2011 Graduate Student Biological Photo Contest

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This year we are having a friendly photo competition, with winners being announced at the Graduate Student Spring Symposium. Each EEB graduate student can enter one biological photo they have taken, with a short caption including relevant details and the significance of the photo. To enter, send your photo and caption to Frank W. Smith (frank.smith@uconn.edu). A few days before the Spring Symposium (March 19), I'll send a link to the eeb-grad list to an on-line voting site.

2011 Photo Entrants

Photo by James Mickely
This is a photo of a flower bud from Eucalyptus macrocarpa, an odd eucalyptus species with very large leaves and flowers. The bud is about the size of a large grapefruit, and the bright red peeking out is the stamens--the flower has no petals. I took this photo in Kings Park in Perth, Western Australia, where it is native but rather uncommon. - James Mickley
Photo by Brigette Zacharczenko
This is my favorite photo from my recent trip to Ecuador. A member of our group captured this little treefrog (unsure of the species) and brought it to me to photograph. It hopped away and huddled under some rocks, providing the perfect pose. - Brigette Zacharczenko
Photo by Alyssa Borowske
Working on the CT coast, it is hard to escape the influence of humans. Here, a herring gull, a "trash bird," picks up a piece of trash, yet the scene is somehow beautiful. I took this photo shortly after dawn at the Barn Island boat launch, which is is adjacent to one of my salt marsh field sites. - Alyssa Borowske
Photo by Alejandro Rico Guevara
This is probably one of the most boring species of hummingbirds (in terms of the bright iridescent colors you would like to see in a picture), but I love it because only males have the crazy hook at the very tip of the beak. And no one knows why! My hypothesis: Sexually-dimorphic weapons. I took it in southern Brazil, last year. - Alejandro Rico Guevara
Photo by Laura Cisneros
This photo is a picture of a baby two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) taken in La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. - Laura Cisneros
Photo by Vanessa Boukili
I took this photo on my OTS plant systematics course in 2008. At this point, we are in the Costa Rican páramo, close to the remote field station, Cuerici. I was experimenting with my camera's macro option when I got this shot of mushrooms growing out of a tree. - Vanessa Boukili
Photo by Bill Ryerson
It's a snapping turtle from the Fenton. - Bill Ryerson
Photo by Sue Meiman
Killdeer. Housatonic River, spring 2008. - Sue Meiman
Photo by Jessica Budke
This is a photo of the moss Leucobryum albidum growing here in Connecticut. This moss can grow in patches that are large enough to sit upon. When you touch the top of this moss cushion it feels soft and dry. However all of the individuals packed together function as a sponge and store water within the colony. In that way there is moisture available for the moss to undergo photosynthesis even when it is dry on the outer layers. So beware having seat on this mossy cushion, you could end up quite wet.
- Jessica Budke
Photo by Jessie Rack
This was taken on a paleontology field trip to Northern Nevada. During the week we were there, the area received 75% of their yearly rains--which made for soggy camping, but amazing floral and wildlife sightings. I love this picture of blooming prickly pear cacti because the colors are so striking, and because of the background of distant mountains. - Jessie Rack
Photo by Jon Velotta
This photo is of a humphead wrasse taken near Whitsunday Islands National Park in Australia. Although I swam with a number of them, I have read recently that they are quite threatened. This one was particularly friendly. - Jon Velotta
Photo by Kevin Burgio
This is the flower of the lowly Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora). I took this photo last summer while working on a breeding bird survey in Southbury, CT. The reason I took the photo was that when I looked at the flowers closely enough, I saw a shock of vivid color inside this generally bland looking (but interesting) plant that I had never noticed before. - Kevin Burgio

Photo by Hamid Razyfard
Hey little beauty! You look amazing. I mean, with your eye-catching color, you can take the breath away from ANYone! OH MY! You’ve just finished your pollination! Congrats! You know what? I sometimes envy you for having such a stress-less lifestyle;-). By the way, can I take your picture?” These are the very thoughts I had when I saw such a beautiful tulip on Alborz Mountain in Iran. I took the picture in late April, 2008.- Hamid Razyfard
Photo by Adam Wilson
Fly visits the dung-scented sporophytes of Tayloria mirabilis on Navarino Island near Cape Horn, Chile. The moss seems to have evolved the odoriferous sporophytes to attract flies, which facilitate dispersal of the spores (as seen near the eye and on the front legs in the photo) to fresh dung. - Adam Wilson

Photo by Cory Merow
Giraffes seem to have evolved laser technology sometime in the late Pliocene. Though rarely observed, they evidently use this ability to immobilize prey and as a primitive form of x-ray vision. This photograph represents one of the first documentations of their so-called 'dual-frequency' system. - Cory Merow
Photo by Heidi Golden
Arctic Aufeis - Heidi Golden
Photo by Manette Sandor
Most of the Negev desert is as dry and devoid of vegetation as the distant mountains in the picture. At places, it felt like walking on another planet. When I came across this stream, I was amazed at the lushness of the small patch surrounding it. Near Sde Boker, Israel. - Manette Sandor

Photo by Johana Goyes-Vallejos
This picture was taken in the rainforest of Costa Rica. The white tent-making bat Ectophylla alba is endemic to Central America and roosts in Heliconia plant species. They are found under the leaves they modified with their little arms and teeth to make a tent to perch during day light, either in pairs or bigger groups like the guys in this picture. As big as a golf ball, this species is the quintessential cute bat. - Johana Goyes-Vallejos
Photo by Beth Timpe
This is a photo I snapped of a coronated treefrog (Anotheca spinosa) metamorph from El Valle, Panama. - Beth Timpe
Photo by Susan Herrick
This young Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon) was attempting to swallow a struggling and much larger catfish (Siluriformes) by pushing the fish against the pond embankment and by rolling it onto its back. It took about an hour but the fish was eventually converted to snake biomass. Photo taken in Lebanon, CT. - Susan Herrick

Photo by Geert Goemans
This picture was taken from the bottom of the "recently" collapsed entrance gallery to the cave of B'omb'il Pek, near Chisec, Guatemala. Mayan wall paintings, obsidian knives and early classic pottery has been found inside the cave system. This cave and several other eco tourism attractions are managed by local (mostly indigenous) communities, visiting these caves helps preserve invaluable natural and cultural resources while improving the living conditions of local communities. - Geert Goemans
Photo by Kristiina
Many tropical tree frogs (e.g. Hylidae and Centrolenidae) lay their eggs on the underside of leaves that hang over water, to keep them safe from aquatic predators until they hatch, and fall into the water. This is an egg clutch that I found hanging on a leaf over a stream along Pipeline Road, in Gamboa, Panama. Unlike in many species of glass frogs, there was no attending parent, so I do not know the species. I lit up the clutch from below with a flashlight, and love how the jelly captures the light, magnifies the leaf, and highlights each individual egg membrane. Note the yolk-filled bellies of each embryo. - Kristiina Hurme
Photo by Kristiina
This is an Australian beetle showing pectinate antennae. - Chris Owen