GNSI presenters and workshop instructors come from various background and cover many areas of expertise from art education to scientific communication.

More biographies will be added as they are confirmed.


Sami Bayly

Techniques Showcase

Sami Bayly is a natural history illustrator based in Newcastle, Australia, who loves all things weird and wonderful. She finds the beauty and importance of all animals regardless of their appearance and hopes to share her appreciation with others. After recently completing her University degree, she is eager to see what the world has in store for her and her quirky subject matter. To keep up to date you can follow Sami on Instagram:


Tierney Brosius 

Presentation: Insects in Art During an Age of Environmental Turmoil

Tierney Brosius is an Associate Professor of Biology at Augustana College. She is an entomologist with special interests in insect ecology and conservation, urban ecology, and cultural entomology. Her research program currently focuses on beetle diversity in urban landscapes and how mesophication (lack of naturally occurring fire) and urbanization interact to influence forest ecosystem composition and structure at multiple trophic levels.

Tierney obtained a B.S. in Biology from Wayne State College in Nebraska and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. In addition to her current research program, she is actively involved in teaching multiple sections of undergraduate biology such as entomology and zoology. Tierney uses her interest in scientific illustration in the classroom to encourage her students to develop their observational skills. She is particularly interested in science communication using art and has written on the subject of the use of art in promoting topics surrounding conservation.

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Maria Fernanda Cardoso

Plenary: Sense of Artful Science. The Art of Model Making in the Natural Sciences

Maria was born and raised in Colombia, and according to art critic John McDonald, is one of the few contemporary artists of world-stature to reside in Australia. Her multidisciplinary career spans over three decades, 30 countries and forty solo shows. She was awarded her Ph.D. from the University of Sydney in 2012. She graduated from Yale University with a masters in sculpture and installation in 1990, and her works have subsequently been acquired by the Tate Modern and many other major collections in the United States and Europe. She has exhibited at prestigious institutions around the world including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Centro Reina Sofia in Madrid. Recent major public art projects include While I Live I Will Grow, South Sydney Hospital Green Square, 2018; Sandstone Pollen, Darling Harbour, 2016; and a commission for Wollongong Central, 2014.  She was a recipient of the Australia Council for the Arts’ prestigious Creative Australia Fellowship in 2014.

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Carrie Carlson

Workshop: Natural Science Printmaking - Handpainted Linoleum Blocks

Carrie Carlson is a Chicagoland native. She earned a BA in Biology and Art from Luther College, and MFA in Scientific Illustration from the University of Michigan, and is pursuing an MFA in Printmaking from Governors State University. Since 2001, she has been a full-time high school educator splitting her years between the Science and Art departments; teaching Drawing, Painting, IB Visual Arts, as well as Biology, Biomedical Sciences, and Horticulture. She also teaches a variety of adult art courses at the Morton Arboretum. In her free time, she likes to fill up travel sketchbooks and grow a rowdy garden.


Man Cheung & Wah Cheung

Photography Symposium

Man & Wah produce visual works and large installations which celebrate the beauty and diversity of nature from around the world, exploring themes of biodiversity and cosmic existence. The works invite deeper reflection of our relationship with nature and to appreciate the role it plays in sustaining a liveable planet.


Gary Cranitch

Photography Symposium: The Great Barrier Reef

Gary Cranitch has worked as a wildlife photographer at the Queensland Museum for 35 years.
His work has been published in Australian Geographic, Popular Science (US), New Scientist, National Geographic online and numerous other publications and journals around the world. He has also contributed to the Queensland Museum's extensive range of natural history publications.

Achievements include:

  • 2008 AIPP Australian Science and Nature Photographer of the Year
  • 2015 Eureka Prize for Science Photography
  • Principal photographer “The Great Barrier Reef-A Queensland Museum Discovery Guide"

Gary is an experienced photography judge, with experience at both State and National level for the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photographers). He also runs workshops and seminars on underwater photography and Digital Asset Management.


Dr. Tallulah Cunningham

Techniques Showcase: Leaf it to dry a moment longer!

Dr. Tallulah Cunningham moved from Central Australia to Newcastle in 2007 for the Natural History Illustration undergraduate degree. Twelve years later she has a Ph.D. in that field, a developing business as a freelance illustrator and a Dachshund-x that makes sure she takes regular desk breaks.

