Tag Archives: Nootka lupin

The Art of Science 2011

19 Nov

Every year, Princeton University in the U.S. organises an exhibition of science-themed art, where all of the artwork comes from research carried out by the university’s scientists. This year’s gallery was revealed last week…here are some of my favourites:

The view from here, by Colin Twomey and the Couzin Lab

I had no idea what this was before I read the description. Those colourful rods are fish swimming in a tank – 150 of them in total – and the white rays show the approximate field of view for each fish. This is a single frame from a video, filmed by biologists studying the behaviour of fish shoals.

Nitrogen fixation, by Sarah Batterman

This otherworldly landscape was photographed in Iceland. Nootka lupins like these were first planted more than 50 years ago to help rebuild Iceland’s highly eroded soils. However, this practice has become controversial because the plants often spread too quickly, affecting the native flora and reducing Iceland’s biodiversity (find out more here).

Mathematical Mountains, by Steve Brunton

I love this image – it makes me think of picture book illustrations of snow-capped mountains. In reality, it’s an excerpt from a bifurcation diagram of population dynamics, showing how order can emerge out of chaos. I’ve not got my head around the science behind this one yet, but it’s certainly nice to look at.

To see the full gallery, including the overall winners, click here!

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