We are proud to present the three winning poems in The Crastina Haiku Competition where one is about deep-sea corals, another is about microbes trapped in ice and a third is about autumn leaves.
Our judges were four scientists who have the right, universal mindset for a challenging task like this. We would like to thank them for finding a worthy winner in this amazing collection of poems.
• Joanna Bagniewska, zoologist and science communicator, Reading University
• Hanna Kokko, Professor in Evolutionary Biology, University of Zürich
• Bengt Westermark, Senior Professor in Tumor Biology, Uppsala University
• Bo Åkerström, Professor of Medical Chemistry, Lund University
The winners will be contacted separately about their prizes – fun stuff from the shelves of Amazon.
Winner: Nicole Morgan, Florida State University
In deep-sea waters
Unseen coral gardens in peril
Make the unknown known
“I created that poem based on an important part of my Ph.D. work, which is finding previously unknown deep-sea coral habitats through many different technologies. These habitats are threatened by trawling, mining, and climate change, and I hope to describe what we can find before they are possibly removed by human activities. Most people don’t know that these habitats even exist, so outreach has become an important facet of my work and this haiku competition seemed like a wonderful outlet after I found it on Twitter.”
Shared second place (A): Mario Toubes-Rodrigo, Manchester Metropolitan University
Rock trapped within ice.
In the darkness microbes creep,
Life always finds a way.
“As an environmental microbiologist, I have always felt attracted by extreme environments, to try to find life where conditions are so hard that is almost unexpected. This is how I chose his project on subglacial geomicrobiology and what my haiku represents.”
Mario Toubes Rodrigo
Shared second place (B): Frank Burdon, Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
Autumn leaves fall
Into the cold stream
Aquatic life stirs
“I created the poem to reflect the current manuscript I’m working on. Inputs of terrestrial leaves are a crucial resource subsidy driving food webs in many forested, headwater streams. This means the decomposition of organic matter is an important ecosystem process that stream ecologists like myself measure to assess the functional integrity of running waters. This haiku was written to capture the importance of the natural cycle driving this terrestrial-aquatic linkage.”
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