Tallulah is eclectic and adaptive in her style of illustration, preferring to remain a generalist rather than specialize in one field. Recent client work has spanned watercolour botanical and microbat illustrations, digital depictions of dinosaurs and Australian threatened species, logos for a rocket scientist, and a whole menagerie of clockwork animals. She is currently one of the Artists in Residency for the Art of Threatened Species project, an occasional demonstrator for the University of Newcastle, and is known for her medieval-style illuminations within the Australian-New Zealand branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism.



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Sybil Curtis

Techniques Showcase: Scraperboard with brush applied ink

In the early 1960s, Sybil was employed in the Entomology Department, University of Queensland. At that time, most illustrations in scientific papers were only in black and white (full-tone) as photographs (half-tone were prohibitively expensive to reproduce. Utilizing her skills in science and art she began illustrating insects using the technique of black ink line and stipples on tracing paper. In 1968, she joined the team at CSIRO to work on the illustrations for the monumental “The Insects of Australia” where she met Frank Nanninga who had brought his skills in scraperboard from Holland. Subsequently, Sybil trained many other illustrators in the scraperboard technique.


Bernadette Drabsch

Presentation: Sarcophagus Recolouring

As a lecturer in Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle Dr. Drabsch focuses her research on prehistoric art in society, art creation as a ritual process and early forms of visual communication. After earning a University medal for her undergraduate studies in Ancient History and Classical Languages, and first class honours in Natural History Illustration, Bernadette completed a Ph.D. focused on the reconstruction of wall paintings from the Dead Sea site of Teleilat Ghassul. She works at Pella in Jordan as a volunteer archaeological illustrator biannually.  Bernadette is the convenor for the Natural History Illustration and Visual Communication (Design) Honours program.

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Vicky Earle

Presentation: Duets - The Dance of Symbiotic Relationships

Vicky delights in connecting people to nature through art. After graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree in scientific/medical illustration and biocommunications, Vicky moved to the West Coast of Canada. She became passionate about tropical rainforests during excursions to Central America and Asia where she noticed the significant impact of habitat. Vicky’s preferred medium is watercolour on paper, occasionally using mixed media. Her work has been part of numerous international exhibitions including Focus on Nature at the NY State Museum and the Botanical Art Worldwide Exhibition. She is a member of the GNSI, ASBA, and is a signature member of the Artists for Conservation.

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Dr. Levent Efe

Presentation: Still's Still Alive

Levent is a medical illustrator, running a Melbourne-based freelance business. After medical training, he graduated from the Johns Hopkins Medical illustration program and has been serving a worldwide clientele for the past 30 years.

Keeping predominantly in 2D digital work, he specializes mainly in Surgery, Facial anatomy and Patient education. Having won several awards for his work, he immensely enjoys mentoring young AMI members and presenting workshops for other medical illustrators.

Levent strongly believes the ever-increasing sophistication in Medical and Biological knowledge will continue requiring more elaborate visual narratives to elucidate all these complexities.


Jennifer Fairman

Presentation: Social Media Marketing A to Z

Workshop: Advanced Mixed Media Techniques in Adobe CC

Jennifer "Jeni" Fairman is the Founder of Fairman Studios and an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Art as Applied to Medicine. Jeni brings over 20 years of experience as an effective visual problem-solver for her clients, colleagues and students. She specializes in medical and scientific illustration for publication and patient education, 2D animation, web & interactive design, graphic design and small business practices.

Her creativity thrives when challenged by clients with new concepts, leading to her mixed media approach in her work. Her contributions are highly recognized by the AMI, GNSI, Illustrators Club of DC, The National Science Foundation, Smithsonian Women’s Committee, James Smithson Society, and the Vesalius Trust.

Jeni received a BS in Biological Sciences and a BA in Studio Art while minoring in the German language from the University of Maryland. She also received her MA in Medical and Biological Illustration from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She most recently graduated with her Master of Professional Studies in the Business of Art and Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).

