FNR Science Image Competition: Lost lake


The FNR Science Image Competition aims to show the beauty of research and science outreach in Luxembourg. Jean-Baptiste Burnet’s photo ‘Lost lake’ received ‘distinction’ in the Places and Tools category in the 2022 edition. Learn more about this intriguing photograph and the research connected to it.

"Lost lake" by Jean-Baptiste Burnet, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

This small fishing boat attached to the shore seems to have been abandoned after hostile green waters have invaded the lake.

When the water level of the Upper-Sûre lake decreases in summer, boats like this stay out of the water for months until the level rises again in Autumn. Many people who have lived in Luxembourg during a hot, dry Summer will be familiar with the news of the country’s lakes and swimming spots being closed. Why?

Low water levels and warm temperatures can promote the formation of harmful cyanobacteria blooms in summer. The lake is regularly impacted by these blue-green algae that can produce toxins.

Researchers including Jean-Baptiste Burnet from the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) monitor the lake conditions in an effort to protect public health through preventive beach closures when bad conditions are detected.


An international jury selected the winning photographs, images and videos, based on their aesthetic quality and their aptitude to inspire and fascinate, to convey or to illustrate knowledge, to narrate a story, to engage the public to explore a new universe.

For the jury, at first sight, this picture doesn’t very much look like science or research. The viewer has to look closer and analyse the various elements that compose the image in order to discover the science behind it.

About the FNR Science Image Competition – discover the exhibition!

The exhibition can also be discovered until the end of 2022 in Luxembourg City/Limpertsberg, in front of LGL

The FNR Science Image Competition ran for the first time in 2020, on the occasion of the FNR’s 20th birthday. Now in its third edition, the 2022 awarded and ‘distinction’ images – along with the ‘Prix du Public’ awarded in collaboration with media partner RTL, can be discovered at an exhibition at the Luxembourg Science Center from 29 June until the end of September 2022. From Mid-September 2022 you can also discover the exhibition in front of Lycée de Garçons in Luxembourg-Limpertsberg (Place Auguste Laurent) – until the end of the year.

Categories in the FNR Science Image Competition

1) Object of study: From the microcosm to the macrocosm, images of the research object captured by scientists using a camera or generated by a computer.

2) Scientists in action: Photographs of research in practice, presented by and featuring those conducting it.

3) Places and tools: Photographs of the surroundings in which scientists take measurements, generate data, share their passion, make discoveries and of the instruments they use while doing so.

4) Science outreach activities: Photographs of an activity where researcher and science communicators dialogue with the school children, students or the wider public or of interactive projects for school children, students and the wider public, giving them an overview of science and research and/or scientists’ research methods.


Discover the stories behind more images from the 2022 FNR Science Image Competition

FNR Science Image Competition: The bubbly oil

FNR Science Image Competition: Winner Prix du Public

FNR Science Image Competition: Resourceful recycling

FNR Science Image Competition: Telescope

FNR Science Image Competition: The Sun Spot

FNR Science Image Competition: Robot, sit

FNR Science Image Competition: Experiment station

FNR Science Image Competition: Luxembourg scientists in Antarctica

FNR Science Image Competition: Fantastic beasts

FNR Science Image Competition: Microcarriers

FNR Science Image Competition: Bone track

FNR Science Image Competition: Dead tree

FNR Science Image Competition: This is plasma

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