London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Malaria Centre

LSHTM staff and student photography competition winner announced

Image: Dona’s son. Credit: Lena Lorenz/LSHTM

Image: Dona’s son. Credit: Lena Lorenz/LSHTM

16 December 2013
Mosquito researcher nets winning photo

Read the original story on th LSHTM Chariot website.

A researcher spotted a perfect photo opportunity during a visit to the tailor who supplied netting for mosquito cages used in her field experiments in Africa.

Dr Lena Lorenz has been named the winner of the School’s annual staff and students photography competition for her picture of the young son of Tanzanian tailor Dona. The image shows the child resting on a bench opposite his father’s sewing machine after a day at school.

The Research Fellow in Medical Entomology spent seven months in the East African country and got to know Dona and his craftsmanship well. In addition to fulfilling the team’s scientific netting requirements, he also made and sold bags, skirts and other clothes in Ifakara.

One day, Dona’s son Rogasian came home and was lying on the bench when Lena spotted her chance.

She said: “Everything was lined up perfectly, and even though he thought I was crazy for wanting to take a photo of him lying down, he gave me permission and I got this photo.

“I like the way Rogasian looks straight at me rather than the camera, and is slightly bemused about me wanting to take a photo of him resting. I think it’s a very honest photo, probably because it wasn’t set up.

“I love taking photos of people as they remind me of situations in the past and half-forgotten stories. As working in Tanzania was such a new world for me, taking photos was a good way for me to process the experiences and log what was happening.”

Originally from Germany, London resident Lena, 27, began working at the School in February 2011 after going to Tanzania as a volunteer to learn about applied mosquito and malaria control. There she met her current boss Dr Sarah Moore and ran a project on mosquitoes’ sense of smell and repellent testing. Lena, who completed her PhD in evolutionary ecology at Imperial College in 2010, is now coordinating a five-year grant in collaboration with Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Ifakara Health Institute to test how long bednets are useful against mosquito bites when used regularly in Tanzania.

The competition invited staff and students to enter images on the theme of Life and Work at the School. Lena’s photo was selected by a panel of judges out of a total of 23 entries.

Second and third place went to Richard Oxborough for his photos titled Time will tell – The clock is ticking as a blood slide is prepared from a patient with suspected malaria in NW Tanzania and 47 x 3 – Malaria survey with three blood-spots taken from 47 participants to be analysed later in the laboratory.

The announcement of the winner coincides with the launch of the School’s new MediaLibrary, which is accessible to the public.