Jeni served on the Board of Governors of the Association of Medical Illustrators and completed 4 terms as a Board Member to the Vesalius Trust where she is currently an advisor. Jeni is the 1999 recipient of the Trust’s prestigious Inez Demonet Award. She is also a Fellow of the AMI and received its Outstanding Achievement Award. Most recently, Jeni was named the Ratcliffe Foundation’s top grant winner of MICA’s 3rd Annual UP/Start Venture Competition.


Joel Floyd

Presentation: A 300 Year Global Journey of Two Insects and a Cactus

Joel Floyd is a freelance scientific illustrator working with a variety of techniques and subject matter. He has a BS in biology from Northern Arizona University and an MS in entomology from the University of Arizona. He worked for the US Department of Agriculture for thirty-five years where he was an insect and plant disease identifier at international ports of entry and later worked on national invasive species programs and diagnostics coordination. Joel, who lives in Maryland and is the past president of the Greater Washington DC Chapter and Chair of the 2018 Conference. He has taught natural science illustration college classes, held drawing workshops for young people, and completed a large-scale indoor mural. He also has an ongoing interest in the history of insect illustration and the archiving of original scientific art.


Ivan Gromicho

Presentation: Procreating with the iPad

Ivan da Silva Gromicho, Portuguese, born in Torres Vedras, 1983. He holds a Ms degree in Scientific Illustration from the Instituto Superior de Educação e Ciência, 2009-10, Lisbon.

Since September 2014, he works as a full-time Scientific Illustrator at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia. His main task here is to produce Scientific Illustrations and Infographics for the manuscripts of the University faculty, researchers, post-docs and Ph.D. students. His work can be seen in many top Scientific Journals such as Nature, PNAS, Cell and others.

Gail Guth

Gail Guth

Presentation: Sketching Animals - How to Get a 3D Animal Onto 2D Paper

Gail Guth is a freelance artist and owner of Guth Illustration & Design. Her clients include zoos, publishers, nature centers, and researchers. She also teaches workshops in drawing and watercolour. Her work combines traditional techniques with computer graphics and ranges from small design projects to interpretive graphics, academic publications and book illustrations.

Gail has been a member of the GNSI since 1976. She has served as GNSI president, hosted two Summer Workshops, served on various conference committees, and has been Co-Editor of the GNSI Journal since 2012.

Gail’s home studio is in Battle Creek, MI.


Deborah K. Haines (Deb), MFA CMI FAMI

Presentation: Collaboration, Education, and Gaming: If we build it, will they come?

Over the past 25 years, Ms. Haines has worked at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, singularly and with teams, exploring the use of new technologies to develop educational materials at the college. Beginning in the early 90s of web for online instruction, distance learning to the more current aspects of the use of gaming style applications to determine their benefits. 

One most recent endeavour is working with the University of Illinois-Chicago Biomedical Visualization graduate program students under the instruction of Samantha Bond. Our combined goal is in testing the idea of shared teaching and learning from two perspectives-- 1) BVIS graduate student software learning, game development, client interaction and 2) UTCVM students learning from gaming apps. Is there a difference in learning outcomes versus traditional learning modalities?

Ms. Haines received her graduate training from the University of Michigan Medical and Biological Illustration program. She has worked in both human and veterinary medical settings as well as the medical-legal field throughout her career with a goal that illustrations, whether 2-D, 3-D or interactive must revolve around accuracy in content, clarity in concept as well as artistic rendering to engage and educate the intended audience.  

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Gretchen Kai Halpert

Presentation: Science, Models, History

Workshop: Field Sketching Outing

Gretchen Kai Halpert has been combining art, science, and education for decades. Her educational background includes a degree in botany from Connecticut College, graduate work in biological illustration, and a certificate in scientific and technical illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)/CE. Halpert worked as a cell and molecular biologist for 25 years while freelancing and teaching illustration at RISD/CE and Brown University, and now devotes herself full time to freelance work and running the Scientific Illustration Distance Learning Program. Halpert is a past president of the GNSI, Inc., and a regular contributor to GNSI conferences.


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Ellen Joy Hickman

Presentation: Discovery Through Illustration

Ellen emigrated to Western Australia from the UK, where she now lives in Albany. She grew up in Perth, but enjoyed family holidays to the southwest exploring and drawing nature. She was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Western Australia in January 2019 for her thesis titled: Discovery through Illustration, botanical art, traits and their phylogeny in Haemodoraceae. Prior to commencing her Ph.D., she worked as a botanical artist, children’s book illustrator and botanist. In 2001 she started a project to illustrate the Haemodoraceae plant family which involved illustration trips across Australia, the Americas, South Africa and the UK, partially funded by a Winston Churchill Fellowship.

