The 41 entries in the Science Haiku Competition 2019


I dive in darkness,
sink down to the deep sea bed
to find pearls of light.

Joanna Tilsley [UK]
I’m a poet, not a science pro, but I immerse myself thoroughly in science fact and ongoing research, and this informs my creativity. Read more.

Jury’s Grand Prize


As matter of fact
In most concerns and matters
Location matters

Håkan Karlsson [SE]
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (KTH, Stockholm)
My entry is based on my 16 years of working with geographical data and analysis. Read more.


continuum mechanics
and topology

provides physics with
all-embracing descriptions
by de Rham currents.

Johan Hamberg [SE]


Human enamel
Growing slower and thinner
Milk and fish to blame

Christopher Aris [UK]
University of Kent
Bioarchaeology Ph.D. student working with modern human teeth.


Activity probe
LOX is trapped with the probe, boom!
Enzyme detected

Dea Gogishvili [NL]
Research intern, University of Groningen


A sleepness lab night
the petri dish infected
by the crumbs of KFC

George Zochios
Biology Student


The lab stinks
and the field bites;
embrace the bioinformatics

Marios Gabrielatos [GR]
Biology student at National and Kapodistrian University οf Athens


The Avengers Civil war but full of shit.
Who’s the good guy, who’s the bad?
It takes guts to find out!

Panagiota Mamareli [GR]
Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

PhD student in Immunology, focused on mucosal inflammation. Read more.


Wiping the dark cloth
aside on the glass over
the Silver Book page

Horst Ludvig [DE/US]
Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota, US
Codex Argenteus [Silverbibeln / ’The Silver Book’] at Uppsala University Library: What does a young student from a foreign country do on a sunny afternoon in a country of the midnight sun? Read more.


At the forest foot
welling, flickering light
of purest water

Horst Ludvig [DE/US]
Gustavus Adolphus College (see #9).


Hazards and humans
Emergency Management
Needs evidence base

Jeff Rubin [US]
I work at the intersection of geoscience, emergency management, and public policy. For me it’s all about basing what we do on evidence rather than anecdote and the dreaded “best practices”.


Reviewer two wrote:
“Not a cutting-edge research”
Seems efforts don’t count

Egle Bukarte [LT/SE]
Lund university
PhD student in Chemical physics and photosynthesis.
Here is a poem from personal experience, which I think many of us can relate to.


Cancer is clever,
Immune system is smarter,
Let’s boost this killer

Cyrielle [FR]

Master student in molecular and cellular biology


Toads are missing ears??
Lost and found over again
Evolving next door

Leorah Brooke McGinnis [US]

lab manager, Department of Biology, Colorado State University link

… one thing our lab studies is how some closely related toads lost ears and then regained them in some cases, and we can’t tell why.


Climate change is here
Towards carbon storage we steer
Will it be enough, I fear

Yash Verma [IN]

I’m doing my Ph.D. in geomechanics of carbon storage.


Arsenic in the Andes hides
Can human natives thrive?
Adapted they surely are!

Jessica De Loma 

Ph.D. candidate studying arsenic in the South American Andes from a geneticist perspective.


Found any gold yet?
And then his sheepdog steals
the humerus

A thousand and two hundred years old
still the scapulas
of a little child

Deborah Karl-Brandt [DE]

PhD from University Bonn, at Department of Scandinavian languages and literature


Cells stuck in young state
Mature them to wrap neurons
Regrow myelin

Elizabeth Thomason [US]

PhD student in Richmond, Virginia


Prenatal mosaic
Each cell unique together
Develop their fates

Heather Etchevers [FR]

My group and I study how small genetic changes starting in one cell after fertilization can lead to congenital malformations. When cells have a slightly divergent genetic makeup from one another in the same organism, we call that “mosaic”. Read more


Ecology has
rules; who lives where and why, that
microbes may defy

Heather Olins [US]

Microbial ecologist, Assistant Prof. of the Practice, Boston College link


Microbes in small ponds
produce and consume methane
but which dominates?

Heather Olins [US]

Microbial ecologist, Assistant Prof. of the Practice, Boston College link


on a mountain top
against odds of random drift
plant adaptation

Tuomas Hämälä [US]

population geneticist; Post-Doctoral Associate, College of Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota

Runner up alpha, The Jury’s Grand Prize


A microbe’s defense
In ultraviolet presence?
Floral fluorescence.

