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 world is changing. Some of this change is planned and desirable. But much else is an unwanted consequence of the expansion of the human species. Those unwanted impacts will affect our lives and those of our descendants.
After undergraduate majors in Geography, Environmental Science and Botany, I did my PhD on native grasslands. I was struck by how these Critically Endangered ecosystems existing right on the edge of my city were being lost without most people even knowing about them – or understanding what amazing, super diverse ecosystems they are.
What influences where birds choose to nest? About 15% of Australian birds, or 114 species, need tree hollows for breeding or shelter. The number of hollow-bearing trees is declining due to timber harvesting and development.
Fish need to move to find food, escape predators and reach suitable habitat for reproduction. Dams, weirs and culverts can create barriers that fragment habitats, isolating fish populations. An Australian innovation, however, promises to help dwindling fish populations in Australia and worldwide.
Endangered forty-spotted pardalote nestlings are falling prey to the larvae of a blood-feeding fly parasite. Researcher Fernanda Alves, reports on experiments that encourage forty-spotted pardalotes to ‘self-fumigate’ their nests by incorporating chicken feathers treated with a bird-safe insecticide.