Winners of the Inaugural uLethbridge Images of Research Competition Announced

Monday, March 14, 2016

The winners of the first annual Images of Research Competition held by the School of Graduate Studies and Graduate Students’ Association were announced to a crowd of over 100 people on Friday March 11, 2016.

Gordon Logie (MSc, Geography) took home first place for his image titled “The Invisible Life of Trees” (below), which featured vegetation in the Helen Schuler Nature Centre and the Indian Battle Park area of Lethbridge, Alberta. His winning image was created using infrared light in which vegetation appears predominately red because it reflects much more infrared light than visible light. The image was taken using cameras mounted on a light aircraft. Logie hopes his research will contribute to the monitoring of the health status of trees along the Oldman River.

Placing second was Dave McCaffrey (MSc, Geography) for his submission titled “Awaiting the Dawn”(below). Taken in the West Castle Area of Alberta, McCaffrey used digital hemispheric photography to produce his image. Digital hemispheric photography uses a fish-eye lens generating a high contrast, full sky image of the forest highlighted in his submission. McCaffrey then uses the image to estimate the amount sunlight that penetrates the canopy and contributes to snowmelt. For ideal light conditions, these photographs must be taken in the hour before dawn. McCaffrey tells us that in the mountains, the rate of snowmelt is closely related to vegetation cover, which is why he studies shifts in elevation of treelines.

The first annual People’s Choice winner was Diana Marie Wilches Correal (MSc, Biological Sciences) for her image titled “The Hairy and Viscous Invader” (below). Her image featured a Larva of Khapra beetle, a quarantined pest for Canada. These beetles are able to go into diapause, which allows them to tolerate years of starvation, high doses of insecticides, and extreme temperatures. These attributes have made them one of the most invasive and most destructive insect pests of stored-products. Her research seeks to further understand the Khapra beetles tolerance to extreme environments.

The Images of Research competition is a new, unique opportunity for Graduate Students at the University of Lethbridge to display their research, scholarly and artistic work. The aim of the competition is to provide graduate students with an artistic alternative to highlight their work, as a way to celebrate the diverse research taking place at uLethbridge.

First and second place images were selected by a multidisciplinary panel of judges who evaluated the images based on three criteria. The criteria included aesthetic appeal and creativity of image, the research connection, and the clarity of the abstract. Images from this year’s competition were displayed in an online gallery allowing the public to vote for their favourite image, which served to select the winner of the people’s choice category. This year’s winners received prizes of $250, $150, and $100 respectively. Thank you to the University Of Lethbridge Faculty Of Fine Arts for donating the prize funds.

Dr. Helen Kelley, notes that the SGS was “so pleased with the excellent response we received in our inaugural year of this competition. The submissions were outstanding, and really serve to highlight some of the incredible research work our students are conducting on campus.”

The winning images and their associated abstracts can be found on the School of Graduate Studies website. For more information on how to submit an entry to the upcoming 2017 competition, please watch the Images of Research page for more details!