Tanya Hoolihan

Presentation: Ludwig Leichthardt

Tanya Hoolihan is a natural history illustrator, working and living on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia. Growing up she was constantly inspired by her natural surroundings and began using watercolour to achieve extremely detailed depictions of the flora and fauna found in her area. 

Developing an artistic style based on a keen understanding of nature, her work is characterized by high detail and devotion to capturing the true essence of the subject. In-depth research of the subject prior to illustration plays an important role in Tanya’s work.

Tanya holds a Ph.D. in Natural History Illustration from the University of Newcastle where she currently lectures in botanical illustration.

Her work is held in the Florilegium of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Collection at Newcastle University as well as in several private collections. Her botanical illustrations have also been published in several books on flora.

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Hyun Ho Hwang

Presentation: Strategies for working with Research Scientists

Heno Hwang is a Senior Scientific Illustrator at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. While he was studying microbiology (BA) and molecular medicine (MS), Heno found that developing an image for understanding the scientific logic of a project and transferring information was a powerful way to communicate science. After completing a Maya VFX course with the Animatus Design Academy, Heno studied Medical Art at Dundee University in Scotland. He returned to South Korea to work as a biomedical illustrator and animator. His portfolio includes scientific images and animations for research projects, scientific journals, presentations, and television.


Ikumi Kayama

Presentation: Declutter Your Photoshop Files to Maximize Layer Capabilities for Flexible Scientific Illustrations

Ikumi Kayama is the founder of Studio Kayama. Ikumi is currently working with surgeons and researchers to create educational illustrations on neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery procedures. When not illustrating, she is walking about drawing, counting, and painting birds. Ikumi holds an MA in medical and biological illustration from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a BFA in scientific illustration from the University of Georgia. Her work has appeared internationally in juried shows, exhibits, textbooks, scientific journals, presentations, and websites. Some of her clients include Cal Tech, MIT, Johns Hopkins, USC, Maryland Ornithological Society, and The Nature Conservancy. She is a recipient of the Frank Netter Scholarship in medical art and is a TEDx speaker on medical and scientific illustration. Visit and say hello!


Bonnie Koopmans

Demonstration at Techniques Showcase
Workshop: Introduction to Digital Art

Bonnie Koopmans is currently in her final year of study in the Bachelor of Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle. Having previously completed the Bachelor of Communication Design at Monash University, she has a thorough and unique understanding of digital media, and a particular interest in the intersection of traditionally and digitally created art. Bonnie is fascinated by all aspects of nature but has a soft spot for insects and birds (especially pigeons!). In 2018 she was awarded the Natural History Illustration Scholarship for exemplary work in her studies.


Julia Landford

Presentation: Connect with Nature Through Art and Science

Julia Landford is an artist and naturalist with a passion for promoting engagement with nature. Julia established NatureArt Lab in 2017, a privately funded natural history art school based in Canberra. This follows on from the establishment of Wildlife and Botanical Artists Inc.(WABA), an organization to support collaborative networks and annual exhibitions for wildlife and botanical artists over a period of 20 years in Australia. Julia’s professional career during these years included teaching, international development and career diplomat roles. Julia also initiated successful art-science collaborations with the government including the first Australian Wildlife Art and Science symposium with CSIRO in Canberra.


Jennifer Landin

Presentation: Experimenting with Visual Tweaks

Dr. Jennifer Landin is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University. She teaches large-enrollment courses in general biology, as well as Biological Illustration, an interdisciplinary course that emphasizes an appreciation of nature through visual arts.

Dr. Landin’s research focuses on visual communication of scientific information, especially as it relates to ecology and biodiversity issues. In her own art, she uses ink and watercolour to focus attention on detail and variety of less charismatic microfauna.


