Jagged stalks of sugar cane cover Barbados’s coral rock landscape. As the island’s cash crop, Barbados produced 92,000 tons of sugar in 2021 despite being covered in volcanic ash from St. Vincent’s La Soufrière’s spring eruption. Another harvest will begin in October that the producers hope will double the total.
Since temporarily moving to Barbados, I’ve been pitching documentary photo ideas to various editors. Covering the island’s sugar cane industry resonated with Nature’s fabulous Photo Editor Amelia Hennighausen. Our collaboration led to a series of images for Nature’s Where I Work. This regularly published section features a working scientist sharing their first-person experience on Nature’s website and social media channels.
My images document a typical day for Morexa Martin-Gardiner, the principle plant breeder at Barbados’s West Indies Central Sugar Cane Breeding Station. Morexia and I explored the growing areas, fields, how they breed new strains and the facility where high-tech spectrometry tests these newly developed strains.
My most recent assignment for Nature was a portrait of Ricardo Galvao, one of the world’s 10 most influential scientists.
Stay tuned for outtakes from the shoot with Morexa and a few more photo essays I captured soon to be published in Nature.