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Khepri: Egyptian God of the Sun Artwork by Eric Jackson
Khepri: Egyptian God of the Sun Artwork by Eric Jackson

Society’s views of insects, overcoming adversity and the ethics of collecting rare insects, feature in the RES Student Science Communication Award 2023

To enter the annual competition, students write an 800 word article in English, on an insect-related topic of interest to the general public.

Deadline 31 December 2024.


Juan Carlos Cambronero-Heinrichs, a PhD student at the Univerisity of Padua, Italy was awarded first place for “Reclaiming mariola‘s wings” about taking ownership as an adult of a insect name used by childhood bullies. The article has illustrations from Grettel Andrade, PhD student at the University of Costa Rica.

Image of Juan Carlos Cambronero-Heinrichs, winner of the RES Award for Student Science Communication 2023
Grettel Andrade

“I was doubting about the essay, writing in English is challenging and the manuscript had several versions. The text is very personal and to be proud is never easy.  Mixing my identity as a gay person and my love for insects is something I wanted to do for a long time; this competition just felt like the perfect opportunity. It was also very important to speak on a topic I thought I could never open about when I was younger. I am thrilled about the award, and I will say it is a shared win between me and the artist who created the beautiful illustrations.

Grettel Andrade is a PhD student in a program on Society and Culture at the University of Costa Rica, and her vision embellishes the essay with neotropical bees and plants. We thank the Royal Entomological Society. We are truly excited about the publication of our work.”

Juan Carlos Cambronero-Heinrichs

Second place

Eric Jackson, a student at Columbia University, United States, was awarded second place for “A God on Six Legs“, about the contrasting views of insects in different cultures and societies.

Image of Eric Jackson

“Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate in the competition. I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of creativity that was given to participants on how we could communicate our topic. I recommend anyone who has a joy of both entomology and story telling to participate in this competition. I’m very grateful to the judges for giving me second place.”

Eric Jackson

Third place

Altrim Mamuti, an undergraduate student at Columbia University, United States, was awarded third place for “From Freedom to Boxes: A Journey Unchecked“, about the ethics of illegal insect specimen trading.

Image of Altrim Mamuti

“As an emerging biologist, I am deeply passionate about writing about the natural world, particularly when it comes to the conservation of insects. Despite their crucial role in ecosystems, insects often find themselves on the fringes of conservation efforts, overlooked in favor of more charismatic species. Through my participation in the RES Sci Comm competition, I hope to bring attention to the plight of endangered insect species and raise awareness about the importance of their conservation.”

Altrim Mamuti

Members of RES Outreach Committee judged the entries, Dr Victoria Burton, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Natural History Museum, London, and Dominique Vassie, freelance artist and Editor of INSTAR magazine.

“We really enjoyed reading all of this year’s entries. There was a lovely mix of interesting stories on insect science, insects in culture and insect conservation.

We were also really happy to see a variety of different styles of written science communication and lots of original approaches.

Thank you to those who took time to enter, we hope you all continue to explore ways of sharing the wonders of insects with those around you!”

Victoria Burton and Dominique Vassie

The three articles will be published in the Society’s membership bulletin Antenna later this year.

The 2024 competition is now open for entries from students anywhere in the world, the closing date is 31st December 2024.

See also