Images of Research Competition
The second annual University of Saskatchewan Images of Research competition was held in the spring of 2016. The competition is an avenue for U of S students, staff, faculty and alumni to showcase the groundbreaking research, scholarly and artistic work taking place at the U of S.
Nearly 100 submissions were received. The competition was divided into four thematic categories, a "Viewers' choice" category, and a new "Best description" category:
- From the field: Images which demonstrate the researcher’s experience doing field work anywhere in the world
- More than meets the eye: Images which reveal the subject in greater detail than is possible with the human eye (eg. x-rays, creative expression, microscopic images, computer models, etc.)
- Community and impact: Images which represent the impact the researcher’s work has had or could have on people, the environment, health, the economy, etc.
- Research in action: Images which demonstrate what the researcher's work is all about
- Viewers' choice: Images which received the highest number of votes during a public voting period
- Best description: Images accompanied by the clearest, most informative and most vibrant descriptions and titles
The Office of the Vice-President Research would like to thank all of the expert judges and everyone who submitted their work to the competition. Following deliberation by a number of multidisciplinary judging panels, the following submissions were selected as the 2016 Images of Research.
Winners of the 2016 Images of Research Competition
"Deep Hanging Out" by Rachel Phillips Hall (Arts and Science - Archaeology and Anthropology)
Susan Sontag (1990) suggests that photography captures and selects, but also interprets our view of the world. Like photography, ethnography is an artisanal practice that involves interpretive and political choices. This particular photograph, I believe, captures the core complexities of my ethnographic experience in southern Belize. That is, by engaging and participating in the daily lives of my participants, I gained a deeper understanding of the complex experiences of Maya communities in Toledo, Belize, where infectious and non-communicable diseases converge with the stresses of everyday poverty. My research provides unique insight into how individual-level factors contribute to the health and well-being of these communities, thereby exemplifying how public health can apply anthropological approaches to provide insight into complex epidemiological trends.
From the Field - Winner
"Not Your Average Gopher" by Colleen Crill (Arts and Science - Biology)
Over the past several decades the number of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in Canada has been declining. The entire Canadian population lives within 12 square km in Grasslands National park in Southern Saskatchewan. In my work, I get up close and personal with these unique animals to research what limits their population growth, and help understand the big-picture causes of their decline.
This particular animal, marked with the letters "Bb" on his back for identification from afar, is a frequent visitor to our traps. My lab group is working to understand the role that highly social animals like Bb play in population growth, and how this compares to shyer animals within the same colony.
From the Field - Runner-up
"Pulling Your Weight" by Jordan Mihalicz (Environment and Sustainability)
This wasn't in the project description! This photo shows us hauling our gear across dry land to one of the wetland lakes that we sampled for macroinvertebrates, among other things. We're using these critters to measure the health of the wetlands in relation to the Saskatchewan River system and how a large hydroelectric dam might change that. Research is certainly never easy, but if you put in the effort it'll all be worthwhile!
More than Meets the Eye - Winner
“Capturing Memories” by Veronica Finkas (Arts and Science/Medicine - Anatomy and Cell Biology)
Some of nature's most beautiful creations are not visible to the naked eye. This scanning electron microscopy image captures neurons from the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus of a mouse brain with familial Alzheimer's disease. These five-micrometre neurons are responsible for all of life's timeless memories. Images such as this one gives us an in-depth look at what is occurring in the brain of one with Alzheimer's disease to understand the underlying changes associated with this disease. We're capturing memories!
More than Meets the Eye - Runner-up
“A Mother's First Embrace” by Jonathan Pasternak (VIDO-InterVac)
While the role of the placenta in fostering a healthy pregnancy is almost universally known, the contribution of other structures is more esoteric. This mosaic of high resolution fluorescent images was created to demonstrate how microscopic detail underpins macroscopic complexity. The staining shows the molecular stitching between each epithelial cell lining the seemingly random bends and pleats making up the intricate folds of the ampulla, a portion of the oviduct. Collectively this structure is responsible for the care, nurture and transport of the maternal oocyte prior to fertilization.
Community and Impact - Winner
“A horse's eye view” by Amber-Lynn Backwell (Veterinary Medicine)
A lone male horse looks out over the beach on Sable Island, Nova Scotia. The McLoughlin Lab with the university has been conducting research on the roughly 500 horses that reside on Sable Island since 2007, and has collected a vast array of information related to their health and population dynamics. The horses here are a perfect model for a population ecology study, and what’s neat is that the knowledge gained from them can be applied to other isolated populations throughout the world, potentially helping with conservation efforts. For instance, the horses’ social structure can be compared to that of the mountain gorillas of Virunga, so imagine if the lessons learned here could benefit other wild and endangered species.
