2023 Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Winners

2023 Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Winners


With over 350 submissions, I am in awe of every photo I received for my first Nudibranch Photo Contest! I wanted to do a fun theme and chose Nudibranch Egg Ribbons because they are so beautiful and unique. And wow, the photos did not disappoint. Thank you to everyone who participated, to the incredible judges, and all of you. Below are the winners! If you want to see the submissions that made it to the final round & judges eyes - look on my @ilovenudis instagram! And be sure to sign up for my emails or follow me to hear about future photo contests. 

1st Place - Don't Burst my Bubble by An Ng

Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Winner
  • Photographer: An Ng (@ankezoidd)

  • Location: Semporna, Malaysia

  • Caption: Don’t Burst my Bubble - The sphere is likely the skin of a giant unicellular algae (a kind of sailors eye algae or something similar) whose insides have been eaten by other organisms (likely other kinds of sea slugs)


2nd Place - Spanish Shawl by Marco Mazza

Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Winner
  • Photographer: Marco Mazza (@marco_mazza)

  • Location: Monterey, CA

  • Caption: A Spanish Shawl Nudibranch on top of a cluster of its newly laid eggs. For size reference, the Nudibranch itself was only about 1/4 inch tall.


3rd Place - Thorunna australis by Jon Piepkorn

Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Winner
  • Photographer: Jon Piepkorn (@pepsuwpics)

  • Location: Batuniti, Tulamben, Bali

  • Caption: Thorunna australis sp. Nudibranch, spinning some eggs.


Honorable Mention - The Spiral of Life by Nick Hobgood

Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Winner
  • Photographer: Nick Hobgood (@nickhobgoodimages)

  • Location: Timor-Leste

  • Caption: The Spiral of Life: Nembrotha lineolata laying an egg ribbon on a Polycarpa aurata sea squirt


Meet the Judges

Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Judge Hannah Tilley
Hannah Tilley  Hannah is the owner of the @ilovenudis community and an underwater photographer based in Edmonds, Washington. She is a cold water scuba diver and fell in love with Nudibranchs on her very first dive in Seattle. Since then, Hannah has become passionate about the ocean and its many creatures, particularly Nudibranchs and Sea Slugs. She has made it her mission to spread awareness of these creatures and make them a household name. She shares her love of these quirky yet beautiful slugs and her passion for the ocean and diving with over 35,000 followers across multiple channels including divers from all over the world.
Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Judge Lee
Lee Engebretson Lee is an avid travel photographer and videographer with a passion for underwater photography and capturing the scenic beauty of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Lee is often found captaining boats or sharing his love for diving through instruction. Outside of his adventures, Lee is equally passionate about wedding and portrait photography.
Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Judge Kate Jonker
Kate Jonker  Kate Jonker is an award-winning underwater photographer renowned for her captivating images of Nudibranchs from around the world. With numerous international photography awards to her name, including second place in the prestigious Close Up Photographer of the Year competition, she has left an indelible mark on the underwater photography community. Kate's expertise also extends to judging top international photo competitions, inspiring fellow photographers to explore the hidden beauty of the ocean's delicate creatures.
Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Judge Pat Webster
Pat Webster Patrick Webster is a marine media monkey politely pushing pixels as an underwater photographer and science communicator based out of Monterey Bay, California. After successfully sliming his way through marine biology and scientific diving classes as a UC Santa Cruz SCUBA Slug, Pat went on to work for the Monterey Bay Aquarium to spread the word about the colorful critters tucked away in his kelpy backyard. But once clocked out from the exhibit hall and often under the cover darkness, his alter ego @underwaterpat would venture out beneath the waves in search of salacious sea slugs to refill his opisthobank and feed the ravenous few his yearly “Tasteful Nudes” nudibranch calendar. His favorite nudie is Limacia cockerelli, which is always in May for his birthday. May the world know the wonders of the super slugs! 
Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Judge Joe Gaydos
Joe Gaydos  A respected and well-known scientist, Joe Gaydos is the Science Director for the SeaDoc Society, a marine conservation program of the UC Davis Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center.  As a world-traveling wildlife veterinarian, surgeon and research scientist, Joe has studied and cared for animals ranging from bush babies to killer whales. He’s been charged by a silverback gorilla, clawed by a cheetah, and bitten by, well, practically everything. He’s published more than 50 peer-reviewed science papers and co-written the Nautilus Gold Award-winning The Salish Sea: Jewel of the Pacific Northwest and Explore the Salish Sea. For the last two decades, Joe has been working on wildlife and ecosystem conservation in the Pacific Northwest. He’s one of the world’s few wildlife vets and an expert on diseases that impact both human and wild animal health in species including seabirds, harbor seals, river otters, porpoise, and killer whales.
Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Judge Juliana Spahr
Juliana Spahr  J. Spahr from @science_visuals is a master's trained scientific illustrator specializing in creating accessible infographics about endangered species and fragile ecosystems! Her illustrations have appeared in 20+ published research papers and can be found at science centers, botanical gardens, and nature trails across the US. She has a passion for marine biology and loves painting Nudibranchs!
Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Judge Tiare Boyes
Tiare Boyes  Tiare is an underwater photographer/videographer, commercial diver and marine debris artist from Vancouver Island Canada. As a self-described “Professional Fish Enthusiast” Tiare loves all things cold water and marine. She completed her Masters in marine resource science in Iceland and has worked in the dive industry on liveaboards in Alaska, BC and Mexico and as well as a dive guide at God’s Pocket for the last decade. Working as a freelance photographer, Tiare uses her images as inspiration for the underwater scenes she paints on her recycled marine debris art, capturing everything from nudibranchs to cetaceans. By turning plastic ocean pollution into art, Tiare hopes her work makes people consider what they put in and take out of the ocean so that nudibranchs (and other sea life) can live their best lives, frolicking in clean, plastic-free waters. 
Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Judge Annie Crawley
Annie Crawley -  Annie Crawley, aka Ocean Annie, prefers fins on her feet and cameras in hand. She has spent the past two decades documenting and inspiring people around the world through photography, film, writing, and instructing. After learning to scuba dive and sail, she became a PADI Master Scuba Diving Instructor and a 100 ton US Coast Guard Boat Captain. She was named an SSI 5000 Platinum Pro Diver and inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame Class 2010. Annie Crawley specializes in the Underwater Realm as an underwater photographer, filmmaker, field biologist and expert.
Nudibranch Egg Photo Contest Judge Alex Mustard
Alex Mustard Dr Alex Mustard has been widely regarded as one of the world’s leading underwater photographers for the last 20 years. He has a PhD in marine ecology and has received national recognition in the UK being made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for ‘services to underwater photography' in 2018. His photographs have won many awards including regularly in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year - being awarded in 9 different categories and appearing in 15 different books of winning pictures in the last 20 years, including with a nudibranch photo. He is a founder and chair of the jury for UPY, the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition, and is the author of the popular book on the subject "Underwater Photography Masterclass". Alex has photographed nudibranchs from polar waters to the tropics.

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