This morning, I’m feeling a bit sad that I’m not in Freemantle, Western Australia. The opening sessions have just started at the Ecological Society of Australia‘s annual conference, with a buzz of ecologists: old and young; enthusiastic and weathered; well-published and freshly-minted… but all fascinated by the natural world and its intricate interactions.

I’ve always found these conferences to be inspiring, stimulating, and a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, and make new ones. The Ecological Society of Australia is committed to nurturing the next generation of ecologists, so large numbers of post-grad students always brings a freshness and energy to these meetings. I have been a direct beneficiary of the ESA too – receiving awards and travel grants as an ecology student that really boosted my morale and allowed me to meet and listen to many other scientists who became my friends and mentors.

This year I can’t be at the conference, but I’m there in spirit. The ESA commissioned me to create an image for this year’s conference bag, and I had a lot of fun drawing some of my favorite Western Australian plants and animals. I also added some diagrams, symbols and even an equation that relate to the science of ecology. How many can you spot? And how many species do you recognize?

Some conference delegates have taken to Twitter to express their appreciation:


Thanks Bronwyn and Laura [icon icon=icon-smile size=14px color=#000 ]. I’m always thrilled when people enjoy my artwork. And when people recognize species, it’s like having a conversation…

Thanks ESA, and have a great conference in Freemantle!