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).
Professor John Woinarski of Charles Darwin University discusses the importance of averting extinctions of less charismatic animals.
The 2019–20 wildfires have severely impacted animals of all major species groups. Here, national experts on mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs and freshwater fish and crayfish present some of the key challenges for each group and how these will influence management and research priorities in the aftermath of the fires.
Cultural fire management is the way that Indigenous people have used fire to care for Country for thousands of years, and it continues today. The devastation wreaked by the 2019–20 bushfires across millions of hectares was a wake-up call for Australia and the world. Oliver Costello from the Firesticks Alliance explains how the fires demonstrated the need to listen to and care for Country.
Australia has one of the highest rates of plant endemism of any country globally. After the catastrophic fire season of 2019–20, Dr Rachael Gallagher and Professor David Keith are leading two teams to find out which species and ecological communities are most in need of immediate recovery.
The 2019–20 bushfires burnt over 12 million hectares of south-eastern and south-western Australia, causing abrupt losses of biodiversity at a scale never seen before. Over a billion animals were estimated to have died, but the figure is likely much higher. The Australian Government’s Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel is guiding the work of prioritising species and ecological communities for emergency interventions and determining what those actions should be. Hub Deputy Director and Expert Panel member Professor Sarah Legge takes us though the hows and whys of this prioritisation, and some of its challenges.