Melissa Logies

Presentation: Illustration and Animation at UWorld

Melissa Logies is a scientific illustrator at UWorld in Dallas, Texas. Her work at UWorld involves illustrating a broad range of sciences including cellular and molecular biology, evolutionary biology, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and physics. Outside of her job at UWorld, Melissa is a botanical illustrator and is generally in love with plants. She has done botanical illustrations for the California Academy of Sciences, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Melissa attended the Cleveland Institute of Art majoring in Biomedical Art and then went on to complete the graduate certificate program for Science Illustration at California State University Monterey Bay.


Tim Low

Plenary: Where Song Began

Tim Low is an Australian biologist whose best-selling book, Where Song Began, became the first nature book to be awarded the Australian Book Industry prize for best non-fiction. An earlier book, Feral Future, inspired the formation of a national conservation group, the Invasive Species Council. When he is not writing Tim works as an environmental consultant, for clients who have included the federal and state governments, on such topics as climate change impacts and invasive species. During his teenage years, he discovered new lizard species, one of which was named after him.

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Glenda Mahoney

Techniques Showcase:

Glenda Lee Mahoney is a Senior Illustration Editor at Annual Reviews, an academic journal 
located in Palo Alto, CA. She also creates fine art out of her home studio near the coast in Half 
Moon Bay. With a B.S. in aquatic biology from UC Santa Barbara as well as a graduate certificate 
in scientific illustration from UC Santa Cruz, she has recently been working on art that highlights 
ocean conservation issues, such as plastic pollution. She has interned at the Smithsonian 
National Museum of Natural History and has illustrated for other institutions such as Hopkins 
Marine Station at Stanford University, UC Santa Barbara, and the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, 
Ohio. Examples of her work can be seen at


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Peter Marsack

Presentation: Painting for the Australian Bird Guide

Workshop: Insects in Black and White

Workshop: Painting Birds for Identification

Peter Marsack is trained as a biologist and is an award-winning wildlife artist; he has drawn and painted insects ranging from tiny Collembollans to Wasps, Dragonflies, Mantids and Butterflies. He illustrated A Bush Capital Year, an award-winning account of Canberra’s wildlife across the seasons (CSIRO Publishing 2011). Peter is currently teaching illustration subjects at NatureArt Lab, Australia’s first privately funded natural history art school.


Madison Erin Mayfield

Presentation: From Pencil to Scalpel - The Application of Scientific Illustration in the Art of Taxidermy

Madison is a natural history artist and museum preparator who specializes in scientific illustration and taxidermy in the natural history museum setting. She recently completed work on the new Discovery Centre at the Queensland Museum, preparing over 1,300 objects as well as creating new taxidermy specimens and illustrations for permanent display. Her passion for natural history collections, science communication and the work of wildlife and conservation biologists drive her to create art that engages the public, encouraging the passions of future artists and scientists in the hopes that the spirit of the old school naturalist will continue to live on.

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Dr. Judith McKay

Plenary: The Life and Art of Ellis Rowan

Dr. Judith McKay is a museum curator and historian with wide experience in museums, exhibitions and research. She has worked in national, state and regional museums, most recently (until 2008) as a senior curator at the Queensland Museum. There she was the custodian of a collection of 125 works by the noted Australian flower painter Ellis Rowan, which were featured in an exhibition and book launched in Brisbane in 1990 and later touring as far afield as New Zealand. In recent years Judith has undertaken significance assessments of some of Queensland’s major heritage collections and has served on the Queensland Heritage Council.

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Mali Moir

Presentation: Beckler's Botanical Bounty - The Flora of Menindee

Workshop: Lumpy Bumpy Textured Surface? Easy Peasy

Mali Moir began her career as a botanical artist in 1993 at the National Herbarium of Victoria Australia. By working closely with botanists, Mali has gained an understanding of the importance of scientific accuracy, the fundamentals of precise measurement and thorough depiction of detail. Mali has been teaching Botanical and Natural History art for over 20 years.

Mali’s interest in the areas of conservation and species documentation contributes to her sincere belief that ‘artists make science visible’.

Mali’s dedication combines her fascination for the natural sciences with an active desire to render works of art with beauty, character and scientific integrity.

