A series of elegant watermarks have been created by science communicator and illustrator Michelle Baker, to reflect the major themes of the TSR Hub and
will be integrated into future Hub publications.
The six watermarks, inspired by science and nature, provide a thematic or conceptual link between each image and its corresponding Hub theme.
“By incorporating elements of scientific illustration into my designs, I hope to capture a precise, yet simple scientific aesthetic that exhibits the links between science, beauty and the work of the Threatened Species Recovery Hub,” says Michelle.
With over a decade of experience in scientific illustration, Michelle applies her talents in her role as a communication officer with the TSR Hub.
Passionate about science and conservation, she has worked in university departments and with the Queensland Museum.
Her time spent in specimen labs has provided her with intricate knowledge of some unique natural subjects.
“I am now more familiar with freshwater crabs, sea squirts, mites and fruit flies than I ever thought I would be - inside and out!” says Michelle.
“I really enjoy the observational side of biology, particularly the description and identification aspects of the discipline.”
Her illustrations are frequently used in journal papers, books and taxonomic keys, often as part of the official description of a new species.
Set aside detailed descriptions, her illustrations help researchers to identify the species found in field surveys.
Her watermark designs for the TSR Hub include:
Matchstick banksia (Theme 1)
Orange-bellied parrot (Theme 2)
Leadbeater’s possum (Theme 3)
Corroboree frog (Theme 4)
Northern quoll (Theme 5)
Bathurst purple copper butterfly (Theme 6).
New Hub research has quantified the extent of predation by cats on Australia’s birds and identified the species and types of birds most vulnerable to cats. The team found that cats kill over 1 million birds per day in Australia. The total is made up of an estimated 316 million birds killed by feral cats and 61 million killed by pet cats each year.
Sound recorders have been installed across farm land in south-western Victoria and on Kangaroo Island in research to help threatened glossy black-cockatoos and south-eastern red-tailed black-cockatoos, by learning more about their breeding.
As cats and foxes have spread across Australia, islands have prevented the extinctions of several mammals like the boodie. Associate Professor Sarah Legge discusses the importance of safe havens and also summarizes the highlights of a recent 'safe-haven' symposium held at the International Mammalogy Congress in Perth.
The TSR Hub is one of six National Environmental Science Programme hubs and each is making its own important contribution to the national effort to recover our threatened species. Hub Director Brendan Wintle takes a look beyond the TSR Hub to highlight the good work being done on threatened species by our sister hubs.
On sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island a multi-million dollar eradication program removed cats in 2000 and rabbits, rats and mice in 2013. In the aftermath of this effort, beautiful things are emerging. Dr Justine Shaw is leading a TSR Hub project to learn from this experience and monitor how ecosystems respond.