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).
The Threatened Species Recovery Hub is receiving an additional $2 million to deliver research and scientific advice to help support wildlife and habitat recovery efforts following Australia’s bushfire crisis. The rapid rollout of meetings and expert workshops that were planned as part of this response now faces the added and acute challenge of COVID-19.
Predation by cats is a key threat to at least 123 threatened species in Australia. Better understanding and reducing the impact of feral cats on susceptible wildlife has been a major area of research for the Threatened Species Recovery Hub. Hub Deputy Directors Professors Sarah Legge and John Woinarski take a look at our research to address Australia’s cat problem.
The 2019–20 bushfires have been extensive and – in some areas – of very high severity. Many threatened species have had most of their distributions burnt, and fire is likely to have imperilled many species not previously considered threatened. One of the post-fire challenges to population recovery that many native species will face is increased risk of predation, including by introduced foxes and cats.
Australia has many unique small- to medium-sized mammals, which are vulnerable to predation by cats and foxes, two carnivores introduced to the continent with European arrival. For many of these species, effective conservation means heavy or total suppression of cats and/or foxes.
Oliver Tester from the Office of the Threatened Species Commissioner tells us about the Australian Government’s action on feral cats.