Seal of Approval

Winner of Univ. of Miami Underwater Photo Contest Unveiled

Best Overall Photo 2013 University of Miami Underwater Photo Contest: Harbor seal in kelp forest photographed by Kyle McBurnie. 

MIAMI- June 3, 2013 -- More than 650 underwater images were submitted for the 2013 Annual Underwater Photography Contest hosted by the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. The ‘Best Overall” photograph was submitted under the Wide Angle category and was shot near San Diego. The photo by Kyle McBurnie shows a harbor seal looking out from a kelp forest at Cortes Bank.

A panel of experts, including photographer and UM lecturer Myron Wang, underwater photographer Nicole Wang and Rosenstiel School Marine Biology & Fisheries Scientist Dr. Jiangang Luo judged the photos which came from 23 countries. Awards were given in three 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 Goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) during the annual spawning event in Jupiter, Fla., shot by Laura Rock.

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 Photo’ was sponsored by Divers Direct.

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

2013 Underwater Photo Contest Winners

Overall Winner

Kyle McBurnie, California


Beth Watson, Puerto Galera, Philippines

Douglas Good, Dinah's Beach, Papua New Guinea

Frederica Bambi, Pescador Island, Cebu, Philippines

Fish or Marine Animal Portrait

Steven Kovacs, Roatan, Honduras

Marcello DiFrancesco, Malapascua Island, Philippines

Judy Townsend, Riviera Beach, Florida, USA


Alex Tattersall, Red Sea, Egypt

Joseph Tepper, Kona, Hawaii, USA

Pietro Cremone, Sharm el Sheik, Egypt

UM Student

Laura Rock, Jupiter, Fla., USA

Laura Rock, Bimini, Bahamas

Austin Gallagher, Cat Island, Bahamas

About the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution 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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