Rebecca Hayes [US]

I am a technician at the university of Pittsburgh. I study petal bacterial UV tolerance in relation to UV patterns in flowers.


A bat flaps away.
Where are you, tagged animal?

Isabella Mandl [AT]

I’m studying flying fox movements for conservation in the tropics.


These pickup artists
Think sex is a marketplace
They keep suffering

Sarah Martin

My research interests are gender, sexuality, and, specifically, masculinities and masculine internet subcultures.


You can not buy love
It is an experience
Not a transaction

Sarah Martin

My research interests are gender, sexuality, and, specifically, masculinities and masculine internet subcultures.


Global warming leading to climate change!
Save the planet with ocean microbes,
Agulhas Current hard at work.

Kolisa Yola Sinyanya [ZA]

Ph.D. candidate specializing in Marine Biogeochemistry, using nitrogen isotopes to explore how a surface oceanic current enhances carbon export potential.


Leaves fall like manna
Intercepted and held in
Secret compost piles

Scott Zona

This haiku highlights litter-trapping plants, funnel-shaped plants that trap leaf litter and extract nutrients from it.


Salvia’s small seeds
Blown by wind or washed by rain
Disperse to new sites

Scott Zona

I do work with seed dispersal of Salvia.


Large seeds germinate
Small seeds stay dormant longer

Scott Zona

I work with Salvia roemeriana, which produces two kinds of fruits that differ in size, dormancy, and dispersal ability.


Wandering T cell
Redirected to attack
Finds a new purpose

Belinda Kramer [AU]

I’m a cancer researcher developing immune therapies to target childhood cancers.


Light shines on the heart
Photons trigger the muscle
Human heart beats on

Silke Kramprich [DE]

I am a science and technology communicator focusing on photonics.

The people’s poet


Twelve false shooting stars
Record reflections of light
But how right are they?

Uncertainties combined
Untangled through more equations
The errors come to light.

James Mollard [UK]

In my research we are analysing the uncertainty of climate data records from satellite Earth observations.


In stench of sulphur
microbes can exhale methane.
“Is there life on Mars?”

Mario Toubes-Rodrigo [UK]

The aim of my research is investigating gas production in Martian analogues on Earth, growing microorganisms in Martian simulated brine.


Blood sugar rising,
My lifeline begins changing,
I’m growing, but why?

Katy Walsh [UK]

I’m researching the effect of temporal glucose fluctuations on placental and fetal growth in pregnancies affected by gestational diabetes.

First runner-up, The People’s Poet


Smartphone in every hand
Apps for every ailment
None ever so helpful

Oyuka Byambasuren

I’m a Ph.D. candidate researching the effectiveness of smartphone health apps and their potential to be used in clinical practice.


in A T C G
your laughter

Fulldome Festival
thoughts feel out
the event horizon

between two cells
the connection
I’m looking for

Claudia Brefeld [DE]

biological technical assistant at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Theoretical and Applied Biodiversity


Pain. Blot clot. Inflammation.
Stem cells sense, repair.

Wound inflammation
Maybe more than pain, does it
help regenerate?

Smash! Injury. Pain.
Needs fast regeneration
Who tells the stem cells?

Noemi Linden [DE]
Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany
I’m an undergraduate student investigating the mechanisms and effects of immune-cell-stem-cell-communication in wound repair and tissue regeneration.


ceasefire agreement –
honeybees returning home
loaded with pollen

Cezar-Florin Ciobîcă [RO]
I am a teacher and writer from Botosani, Romania.

Runner up beta, The Jury’s Grand Prize

Second runner-up, The People’s Poet


sunflower field
shedding light
on dark matter

Cezar-Florin Ciobîcă [RO]
I am a teacher and writer from Botosani, Romania.


Humans drink antibiotics like cups of tea,
Bacteria flush it out like a bad memory,
The key to this resistance is to burst open their Outer membrane protein treasury.

Farha Sayeed [IN/SE]
Umeå University, Sweden
I am a Master Student in Molecular biology and work on proteins that regulate outer membrane lipopolysaccharide in Vibrio cholerae.

# …

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