Face to face with moths and manta rays

Aus Musuem Eureka Prizes logo

Australian Museum New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography highly commended and finalists announced – from Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria, ACT and New South Wales.

Three finalists and seven highly commended images have been selected for the 2014 Australian Museum New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography.

The images bring you face to face with manta rays, moths and the crown-of-thorns starfish, and even closer to microscopic flowerbuds and human tissue wreathed by nanoparticles. They will be published today on the Australian Museum and New Scientist websites, and are also available for publication.

“Scientists know that science is beautiful. The art of science photography is to share the beauty of science with a much wider audience. Great scientific photography can inspire non-scientists to learn more—and perhaps remind scientists why they do what they do.” Michael Slezak, Australasia Reporter, New Scientist.

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are the country’s most comprehensive national science awards, honouring excellence in Research and Innovation; Leadership; Science Communication and Journalism; and School Science.

The winner of the prize will be announced in the presence of 660 science, government, cultural and media leaders at the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes Award Dinner at Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday 10 September 2014.

The images are available for publication in connection with stories on the Eureka Prizes. For access contact errol@scienceinpublic.com.au or call 03 9398 1416.

The three finalists are:

Gary Cranitch, Queensland Museum, Queensland, Alfred Manta feeding

The AlfrReef manta ray feedinged Manta, Manta alfredi, one of the largest rays on the planet at a width of 5.5m, is currently listed as vulnerable, with only a few hundred recorded in eastern Australian waters. This awe-inspiring image by Queensland Museum’s Gary Cranitch is an important reminder that we still have much to do to ensure the survival of this beautiful species.

Dr Mark Talbot, CSIRO, ACT, Wheat through the looking glass

This scanning electron miWheat through the looking glasscroscope (SEM) image by Dr Mark Talbot of CSIRO, ACT, shows young wheat flower buds that will eventually become seeds. Using different modes of the SEM, two images of the same tissue were captured, superimposed and artificially coloured to highlight cell outlines (blue) and nuclei (orange). This unique way of creating SEM images unexpectedly revealed details normally seen only with a confocal laser microscope, even though the microscopes work in very different ways.

Charles Tambiah, Australian National University, ACT, Unravelling a basket starCharles TambiaUnravelling a Basket Starh’s striking image of a basket star has been composed by ‘painting’ with micro-light to peel back layers of science. Utilising the full breadth of tools within imaging software, and fibre-optics for lighting hidden spaces, Charles has painted multiple layers of information out of blackness, unravelling a simple, yet complex, marine invertebrate.

The seven highly commended entries are:

  • Michael Bradshaw, Perth, WA, Nanoparticle planet
  • Peter Enright, Coolum Beach, Qld, Bolt out of the blue
  • Ralph Grimm, Jimboomba, Qld, The face of a moth
  • Phred Petersen, Melbourne, Vic, Flight of the samara
  • Anne Rios, Melbourne, Vic, Probing the breast in 3D
  • Pete Wheeler, Perth, WA, An ancient landscape for modern science
  • Richard Wylie, Sandy Beach, NSW, Thorny problems

All images are now online at http://australianmuseum.net.au/2014-Eureka-Prize-for-Science-Photography

The three photography finalists are amongst 44 entries selected as finalists for 15 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes worth a total of $150,000.

For media enquiries please contact the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes media team:

Niall Byrne, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au, 0417 131 977

Errol Hunt, errol@scienceinpublic.com.au, 0423 139 210