Winner of the volume #11 cover page contest — Michelle Ku

Creating room in the sciences for visual art and photography have been a big part of Health Science Inquiry since the journal's conception in 2010. For the first time, we have the fortune of being able to offer a small cash prize for artwork chosen as the volume cover page thanks to generous support from the University of Alberta's Graduate Students' Association.

This year, we've received twice as many submissions as before. All submissions were blinded and the winner chosen by HSI's team of over 30 student volunteers from across Canada through a popular vote. 

Gracing the cover of Volume #11: Determining Health is Michelle Ku's digital illustraton, "Disconnected."

This digital illustration alludes to the bridges that researchers are building between three contrasting areas of daily life: healthcare, the environment, and technology. On the surface level, we only see the beauty of nature; however, below the murky water lies potentially harmful constituents surrounding the submerged Vitruvian Man, representing health and medicine. The digital nodes represent the technological efforts to connect health care and the environment.

Michelle Ku is currently completing a Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto in Toronto, ON. Michelle specializes in microbiology and molecular biology and her research focuses on the effects of flaxseed components on the gut microbiome and estrous cycle. Aside from academia, Michelle is a science communicator and freelance digital illustrator. You can find her work at on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter @mypetcephalopod.

Tied tied in second place we have:

Unsustainable Development, A Confrontation — Katlyn Richardson

More than Meets the Eye — Katlyn Richardson

Congratulations to our winner, Michelle! We are honored to be showcasing your work on the cover of our upcoming 2020 volume. And a big thank you to all the artists and photographers who submitted their work to ourcontest! Our praises extend to all of you!

Check out all the artwork and much more in Volume #11: Determining Health.