Due to my love of science, I was rejected from art schools who said "You cannot do science and art". Therefore, for my university degrees, I pursued my scientific passions. I worked for a decade in biochemistry labs, but now prefer the field work of karst studies, and of course, photography!

Master of Science: Anatomy & Cell Biology, March 2011
Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI

Bachelor of Science: Biochemistry, Applied Mathematics, May 2008
Oakland University, Rochester, MI

Scientific Projects

2018-Current: Matienzo Karst Entomology Project: A subsection of the Matienzo Caves Project, our group works on understanding the unique invertebrates that inhabit the caves of the region. You can follow us on twitter @KarstEntomology

2018-Current: TAG Cave Bioinventory Project: assist Dr. Matthew Niemiller at University of Alabama-Huntsville with documenting and studying the biodiversity of caves in the TAG region.

2020-Current: Nat Mountain Bioinventory: we were able to get a little spot of land and I am attempting to document all species and am creating a guidebook with my photography and observations. You can follow my progress on iNaturalist.


Art & Photography

2002-Current: Freelance Designer: contract with biotechnology companies for photography and graphic design due to my background of both art and science. This unique combination allows me to understand the technical nature of such jobs.

2012-2016: Caters News Agency Adventure & Cave Photographer


Photography Awards & Special Recognition 

Alabama Outdoors 2022 Photo Contest: Nature Activities: First Place

Alabama Outdoors 2021 Photo Contest: Nature Activities: Third Place

Alabama Outdoors 2020 Photo Contest: Nature Activities: First Place

NASA Social Media Pass for Marshall Space Flight Center learning about the Artemis mission

Alabama Outdoors 2019 Photo Contest: Nature Activities: First Place

Hidden Earth 2018 Print Photography: Award of Distinction

7th Balkan Photo Contest "We and Caves": "Beauty of Caves": 5th Place

SpeleoPhoto Contest GPME: Third Place in "Radical", Grand Winner in "Technical & Scientific"

NASA Social Media Pass for the Atlas V launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida

Southeastern Cave Conservancy 2nd Annual Photo Contest First Place in both Secret Waters and Secret Life categories

Hidden Earth 2015 Digital Photography: three Merit Awards (Judges: Paul Dold, Chris Binding, Steve Sharp)

NASA Social Media Pass RS-25 Engine Test media pass, photograph published by NASA

Southeastern Cave Conservancy First Annual Photo Contest Best In Show

Hidden Earth 2014 Digital Photography: First Place (Judges: Robbie Shone, Nigel Dibben, Paul Dold)

Hidden Earth 2014 Digital Photography: Merit Award (Judges: Robbie Shone, Nigel Dibben, Paul Dold)

3rd Balkan Photo Contest "We and Caves" Category 1 "People Underground": 2nd Place

3rd Balkan Photo Contest "We and Caves" Category 2 "Beauty of Caves": 2nd Place

2011 TAG Fall Cave-In Photography Salon: Best in Show, 2nd, and 3rd place


Scientific Publications

Discovery of a new population of the federally endangered Alabama Cave Shrimp, Palaemonias alabamae Smalley, 1961, in northern Alabama. Matthew L. Niemiller, Thomas Inebnit, Amata Hinkle, Bradley D. Jones,  Mark Jones, Joseph Lamb, Nathaniel Mann, Benjamin Miller, Jennifer Pinkley, Stephen Pitts, Kayla N. Sapkota, Michael E. Slay. Subterranean Biology 32 (43-59) https://subtbiol.pensoft.net/article/38280/

Speleobiology in Northern Spain: The Work of the Matienzo Karst Entomology Project. Tom Thomson, Amata Hinkle. British Cave Research Association: Cave Science Symposium. November 2020.

Cave Biology of Matienzo with a Focus on Entomology: The Work of the Matienzo Karst Entomology Project. Tom Thomson, Amata Hinkle, Fergus McBurney. Matienzo Caves Project 2010-2020. (invited book chapter). 2020.

