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The theme for photography competition in 2020 was Our changing world. The Society would like to congratulate the winners and shortlisted photographers, who were announced during Biology Week 2020.

In the press

Images from the competition were covered in a number of news outlets including BBC News, The Guardian, INSIDER and WIRED UK

Photographer of the Year 2020: WinnerPC01 Dangerous garbage eating elephants

Dangerous garbage-eating elephants by Tilaxan Tharmapalan

Taken: Ampara District, Sri Lanka

The elephants pictured here come to garbage dumping grounds in Ampara in search of food.

Photographer of the Year 2020: Runner upPC02 The boundary of disaster

The boundary of disaster by Roberto Bueno

Taken: Boundary between forest and land stripped of trees for agricultural use in Belize

This straight line represents the border between nature and the humanity. However, human impact like this can be seen all over the world with ecosystems going through huge, dramatic changes.

Photographer of the Year 2020: Highly commendedPC03 Observer

Observers by Agata Boguszewska

Taken: Richmond Park, London, UK

Three cyclists are watched by a young deer in Richmond Park.

Photographer of the Year 2020: ShortlistedPC04 My shirt

My shirt by Hasan Baglar

Taken: Nicosia, Cyprus

The grasshopper is moulting its exoskeleton. It will do this a number of times as it changes and grows during its lifetime.

PC05 Young volunteers

Young volunteers by Froi Rivera

Taken: Cavite, Philippines 

The three volunteers are seen happy and content during their tree-planting activity.

PC06 The olive journey

The olive journey by Saurabh Chakraborty

Taken: Rushikulya, Odisha, India

Almost every year in Rushikhulya, Orissa, one of the most spectacular events in nature takes place. Thousands of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles come to this coastal region to lay eggs.

PC07 Greenhouse

Greenhouse by Jonathan Jimenez (Jonk)

Taken: Gant, Belgium

The image of an abandoned nineteenth century greenhouse shows how nature can reclaim and transform structures left by humans.

Young Photographer of the Year 2020: WinnerPC08 Waiting

Waiting by Ashwin Geerthan

Taken: Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

These Indian cormorants (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) are patiently waiting on a structure made by sticks that was setup by humans for fishing.

Young Photographer of the Year 2020: Runner upPC09 The world is a good place

The world is a good place by Charlotte Bean

Taken: Brookmans Park, England, UK

We tend to focus on the bad changes that occur in the world around us, yet so much positivity can be found if we look in the right places. Here, the young goslings are making the first steps into their world.

Young Photographer of the Year 2020: Highly commended

PC10 End of a thousand dreams

End of a thousand dreams by Saptarshi Gayen

Taken: Singur, Hooghly, West Bengal, India

As extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, it is important to recognise the impact they have not just on humans but also on the rest of nature. Two baby baya weaver (Ploceus philippinus) pictured here had fallen out of their nest and died following a cyclone.

Young Photographer of the Year 2020: ShortlistedPC11 Silent noon

Silent noon by Rosie Tarboton

Taken: Claygate, Surrey, UK

Changes occur all the time in nature – it is a part of every organism’s life cycle. This is very clearly seen in creatures such as dragonflies who undergo metamorphosis, as they completely transform during their lifetime as they grow. 

PC12 Ischmeer glacier

Ischmeer glacier by Rory Stringer

Taken: Ischmeer glacier, Swiss Alps

In the 1800s the entire gorge was covered in ice. Today, the glacier has retreated so much it has resulted in many problems such as unstable rock. The world around us continues to change – who knows what things will look like in years to come.

Special thanks to judges

Tim Harris - Nature Picture Library and Bluegreen Pictures
Tom Hartman - program chair of MSc in Biological Photography and Imaging at the University of Nottingham
Alex Hyde - natural history photographer and lecturer at The University of Nottingham
Linda Pitkin - underwater photographer