Mangroves and Orbicular Batfish Wins UM Rosenstiel School Underwater Photo Contest

Mangroves and Orbicular Batfish
UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science best overall photo, Mangroves and Orbicular Batfish
Photo: Beth Watson

MIAMI – April 21, 2016 – More than 500 underwater images were submitted for the 2016 Annual Underwater Photography Contest hosted by the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. The ‘best overall’ photograph was submitted under the wide-angle category and was taken off Raja Ampat, Indonesia. The photo by Beth Watson and is of a lush near shore view of Mangroves and Orbicular Batfish (Platax orbicularis) over a teeming community of soft corals. A panel of experts, including photographer and UM lecturer Myron Wang, underwater photographer Nicole Wang and Rosenstiel School Research Assistant Professor Evan D’Alessandro judged the photos that came from 14 countries and 15 U.S. states. Awards were given in four categories: macro, fish or marine animal portrait, wide angle, and best overall submission.  The School also recognized the best UM student photo, which was of a Caribbean Reef Squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea) taken by David Goldstein in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.

The underwater photography contest is held annually, and is open to all amateur photographers who earn no more than 20 percent of their income from their photography. To view the winners of this year’s contest, visit

The ‘best overall’ prize is a trip on Blackbeard’s Cruises departing from Freeport, Bahamas. This year’s ‘best UM student photos’ were sponsored by Divers Direct.


Winners listed by category, and location where photo was shot:


2016 Underwater Photo Contest Winners

Overall Winner

Beth Watson, Mangroves and orbicular batfish, Raja Ampat Indonesia


1st place: Lau Tsz On, Bigmouth triple fins on sea pen, Tulamben, Bali

2nd place: Richard Fluck, Ornate ghost pipefish, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

3rd place: Judy Townsend, Jellyfish, West Palm Beach, Florida

Honorable Mention: Flavio Vailati, Ghost shrimp, Capo Noli, Savona Italy

Fish or Marine Animal Portrait

1st place: Richard Fluck, Spiny devilfish, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

2nd place: Maurizio Pasi, Mauve stinger, Capo Noli , Savona, Italy

3rd place: Beth Watson, Frogfish, Puerto Galera, Philippines

Honorable Mention: Michael Gallagher, Sohal surgeonfish, Sharm el Sheikh, Red Sea Egypt


1st  place: Michael Gallagher, Tall-fin batfish, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

2nd place: Miguel Pereira, Dusky grouper, Madeira Island Portugal

3rd place: Beth Watson, Schooling Bigeye scad, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

UM Student

1st  place: David Goldstein, Caribbean reef squid, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

2nd place: Ana Palacio, Giant hawkfish, Gorgona Island, Colombia

3rd place: Christopher Schenker, Shallow coral, Egyptian Red Sea

Honorable Mention: Jeffrey Palumbo, Mandarinfish, Malapascua, Philippines


About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is one of the largest private research institutions in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

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