A bourgeoning body of literature indicates that visual arts can connect people to science by appealing to the affective domain of learning (i.e., attitude, emotion, engagement) rather than engaging the cognitive domain (i.e., application, comprehension, understanding) that is typically emphasized in science education. In fact, evidence suggests that art-based science communication catalyzes creativity and discovery thereby promoting intuitive thinking. Thus, my goal is synergize art and science through accurate scientific illustration to make wildlife microbial ecology more accessible to the general public and inspire people to consider the relationships between mammals and their microbes. To achieve my goal, I am collaborating with the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science Lab at NMU to create accurate, fine-scale natural history illustrations of mammals, the environments in which they live, and their gastrointestinal tracts in order to highlight the diverse micro-ecosystems that occur within the mammalian body. By synergizing art and science, I hope to inspire the general public to think more deeply about the interrelatedness of mammals and their microbes and to learn and grow their knowledge of the world around them.

Class Standing



Psychological Science

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Diana Lafferty

Faculty Advisor Email





Illustration as part of poster presentation;

Ecological Significance of Endoparasite Load in Marten americana of Michigan and Alaska,

Cassidy Downing, Senior - Biology

Zack Van Huysen, Senior - Biology - Ecology

Claire Jorgensen, Freshman - Art and Design