USask Images of Research highlights research the world needs

Knowledge is beautiful. Researchers at USask know it better than anyone.

Successful Self-Pollination! Photo: Evelyn Osorio, master’s student in plant sciences.

Top prizes in the University of Saskatchewan (USask) Images of Research competition were awarded to images that uncover the benefits of playful behaviour in pigs, build better understanding with Indigenous peoples, and help to gain new insight into ecological change from plants, birds, bees, and glaciers.

These were among the 114 images—the largest number ever—submitted to the competition by students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

“The competition showcases that the research we are doing has direct benefits for society and helps us better understand our world,” said USask President Peter Stoicheff. “It is an opportunity to share diverse insights from dozens of researchers across campus in a unique manner, with thousands of online viewers in Saskatchewan, across Canada, and around the world.”

Organized by the USask Research Profile and Impact unit, the contest has expanded every year since its inception in 2015 as the first university-wide research images contest in Canada. The competition website received almost 13,000 visits from 60 countries this year—a 32 per cent increase in visitors compared to 2018.

The grand prize this year goes to Successful Self-pollination! a microscopic image from plant sciences master’s student Evelyn Osorio of the stigma of a field pea flower—part of the reproductive apparatus of the plant. The field pea depicted had succeeded in self-pollinating, a process which can be disrupted by an increase in temperature of the environment, threatening the yield of the plant.

“My research is trying to find out how heat stress affects the reproductive process of these plants and find cultivars that are tolerant,” said Osorio.

Other entries included a mixture of traditional photography, electron microscopy, computer-generated imaging, and one-minute video research synopses.  Winners were chosen by 21 judges in seven categories, and contest website visitors also voted to select two images and one video as Viewers’ Choice prize winners.

The winning photo entries, which receive cash prizes, will be on public display in the north concourse of Place Riel from April 9 to April 12. All the entries including videos are viewable online at

Viewer’s Choice – Images:

Community and Impact:


  • Agricultural Drone Research, a video demonstrating the advantages of aerial crop imaging by Steve Ryu, a research technician at the USask Plant Phenotyping and Imaging Research Centre, was the winner.
  • Aphanomyces everywhere!!! a video about root rot’s effect on peas by Nimllash Thangam Sivachandra Kumar, graduate student at the USask Crop Development Centre, won the Viewer’s Choice award.

Research in Action:

More Than Meets the Eye:

From the Field:

Best Description:

  • PAMM's Field Day by Tyrone Keep, agricultural engineer at the USask Plant Phenotyping and Imaging Research Centre, won the category.  His winning description:
    • The Phenotype Acquisition and Measurement Machine (affectionately dubbed PAMM because all the best science things require an acronym) is a robotic imaging platform developed for field crop phenotyping. Pictured here is PAMM taking in the beauty of the prairie skyline after a test drive on Halloween 2018. The weather was ideal and it proved to be the last warm day of the year. PAMM’s day job includes acquiring phenotypes for wheat, lentils, and canola, but she dreams of broadening her research horizons to measure traits of all types of crops.”

  • A Little Bird Told Me... by environmental biology student Andie Mazer was runner-up. Her winning description:
    • “This wide-eyed Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) nestling is seeing the world outside of his cozy nest box for the first time. At 12 days old, he and hundreds of other chicks in a colony at the St. Denis National Research Area in Saskatchewan are borrowed from their nests to be banded, measured, and safely returned home in time for their next meal. Their assigned band allows them to each be identified in a nearly 30-year ongoing project. Tree Swallows and other aerial insectivorous species have been experiencing population declines since the mid-1980s, the reasons for which are still largely unknown. By investigating nestling quality in relation to variation in their environment over time, we aim to provide insight into the diminishing populations.”
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