Just thought I’d share some of the spot illustrations I made for researcher Andrea Swei at San Francisco State University. She does work on disease ecology, with a particular focus on tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease. Here are a sampling of some hosts, as well as the life stages of the tick itself!
While I was volunteering at the Lucy Evan’s Nature Center, I had the pleasure of meeting Corinne DeBra. She was a huge supporter of my work and really pushed me to turn this volunteer opportunity into something larger. I fell in love with the plankton almost as soon as I discovered them swimming in a single drop of water under the microscope.
Because these creatures were so foreign to me, every time I went in I discovered something new. The abundance and diversity of these organisms was incredibly humbling. As far as I can tell, information on identifying and classifying plankton seems extremely sparse. In some ways, however, it made the whole experience a lot more exciting.
I did my best to take notes on behavior and appearance. Making sketches from a microscope is definitely a challenge. Especially when your subjects like to zoom in and out of the dirt and debris.
As I became more familiar with the organisms, I made a little infographic introducing the major groups. This was in part to clear things up for myself, and in part to try to explain this weird and wonderful world to visitors of the nature center.
Although I eventually had to leave the position, I came out of it with a whole new appreciation for plankton and a handful of neat spot illustrations. I also rekindled my love for polychaete worms and increased confusion about the classification we call protozoa. I’m hoping to revisit these illustrations and add a little bit more information to each group.
Last year, in 2018, was the first time I attended the NorCal Parasitologist’s meeting. Everyone was immensely kind and enthusiastic about the work that I was making, and I had a delightful time learning about their research. Before the meeting I had put together some parasite products, a few stickers, postcards, prints, and valentine’s cards.
I had such a great time last year, that I decided to do it again this year. This time around our featured organisms are a tick, a tapeworm, and a zombie snail! Dr. Mike Moser, organizer of the event, had requested a “Love is Contagious” themed illustration featuring pubic lice as well. It turned out to be my favorite illustration of the set, and I am hoping to have t-shirts or tote bags made.
All of the card products can now be purchased online by following the shop link in the navigation bar of the website!