The British Ecological Society has announced the winners of its annual photography competition, “Capturing Ecology.” It showcases the breathtaking wonders of the natural world, and this year’s overall winning photo shows a well-hidden damselfish napping in a coral. But there are plenty more wonderful shots, showing the beauty, fragility, and resilience of our planet’s diverse ecosystems.
About the contest
As the name suggests, at the very heart of this competition is ecology. “Ecology is the study of the interactions among living things and their environment – of which our winning image is a perfect example,” says Hazel Norman, CEO of the British Ecological Society. ” Showcasing nature’s hidden depths, only the eye of the damselfish reveals its nighttime hiding spot nestled amongst the protecting coral.”
Other than the overall winner, Capturing Ecology also honors winners and student winners across six categories:
- Individuals and Populations (Animals)
- Individuals and Populations (Plants and Fungi)
- Networks in Nature
- The Bigger Picture
- People and Nature
- Ecologists in Action
“With every passing year, the calibre of images submitted to our Capturing Ecology competition grows, but so do the threats to the environments and species they depict,” adds Norman. “Nature under-threat has become an all-too-common tale.” Concluding the statement, Norman said that the Capturing Ecology contest should be”a celebration of our planet’s vast tapestry of life, not its memorial.”
The overall winner
The winning image is the work of Viktor Nunes Peinemann, a PhD student at KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. Titled Vibrant Sleep, the photo reveals a juvenile Amblyglyphidodon indicus finding solace within a radiant Dendronephthya coral during the night. The fish’s muted nocturnal colors blend seamlessly with the coral, with only its eye discovering its presence.
“Winning British Ecological Society’s Capturing Ecology photography competition is a huge honour,” said Viktor. “It is a bittersweet privilege to be able to experience and capture some of the beauty of these coral reefs even as they decline in the face of climate change.”
The British Ecological Society’s Capturing Ecology competition is more than just a contest; it’s a reminder of the wonders of our planet and the pressing need to preserve them for future generations. So, make sure to carefully look at and enjoy the category winners and runner-ups below, and learn more on the contest’s website.