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The dazzling winners of the British Ecological Society’s photography awards

By Gege Li

A Dalmatian pelican

Alwin Hardenbol, University of Eastern Finland / British Ecological Society

The eye-catching photo above and the selection below celebrate the beauty and diversity of nature. The pictures were taken by ecologists and students around the world and are among the winners, runners-up and highly acclaimed entries in the British Ecological Society’s 2020 photo competition “Capturing Ecology”.

The overall winner was Alwin Hardenbol of the University of Eastern Finland for the inaugural recording of a Dalmatian pelican, the largest pelican type threatened with loss of its breeding colonies and aquatic habitats.

Verill's two-point squid larvaeVerrill’s two-point squid larvae

Pichaya Lertvilai, SIO, UC San Diego / British Ecological Society


This shot of Verrill’s two-point squid larvae emerging from their egg sacs was won second by Pichaya Lertvilai at the University of California at San Diego.

A Cope's vine snakeA Cope’s vine snake

Roberto García Roa, University of Valencia / British Ecological Society

Roberto García Roa, of the University of Valencia, Spain, was the winner of the “The Art of Ecology” category for this picture of a Cope vine snake using its open mouth as a tactic to scare predators.

Weaver antsWeaver ants

Upamanyu Chakraborty / British Ecological Society

The runners-up show a procession of weaver ants bringing younger colony members to safety, photographed by Upamanyu Chakraborty, a researcher at the Wildlife Institute of India.

An Oiticella Convergens mothAn Oiticella Convergens moth

Gabor Pozsgai, Fujian University of Agriculture and Forestry / British Ecological Society

These final images are from the critically acclaimed list: a perfectly camouflaged Oiticella convergens moth captured by Gabor Pozsgai, who graduated from Fujian University of Agriculture and Forestry in China; and a coyote captured by Peter Hudson of Pennsylvania State University.

A coyoteA coyote

Peter Hudson, Penn State University / British Ecological Society

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