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Members and supporters of the Royal Society of Biology last week celebrated the winners of the annual Photography Competition and Science Communication Awards at the Annual Awards Ceremony in London.

Held as part of Biology Week, the Annual Awards Ceremony provides an opportunity for the Society to celebrate achievements within the biosciences.

The evening began by celebrating the science communication efforts of both early career and established researchers, presented by Dr Steve Cross, Chair of the judging panel.

PhD student from the University of Sussex Mahmoud Maina was awarded the New Researcher Science Communication Award for his efforts to inspire students and change perceptions of science in Africa. His wide-reaching and hands-on approach impressed the judges.


Mahmoud Maina discussing his work during the awards ceremony (Photo credit: RSB)


Maina said of the award: “I am delighted and feel honoured to be a recipient of this award.

"I started science communication to enhance science awareness in my community and inspire young African students that could one day drive scientific research in the continent.”

The Established Researcher Award was presented to Dr Fiona Menzies, lecturer at the University of the West of Scotland, for the work she has done to change the culture of her institution and connect with the public.

Menzies said of the award: “As a researcher, involving non-scientists with the work that I do is vitally important to ensure that my work is relevant and will be impactful.

"Recognition through the award will give me a larger platform to expand on the science communication work we are doing in our school.”


FLTR: Professor Dame Jean Thomas, Mahmoud Maina, winner of the Young Researcher Science Communicator of the Year, Aimee Eckert, Science Communication Award judge, Dr Steve Cross, Science Communication Award judge President of the RSB, Dr Mark Downs, chief executive of the RSB (Photo credit: RSB)


The awards ceremony then moved on to announcing the winners of the RSB Photographer of the Year competition. Held annually, the theme this year was The Hidden World, with the competition attracting over 600 entries from across the globe.

Duncan McNaught, from Dumfries and Galloway, was presented with the RSB Photographer of the Year Award and the top prize of £1000 for his entry 'Welcome to my humble abode'.

Welcome to my humble abode

Welcome to my humble abode by Duncan McNaught, taken in Galloway, South Scotland


McNaught said of the award: “Winning this prestigious award I'm highly delighted and honoured my image was selected. The competition was high and I appreciate the difficulty the judges must have had in choosing the winner. I feel proud to have been part of this year's competition and look forward to sharing my amazing news with my family and friends in Scotland.”

The RSB Young Photographer of the Year prize was awarded to Dheeraj Nanda, 17, for his photograph titled 'Coleman on Fire'.

Junior - Coleman on Fire

Coleman on Fire by Dheeraj Nanda (Aged 17) Taken in Ambon, Maluku, Indonesia


Nanda said of the award: “There are plenty of macroscopic critters beneath the sea surface and they never cease to impress us.

"I’ve always felt that these creatures should not be unnoticed and showcasing their images in these events would do justice for their beauty.”

Marc Brouwer was named runner up for the Photographer of the Year for his photograph of a springtail, whilst Steve Lowry was named as highly commended for his polarised light micrograph of the skin of a sea cucumber.


FLTR: Dr Mark Downs, chief executive of the RSB, Dame Jean Thomas, President of the RSB, Photographers Alannah Harding, Duncan McNaught, Amy Bateman, Javier Herranz Casellas, and Photography competition judge Linda Pitkin (Photo credit: RSB)


Alannah Harding, 17, was named runner up for the Young Photographer of the Year award, for her photograph of the heart of a mouse embryo surrounded by other organs.

Professor Sophie Scott concluded the evening with a keynote entitled 'A short history of laughter,' ahead of her appearance at the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture.

Afterwards, guests were welcome to view the shortlisted entries for the Photographer of the Year competition, alongside this year's entries for the Nancy Rothwell award.

Photos from the evening are available on the RSB Flickr page.