Community and Impact - Runner-up
“From Racial to Religious Discrimination” by Momina Khan (Education - Curriculum Studies)
This picture portrays a Canadian Muslim girl who consistently confronts comments, judgements and assumptions on the basis of her hijab which is part of her religious identity. Since 9/11 and the ongoing war on terror, Muslims in the western world have become even more vulnerable. As a result, Muslim youth born and raised in western society are going through some blatant challenges of justifying both their religious identity and Canadian citizenhood. By negotiating their identity in home, school, social, institutional and cultural spaces, they live multiple lives which pose a serious threat to their sense of self and sense of belonging to the place and people. As a parent researcher, my doctoral research aims to explore possibilities of shared hope and responsibility.
Research in Action - Winner
“The Auroral Radar” by Ashton Reimer (Arts and Science - Physics and Engineering Physics)
The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, seen over the Saskatoon SuperDARN (Super Dual Auroral Radar Network) radar. On December 20th, 2015, a large geomagnetic storm produced this show, which was caused by the impact of two successive coronal mass ejections from the Sun. While storms produce beautiful aurora, they also produce adverse effects on airplane communications systems, GPS, and the electrical power grid. SuperDARN radars measure the velocity of the aurora, in a manner similar to a police radar gun, and this radar data is an essential tool used in space weather forecasting, which can predict the intensity of these effects. My PhD thesis discusses methods to improve the quality of and the uncertainty in SuperDARN radar data.
Research in Action - Runner-up
“Just Scratching the Surface” by Kay Jollymore (Arts and Science - Archaeology and Anthropology)
This photograph demonstrates the painstaking and often slow process of excavating cultural levels at a tipi ring site. This type of site, common across the northern plains, can be notoriously difficult to date due to the paucity of diagnostic artifacts or material that can be dated. Prior to excavations, magnetometry was employed to target areas most likely to contain charcoal from ancient campfires at archaeological sites near Little Manitou Lake in south-central Saskatchewan. Based on those results, small excavations were carried out in an effort to collect charcoal that will help to date the sites. This research aims to improve understanding of prehistoric occupation in the region and better understand how past cultures adapted to changing environmental conditions.
Viewers’ Choice - Winner
“Colours of Chemistry” by Hriday Bhattacharjee (Arts and Science - Chemistry)
Human eyes are always attracted by colours. Maybe that is why flowers are widely appreciated all over the world. For the same reason, chemistry becomes one of the favourite subjects when kids are introduced to science. I was introduced to this colourful part of chemistry in a science workshop. Eventually I chose chemistry as my field of study and now enjoying this colourful world of research. This picture depicts the wide range of colours you can see in different chemical compounds whether they are in the form of powder, shining crystals or solutions. As a researcher in chemistry, my field work is all about working with these beautiful compounds in the laboratory and I love it.
Viewers’ Choice - Runner-up
“The Germinator!” by Awang Hazmi Awang Junaidi (Veterinary Medicine - Veterinary Biomedical Sciences)
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of testis cells from a newborn piglet cultured for four weeks. Imaged for the first time, this is a large colony formed by fusion of early testis germ cells named gonocytes. Gonocytes are progenitors of all generations of testis germ cells. Also shown here are multiple migrating gonocytes approaching the colony to form an even bigger colony. The process of gonocyte migration and multiplication is crucial for the normal initiation of sperm production later in a male's life. The single gonocytes and the large colony are surrounded by flat supporting somatic testis cells. (Magnification 1000x).
Best Description - Winner
“One point nine billion years in the making” by Camille Partin (Arts and Science - Geological Sciences)
The past can be a beautiful place to work. This photo was taken during geological field work in Arctic Greenland. Coastal mountains expose ancient ocean sediments that were thrust onto the continent about 1.9 billion years before the present time. These rocks in west Greenland hold special significance, as they were once connected to Canada and record an ancient mountain-building event that helped form the Canadian Shield on which we live today. Studying these rocks not only garners scientific data that helps us understand the complex history of the Earth, but can also provide economic benefits as they often host base and precious metal mineral deposits used by modern society.
Best Description - Runner-up
“Rising Tide in Bear Country” by Michael Cuggy (Arts and Science - Geological Sciences)
This picture is looking out from the shore of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Manitoba. This is where we were collecting 450-million-year-old fossils. All day, one team member had to scan this view, and the rest of the 360 degrees, watching for polar bears while the other members looked for fossils. In fact, later that week a mother and cub came around the point and we had to make a hasty retreat from our field site as they moved through the cove.