Amazing Ecology: Award-Winning Photos of Wildlife

Tropical Giant

Huge tropical tree

(Image credit: Benjamin Blonder (University of Arizona).)

The tropical tree Ceiba pentandra, otherwise known as Kapok. This is a rare large individual in a lowland tropical forest and was highly commended in the 2013 BMC Ecology photo contest.

Fake Flock

Fake flock of decoy Northern Gannets

(Image credit: Hara Woltz (Columbia University).)

A flock of decoy Northern Gannets on the North Island of New Zealand. Ecologists are trying to re-establish real gannets by setting up these fake flocks and playing gannet calls through solar-powered speakers. This photo was highly commended in the 2013 BMC Ecology photo contest.

Scientific Expedition

Vegetation survey equipment

(Image credit: Benjamin Blonder (University of Arizona))

Researchers carry vegetation survey equipment to a forest dynamics plot in Puerto Rico.

Blue Tide

Plankton blue tide

(Image credit: Bruce Anderson (University of Stellenbosch))

A dinoflagellate (plankton) bloom turns the tide luminous blue in this "highly commended" 2013 BMC Ecology photo.

Penguin Hearts

Penguin heart rate monitoring

(Image credit: Benoit Gineste (Evolutionary EcoPhysiology Group, CNRS))

This BMC Ecology commended photo illustrates research into the stress of king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus). Researchers fitted a penguin with an external heart rate monitor and compared the pitter-patter of the penguin hearts in parts of the colony disturbed by human presence and parts not disturbed. At the upper right, a heart rate trace shows when a bird's heart rate spiked during capture.

Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.