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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  PhD student Joshua Powell wins Capturing Ecology photography award

PhD student Joshua Powell wins Capturing Ecology photography award

UCL Geography’s Joshua Powell has won an award from the British Ecological Society as part of their Capturing Ecology 2021 photography competition.

PhD student Joshua Powell wins Capturing Ecology photography award

19 November 2021

The photograph, entitled Reintroduction in action, was the student winner in the category of “Ecology in Action”. It depicts vets from the Korea National Park Service preparing to transport a female Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) in Jirisan National Park.

Josh said, “As part of my PhD research with UCL Geography and ZSL's Institute of Zoology on opportunities for the transboundary conservation of Amur tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) and other large carnivores in North-East Asia, I am a visiting research student at Seoul National University's College of Veterinary Medicine, in South Korea.

“In June 2021, while in South Korea, I had the opportunity to visit Jirisan National Park to learn more about an ongoing programme to restore a self-sustaining, wild Asiatic black bear, or moon bear, population to the country. Of course, restoring a large carnivore population is not as simple as just releasing animals into the wild.

My image provides a look behind-the-scenes at just one component of what has gone into making the restoration programme a success to date, an impressive veterinary programme to manage captive breeding, monitor released animals and provide veterinary treatment to bears injured by illegal snares or traffic collisions.

You can read more about the restoration programme in Josh’s article for The Conversation.

In addition to his work on Asiatic black bears, Josh has recently authored a study on the historical presence of the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) in Korea’s capital city of Seoul.


Asiatic black bear restoration programme in Jirisan National Park, South Korea