Sarah Lu Chang and Robert Ditter win Art of Research competition

The Department of Biological Sciences is pleased to announce that Sarah Lu Chang and Robert Ditter have each won cash awards in the Art of Research. The competition took place April 16, 2024, in Hamlin Hall at the Buffalo Museum of Science. The event recognizes the extraordinary research of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars by showcasing original imagery inspired by the beauty inherent in research, scholarship and creative activities.

Sarah Lu Chang wins Judge’s Choice for Best Live-Action Fieldwork Photo

Sarah Lu Chang, PhD student with Trevor Krabbenhoft, was awarded Judge’s Choice for Best Live-action Fieldwork Photo. Chang captured the photo in Tonawanda Creek when she was conducting electrofishing surveys during the summer field season. This was part of her work studying the impacts of invasive fish and expansion of fish population ranges in Great Lakes ecosystems. Chang received a cash award of  $500.

Chang's photograph shows scientists at work, namely, Brian Foote, PhD student with Trevor Krabbenhoft, and Dr. Isabel Porto-Hannes, Research Assistant Professor, UB Department of Environment and Sustainability.

Robert Ditter wins Grand Prize for Artwork

Robert Ditter, PhD, a postdoc in Scott Santos’ lab, was awarded the Grand Prize for Artwork. Ditter's artwork, entitled “Monster Larvae”, is a depiction of his work with Heather Bracken-Grissom at Florida International University that uses genetic barcoding to link decapod larval and adult forms. Ditter says “It is fun to unmask these so-called deep-sea monsters and to be able to identify critters believed to be distinct species, in some cases for over a hundred years.” Ditter's cash award was $1,000.

The artwork, 'Monster Larvae'  by Robert Ditter, is a depiction of deep-sea Decapod larvae that were linked to their adult form through the use of molecular genomic tools (i.e. DNA barcoding). Until the advent of modern genetics methods, these organisms were commonly referred to as “monster larvae”.  Now we know that many of the would-be monsters are actually the larval forms of commercially valuable crustacean species.

Art in Research 2024, Grand Prize for Artwork: 'Monster Larvae'  by Robert Ditter, PhD.

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Art of Research

The Art of Research competition celebrates the extraordinary research of UB graduate students and postdoctoral scholars through a showcase of original images highlighting the inherent beauty in research, scholarship and creative activity. Photos: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki

Published April 22, 2024