I just won second place in the Faces of Biology contest, sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). They focus on showcasing the broader impacts of science in society, and this contest was a way for them to present the different aspects of science to policymakers. I’m very proud to have contributed an image. It, and the other winners, will be featured in an upcoming issue of BioScience.
The photo shows my collaborator Percy Orlando Chambi Porroa measuring the branching architecture of a plant sample in Manú National Park, Peru. We’re sitting in a small wooden house, deep inside the cloud forest. Better measurements of branch architecture may be useful for making better models of carbon storage and growth in plants. The overall project is led by Yadvinder Malhi out of the University of Oxford and is focused on understanding the carbon dynamics of tropical forests. One of the best things about the project, in my mind, is that it brings together researchers from a range of countries and enables students (like Percy, and like me) to have much richer experiences than they ever would get otherwise.
Below is a scene from the forest, as branch samples are collected and tagged to be measured.
Percy was kind enough to pose for several pictures. Here’s one of the other candidates – a nice memory of some beautiful weeks in the field.