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Geoff Monteith

Plenary: The Passionate Insect Life of 'The Butterfly Man of Kuranda'

Dr. Geoff Monteith is a Queensland entomologist who trained at the University of Queensland in Brisbane and served his whole career in that city. He was Curator of the large scientific insect collections of the University of Queensland for 16 years and of the Queensland Museum for 30 years until retirement. He specialized in the exploration and study of rainforest insects and led extensive surveys of the tropical insect fauna of North Queensland and New Caledonia. When the historic and spectacular Dodd collection of insects was donated to the Queensland Museum in 1987 he arranged its tour of Australia and New Zealand and wrote the biography of its maker.



Misaki Ouchida

Presentation: Visual Power in Science Communication

Misaki Ouchida is a science communicator and a science illustrator working at Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University.

She completed a certification in Natural Science Illustration and a Masters of Art in Anthropology at the University of Washington in 2015 after earning a Ph.D. in physics at Hiroshima University. Right after the graduation, she worked for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as a Bartels Science Illustration Intern and for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History as an intern, then a contractor. Misaki derives great satisfaction from using her artistic abilities to help others understand science through art.


Scott Rawlins

Presentation: The Real Indiana Jones
Demonstration at Techniques Showcase
Workshop: Sculpting Soft-Bodied Animals with Polymer Clay

Scott Rawlins graduated from Earlham College with a degree in biology and holds graduate degrees in museum education and medical & biological illustration from the George Washington University and the University of Michigan respectively. Scott is a Professor at Arcadia University where he teaches scientific illustration and design. He regularly exhibits his artwork nationally and has served on the boards of the Guild as well as the American Association of Botanical Artists and the Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators. His illustrations have appeared in the Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Invertebrate Biology, Acta Zoologica and Zootaxa as well as many other publications. Scott currently works as a research associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.


Dr. Steve Salisbury


Steve is a vertebrate paleontologist at The University of Queensland, where he divides his time between teaching and research as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences. He is also a Research Associate at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Steve's research focuses on the evolution of Gondwanan continental vertebrates, in particular dinosaurs and crocodilians. He is also interested in vertebrate biomechanics and using living animals to better understand the anatomy, behaviour and evolution of extinct ones. Steve has lead multiple palaeontological expeditions to remote parts of Queensland and the west Kimberley region of Western Australia. He is also involved in field-based research in New Zealand and in Antarctica as a member of the Antarctic Peninsula Paleontology Project (AP3).

Some of Steve’s research highlights include the description of Isisfordia duncani, the world’s most primitive modern crocodilian, the recognition of an avian infectious disease in Tyrannosaurus rex, and an iconoclastic reboot of Australia’s dinosaur ‘stampede’ at Lark Quarry (most of them were swimming!). In the Kimberley, he works closely with local indigenous groups, and in 2011 his research there helped secure National Heritage Listing for the dinosaurian tracksites of the Dampier Peninsula, and subsequently contributed to the collapse of a $40+ billion LNG development at Walmadany (James Price Point), 50 km north of Broome. The results of Steve’s team’s six-year study of the dinosaurian tracks of the Walmadany area were published as the 2016 Memoir of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.



Deborah Shaw

Techniques Showcase:

Deborah Shaw has a degree in art from Pomona College. Ms. Shaw is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, ASBA, Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, and Northern California Society of Botanical Artists. She has taught botanical art at The J. Paul Getty Museum and Virginia Robinson Gardens, among other venues. She taught illustration, digital, and information design at UC, Irvine, Extension where she was the recipient of the “Distinguished Instructor” award. Deborah’s work has been in juried and non-juried exhibitions, is in the permanent collection at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, is part of the Botanical Collections at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, and in private collections. She has received numerous awards for art, illustration, and design.

[website link - ]


Julian Teh

Demonstration at Techniques Showcase
Workshop: Introduction to Digital Art

Julian Teh is a young Australian illustrator and photographer with a background in ornithology. Currently in his final year of study at the University of Newcastle’s Bachelor of Natural History Illustration program, Julian finds great joy in spreading his passion for the natural world, using his creative skills to share his experiences from the field. He is particularly interested in the cultivation of digital art as a medium for natural history illustration and works primarily in this area. Julian was awarded the Enderby Trust Scholarship in 2017, travelling to New Zealand and Australia’s subantarctic islands to illustrate their rare and unique birdlife.


