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The winning and highly commended pieces of art for this year’s Nancy Rothwell award have been announced, with an array of intricate anatomical drawings including a running wolf, a soaring eagle and a swarm-raiding army ant.

The Nancy Rothwell Award celebrates artwork that captures the intricacies of anatomy, and this year more than 500 pieces were submitted by young artists from across the globe.

Submitted entries were split into three age categories (7-11, 12-14 and 15-18), and were judged by a panel of biologists and illustrators.

The winning artists from each category will receive drawing equipment, a certificate, £25 for themselves, and £100 for their school. Both highly commended entrants and winners will be invited to an experience day at the Royal Veterinary College.

Timothy Pond, an illustrator based at the Zoological Society of London and member of the judging panel, commented on this year’s submissions: “All the entries I saw for this year’s Nancy Rothwell award were simply stunning.

“The award highlights the best artistic and scientific rigour in young children, and amongst all the submissions, from which it is very hard to pick a winner, are many thoughts, ideas, and even discoveries from which I too can learn.

“The quality of the illustration and drawing techniques is outstanding. Visualisation skills are exceptionally high amongst all the candidates, whether this is illustrating the concave trunking of a seahorse or the colossal size of the mandibles on a swarm-raiding army ant.”

The winner of the 15-18 category was Serena Liu from UWC South East Asia, Singapore.

Serena Liu

Serena’s entry depicts the highly intricate anatomy of an eagle, using watercolour paints, coloured pencils and pen. The piece includes detailed labelling of the eagle’s skull, alongside key external features.

Catherine James, from Lady Eleanor Holles School, Hampton, UK, took home the winning title in the 12-14 category for her detailed, labelled drawings of the American flamingo, including its skeleton, skull, its external appearance and digestive system.  Catherine James

On winning Catherine commented: ‘‘It is a real honour and a privilege to win the Nancy Rothwell Award.

“I have been fascinated by flamingos since I first saw a colony as a very young child. I have always loved learning about their adaptations in biology and I was keen to learn more about their anatomy and physiology.

“I love biology because it provides a scientific understanding of all living organisms, their interactions and diversity. Biology is the essence of life.”

Jiyoo Erin Lee from the Seoul Foreign School, South Korea, is the winner of the 7-11 category, with a vibrant and detailed drawing of salmon. Jiyoo used coloured pencils and pens to depict the internal organs of the salmon, alongside its skeleton.

Jiyoo Erin Lee 726 510

Jiyoo Erin Lee from the Seoul Foreign School, South Korea, is the winner of the 7-11 category, with a vibrant and detailed drawing of salmon. Jiyoo used coloured pencils and pens to depict the internal organs of the salmon, alongside its skeleton.

On winning, Jiyoo commented: “I put a lot of effort into creating this drawing and I’m glad that it is appreciated! I am fascinated with the colours of marine life and to express these colours on paper was a challenge for me.

“Through the creation of this piece I was able to better appreciate all living creatures around me.”

The winning and highly commended drawings will also be displayed on 10th October at the Royal Society of Biology Annual Awards Ceremony at the Francis Crick Institute, London, as part of Biology Week 2019.

This year’s competition was judged by Andrew Crook MBE FRSA, Royal Veterinary College, Lucy Eckersley, Royal Veterinary College, Tom Ireland MRSB, Royal Society of Biology, Dr Grace Sim, Royal Veterinary College, Timothy Pond, Zoological Society of London and Professor Susan Standring FRSB, King's College London.

The Nancy Rothwell award is named after the first President of the Society, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell DBE CBiol Hon FRSB, who is a keen anatomical artist herself, and also an advocate for specimen drawing as a learning tool.

The following were highly commended:

7-11 Category

Eugene Han

The Eagle Flying in the Shadows

Seoul Foreign School, South Korea

 Han Eugene

Jasmine Wills

Canis lupus (Grey Wolf)

Reigate Grammar School, Reigate, UK

 Wills Jasmine

Soochang Baek

Carcharodon carcharias (Great White Shark)

King's College School, Cambridge, UK

 Baek Soochang

12-14 Category

Kenisa Uthayakaran

Anatomy of the wolf

Godolphin & Latymer School, London

 Uthayakaran Kenisa

Lily-Rose O'Brien

Ara Ararauna

Forest School, London, UK

 OBrien Lily Rose requested better image

Lucas Bray

The swarm-raiding army ant, Eciton burchellii

Dr Challoner's Grammar School, Amersham, UK

 Bray Lucas

15-18 Category

Azli Gumusgoz

Hippocampus - seahorse

St. Mary's Catholic High School, Astley, UK

 Gumusgoz Azli

Catherine Payne

Panthera pardus

Peter Symonds College, Winchester


Payne Catherine

Georgina Chow

The growth stages of an opium poppy

The Abbey School, Reading


Chow Georgina