Three staffers at the Savannah River Ecology Lab recently showed off their photography skills and took home awards in the Snap SRS photo contest, sponsored by the Savannah River Site.

In the Science as Art category, P.J. Perea, public relations and outreach manager, won a People’s Choice Award for his photo, “Fractal Fungi.” The image showcases the swirling, mazelike complexity of a turkey tail mushroom, a type of mushroom found throughout the world and which often grows on the logs and stumps of deciduous trees. Also winning an award in this category was Amanda Hurst, SREL animal caretaker and outreach educator, for her shot, “Kaleidoscope,” which showed light refracting through frog eggs on a wetland surface.

Both Perea and Hurst also won in the Nuclear Knowledge category. Hurst’s winning photo was titled “Atoms Everywhere” and is a close-up of the head of a false dandelion, which produces yellow flowers that look very similar to true dandelions. Perea’s shot in this group, “Saving the Nuclear Family,” is a close-up of a sign advertising a fallout shelter.

Hurst won yet another award, this time in the SRS Scenery category, for her photo, “Hogbarn History,” showing a building on the SRS site known locally as the Hogbarn, built by the Cassell family from nearby Ellenton, S.C.

Also winning in the SRS Scenery category was Sean Poppy, SREL outreach program coordinator, for his photo of Stumpy, a large male alligator who has resided at SREL since 1982. Stumpy and another relocated “nuisance alligator,” Kiawah, have been a bonded pair ever since Kiawah arrived from her original home on Kiawah Island in 1984.

Poppy also was named a finalist for his photo, “No Trespassing,” which captures an old Savannah River Site sign warning away those who might have wandered onto the property. The photo recalls an earlier time when area residents may not have been as familiar with their new federal neighbors.

All photos are currently displayed in an exhibit at the Aiken Center for the Arts in nearby Aiken, S.C.