Geoff Thompson

Plenary: Making Sense of Artful Science - The Art of Model Making in the Natural Sciences

Geoff Thompson has skills in entomology, scientific illustration, printmaking and deep-focus digital photography. He learnt scientific illustration on the job in 1975. He has worked at Queensland museum for 37 years, 30 years in Entomology and currently as a Collection Imager. In 2005, he was awarded a Queensland Smithsonian Fellowship to study digital illustration techniques and imaging systems. He was successful in winning a $266,000 contract with the Atlas of Living Australia in 2012 to purchase imaging and storage equipment for the Queensland Museum. His award-winning images have been used in many displays and in both popular and scientific illustrations.


Judith Thompson

Demonstration at Techniques Showcase
Workshop: Fun and Easy Monoprinting Using a Gelli Plate

Judith is a Brisbane-based printmaker and maker of artist’s books. She uses a range of relief and intaglio printing techniques and loves the fun and excitement of Gellii plate printing which is easy, addictive and always surprising.

She loves the physicality of printmaking, especially the handling of the plates, the paper, the paints and the wide range of objects used in the process of producing prints.

Judith draws her inspiration from the built and natural environment and loves to use text and maps in her work.

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Anton Thomas

Plenary: North America - Portrait of a Continent

Anton Thomas is an artist-cartographer from New Zealand, based in Melbourne. Specializing in highly detailed hand-drawn maps, he uses colour pencil and fine-liner pen to illustrate geography in a vivid and creative style. His piece “North America: Portrait of a Continent” has been recently completed after nearly five years of work and contains many thousands of points of interest. Along with a myriad of features, the map hosts thousands of different animals that span from the Arctic to Central America, as well as the deepest parts of the ocean. His work has been featured on National Geographic, The Atlantic’s CityLab, and NACIS’s Atlas of Design.


Ian Tibbetts

Presentation: Reef Ecology

Ian’s immersion in all things marine had a cool start – growing up on the Devon coast, UK, and then taking a BSc degree in Marine Biology at Swansea University, Wales. Things heated up when he came to Australia to complete a Ph.D. on fish in Moreton Bay, later to become the Director of the Moreton Bay Research Station for 10 years, Director of the Center for Marine Science of 5 years and is now Director of Biological Sciences’ International Programs Unit. Ian’s lab investigates topics in marine ecology, fisheries biology, and the sensory biology of electroreceptive fishes, including sharks, rays, and catfish. He has supervised graduate students in Australia, Galapagos, Seychelles, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands.

Les Walkling

Les Walkling

Pre-Conference Photography Symposium

Dr. Les Walkling is an artist, educator and consultant. His works are widely exhibited and in many public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, and The National Gallery of Victoria. Les is the former Program Director of Media Arts and Senior Research Fellow and Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant recipient at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.  He also works as an imaging, printing and colour management consultant, lecturer, and mentor, regularly conducting digital photography courses and workshops, and serves on cultural advisory and management boards including the MGA Gallery of Art.


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Catherine Wardrop & Lesley Elkan

Presentation: Botanical Art at RBGSyd

Lesley Elkan and Catherine Wardrop have been employed as staff botanical illustrators at the National Herbarium of NSW, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Australia since 1995 and 1997 respectively.

Their role encompasses creating black and white scientific drawings of new species as described by fellow botanists as well as documenting the flora of New South Wales to aid in community awareness and education of threatened and rare species.

Both illustrators have taught botanical illustration at university and at the RBG Sydney for many years and especially enjoy sharing both the teaching and illustrating role. They have also been instrumental in setting up the RBG’s Red Box Gallery, Artist-in-Residence program and the Florilegium at the RBG Sydney.

They have both been recipients of and now co-curate the internationally renowned Margaret Flockton Award for Excellence in Scientific Botanical Illustration, 2019 being its 16th year.

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Steve Wilson

Plenary: Australian Reptiles

Steve Wilson is a fauna consultant, an Information Officer with the Queensland Museum, a wildlife photographer and author.  He has authored and co-authored nine books on herpetology, covering regional, state and Australian field guides, a natural history of lizards and a children’s book. His images and articles are published widely in magazines in Australia and overseas. An award-winning photographer, he was nominated by Australian Geographic magazine as their ‘Photographer of the Year’ for 2000. Steve’s interest in natural history and photography has led to extensive travel across Australia and to many of the worlds’ unique biodiversity hotspots.