Every year students embark on an incredible expedition to the wild’s of the Galapagos Islands. BIO 4904 Field Biology and Evolution of the Galapagos Islands, taught by Dr. Mark Bush, is a field biological sciences course that emphasizes climate and evolution processes and patterns of the Galapagos. The completely immersive experience allows students to investigate a plethora of unique biota that can only be observed on the islands.
Two biological sciences Ph.D. students, Majoi de Novaes Nascimiento and Pablo Juarbe Martinez, took the journey with Dr. Bush over the summer. With their cameras at the ready, they were able to capture beautiful photos of hte wildelife the observed on the islands. The budding photographers submitted some of their photos to the 2017 BMC Ecology Image Competition and both won honorable mentions.
The annual competition features entries from ecologists around the world and is designed to, according to BMC, showcase “research that is increasing our understanding of ecosystems worldwide and the beauty and diversity of life on our planet.”
Pablo Juarbe Martinez captured a sandy-faced s sea lion dozing on the coast of San Cristobal Island.
“The Galapagos field course gave me the opportunity to explore the wonders of nature and science in a fun learning environment,” he said.
Meanwhile, Majoi de Novaes Nascimiento’s photo captured a swallow-tailed gull who spends most of its life out at sea visiting the island to breed.
“For those studying biology or ecology, the course is an amazing opportunity to get in contact with the history of our field and understand the foundations of Darwin’s ideas in a practical way,” she said.
The winning photos were published online by the Sunday Mail in London and can be found here.
So what’s a field research trip to the Galapagos really like? Ashley Philbeck, environmental science’ 15, shares her experience.