Comprehensive biodiversity inventory of the Fern Cave system at Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge, Jackson County, Alabama. Thomas Inebnit , Matthew L. Niemiller, Michael E. Slay, Amata Hinkle, Bradley D. Jones, Mark Jones, Joseph Lamb, Nathaniel Mann, Benjamin Miller, Pete Pattavina, Jennifer Pinkley, Steve Pitts, David Richardson, Kayla N. Sapkota. National Caves & Karst Management Symposium. October 2019.

Subterranean biodiversity in Alabama: addressing knowledge gaps through new bioinventory efforts. Matthew L. Niemiller, Amata Hinkle, Bradley D. Jones, Bernard R. Kuhajda, Joseph Lamb, K. Denise Kendall Niemiller, Charles D.R. Stephen, Kirk S. Zigler, and Annette S. Engel. National Speological Society oral presentations. July 2019.


Photography-based Publications

Amata Hinkle: Cave Scientist. Vast Press. https://www.vast.press/amata-hinkle-cave-scientist/ February 2022.

Diversity in the darkness: Alabama's hidden but remarkable life in caves. Alabama Wildlife Foundation's magazine. January 2022.

Awesome Eight Extreme. National Geographic. Photo of Golondrinas published in the cave section of the book. 2017.

Naturze Jaskiń. Two images published in this Polish Speology Foundation book about geomorphology of caves. January 2017.

Cavers capture dramatic photos of descent into America's deepest pit. Yahoo News. 9 March 2015.

Don't look down for pit's sake! London Metro. 10 March 2015.

Saturn V Rocket in Snow. National Geographic. 19 February 2014. Online.

Ice Cave: Huntsville photographer captures spectacular images of frozen Alabama cave. Huntsville Times & AL.com. 12 February 2014.

Alabama cave freezes... The Daily Mail. 15 January 2014.

A Look Inside the UK's Biggest Cave. The Weather Channel. 7 November 2013.

Into the Void: Daredevils complete one of the world's biggest absails by dropping 3,000-ft of the face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Daily Mail. 28 August 2013.

Real life 'hobbit holes' of Mexico: Deepest open air pits in the world... Daily Mail. 7 March 2013.

Caves of TAG. 2013 Calendar.

Phosphorescent Cave. MSN Must-See Photos. 29 October 2012.

Shaft of Light: Cavers Take the Low Road. Daily Telegraph. 31 August 2012.

Stephens Gap Cave. MSN Must-See Photos. 31 August 2012.

Abseiling in on a beam of light: Stunning pictures show rainbow effect in deep Alabama cave. Daily Mail. 30 August 2012.

Photographer Spotlight: Sunguramy Photography. National Speleological Society News. August 2012, Centerfold Full Color.

Cave Pearls. National Geographic. 26 June 2012: Online.

Formation Grotto. Digital Photographer. 22 June 2012: Online.

Heart-stopping pictures show daredevil cavers descend 162 foot into pitch-black abyss. Daily Mail. 30 May 2012.

Eurycea lucifuga. Journal of Heath and Science at the University of Alabama (JOSHUA). 2012 May; 9(1): Cover.

10 Ladies. 25 Hours. 1 Cave. National Speleological Society News. 2012 January: 4-5, Back Cover.

Satin Angora. Scandinavia Standard. 2012.

Characterization of green fluorescent protein–expressing retinal cone bipolar cells in a 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 2a transgenic mouse line. Neuroscience. 2009 October; 163(2): Cover.


Professional Societies

2020-Current: Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA)
2018-Current: British Cave Research Association
2015-Current: North Alabama Search Dog Association (NASDA)
2013-Current: British Caving Association
2012-Current: Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc
2012-2020: Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit (2017-2020: Board Member)
2010-2018: National Speleological Society
2012-2017: North Alabama Photographer Guild
2011-2015: VBATS (Long rope rappel team)
2013-2014: Search & Rescue Technicians (SARTEC) K9 Unit
2008-2012: International Association for the Study of Pain
2008-2011: American Chemical Society
2006/07 & 2007/08: Secretary for the Oakland University Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society