taking place at the U of S, a photography and imaging contest was launched called Images of Research. U of S students, staff, faculty and alumni were invited to submit visual depictions and brief descriptions of their research, scholarly, or artistic work.

Led by the Office of the Vice-President Research, this year's inaugural competition aimed to provide a creative and accessible method of sharing and celebrating the university's ground-breaking work.

Following a review of nearly 90 submissions by multidisciplinary judging panels, eight winning photographs in four categories were selected. There were also two Viewers' Choice winning photos chosen by the public, and one grand prize winner.

"Geochemical Rainbow" by geological sciences professor Matt Lindsay was selected as the competition's grand prize winner. The photograph depicts a rainbow-like pH gradient at the confluence of two streams impacted by historic and modern mining. Lindsay is the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Mine Closure Geochemistry at the U of S.

During public online voting, some 3,000 viewers from more than 40 countries around the world visited the image gallery. Every image received votes, but two photos by School of Environment and Sustainability PhD candidate Ranjan Datta were audience favourites.

"Researchers across the University of Saskatchewan, whether they are undergraduate students or faculty members, are engaged in a fantastic diversity of discovery that is both captivating and inspiring," said Vice-President Research Karen Chad. "The Images of Research competition is a unique way for the U of S to share our research story with each other and with the world."

To view the complete collection of the 2015 Images of Research, visit

The winning submissions in the competition's five categories were:

From the Field
  • 1st place: "Snowy Saskatchewan - from the stratosphere!" by Adam Vigneron (Engineering Alumni)
  • 2nd place: "Pond Plunge" by Michael Cavallaro (School of Environment and Sustainability)
More Than Meets the Eye
  • 1st place: "Plasma Chamber Music" by Adam Vigneron (Engineering Alumni)
  • 2nd place: "Red Fish, Blue Fish" by Connor Brenna (Medicine)
Community and Impact
  • 1st place: "Working Towards a Better Education for Girls in Tanzania" by Kelsi Toews (Arts and Science)
  • 2nd place: "How to Make Traditional Cloths (Elder Teaching Youth)" by Ranjan Datta (School of Environment and Sustainability)
Research in Action
  • 1st place: "Soil Gas Sampling for Arctic Microbes" by Martin Brummell (Agriculture and Bioresources)
  • 2nd place: "Busy Mom" by Émilie Bouchard (Western College of Veterinary Medicine)
Viewers' Choice
  • 1st place: "Creating Own God(s) Beauty" by Ranjan Datta (School of Environment and Sustainability)
  • 2nd place: "Traditional Ways of Collecting Drinking Water" by Ranjan Datta (School of Environment and Sustainability