Flamingo artwork
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Catherine in UIVX has been awarded the Nancy Rothwell award for her detailed depiction of a flamingo.

Catherine took home the winning title in the 12-14 category for her detailed, labelled drawings of the American flamingo, including skeleton, skull, its external appearance and digestive system.

The Nancy Rothwell Award celebrates artwork that captures the intricacies of anatomy, and this year more than 500 pieces were submitted by young artists from across the globe.

Submitted entries were split into three age categories (7-11, 12-14 and 15-18), and were judged by a panel consisting of biologists and illustrators.

The winning artists from each category will receive drawing equipment, a certificate, £25 for themselves, and £100 for their school. Both highly commended entrants and winners will be invited to an experience day at the Royal Veterinary College.

On winning Catherine commented: ‘‘It is a real honour and a privilege to win the Nancy Rothwell Award. I love biology because it provides a scientific understanding of all living organisms, their interactions and diversity.

I have been fascinated by flamingos since I first saw a colony as a very young child. I have always loved learning about their adaptations in biology and I was keen to learn more about their anatomy and physiology."

Timothy Pond, an illustrator based at the Zoological Society of London and member of the judging panel commented: ‘‘Catherine has shown a tremendous level of understanding in this detailed depiction giving us an insight into the flamingo’s skeletal structure and underlying biology."

“The flamingo is an original choice, and Catherine has beautifully rendered this illustration of the head with sublime colouring. Details of the bill gives us an insight into the upside-down eating behaviour of the flamingo too; the word “flamingo” actually derives from the Spanish or Portuguese word meaning “flame-coloured,” as these birds are known for their vibrant appearance.

Catherine has also included some of the underlying biology of how flamingos feed on algae, larvae, and brine shrimp with a high level of beta carotene, a red-orange pigment that ultimately gives them their brightly coloured plumage.”

Miss Mercer, biology teacher at Lady Eleanor Holles School, commented: “I am absolutely delighted that Catherine James has won such a prestigious award.She is an exceptional biology student and the attention to detail she gives to the theory she learns is reflected in her winning submission on the American flamingo. She is an inspiration to everyone at LEH.”

The winner of the 7-11 category was Jiyoo Erin Lee from the Seoul Foreign School, South Korea whilst the winner of the 15-18 category was Serena Liu from UWC South East Asia.

The winning and highly commended drawings will also be displayed on 10th October at the Royal Society of Biology Annual Awards Ceremony at the Francis Crick Institute, London, as part of Biology Week 2019.

This year’s competition was judged by Andrew Crook MBE FRSA, Royal Veterinary College, Lucy Eckersley, Royal Veterinary College, Tom Ireland MRSB, Royal Society of Biology, Dr Grace Sim, Royal Veterinary College, Timothy Pond, Zoological Society of London and Professor Susan Standring FRSB, King's College London.

The Nancy Rothwell award is named after the first President of the Society, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell DBE CBiol Hon FRSB, who is a keen anatomical artist herself, and also an advocate for specimen drawing as a learning tool.

  • LEH Science
Skeleton of an american flamingo artwork