Scientific illustration

Scientific illustration takes the viewer to the often unobservable — from molecules and viruses to the universe, from depiction of the internal anatomy of arthropods and plants to geologic cross sections and reconstruction of extinct life forms, ranging from realistic to abstract portrayal. Shapes, anatomy, details, and concepts that cannot be conveyed with words form the essence of this art.
— Guild of Natural Science Illustrators


A branch of knowledge that deals with living organisms and vital processes.
— Merriam-Webster


Dynamic Soaring
Bachelor of Fine Art Thesis Project

The instinct and evolutionary advantage that permits the albatross to decrease the flapping needed to stay in flight is called Dynamic Soaring. The albatross is perhaps the most famous example among nature’s creatures to use and apply this flying technique.
— Andres Zubillaga


The ability of flight is a unique evolutionary adaptation that can be seen through the anatomy and physiology of birds. The importance of the idea that “form equals function,” can be investigated by looking at the unique anatomical adaptations between different species of birds who have adapted alternate flight methods that reflect their individual needs. An in-depth analysis of a specific species of bird, the Yellow-nosed Albatross, was performed to better understand how the unique anatomy of this species reflects the challenges that it must overcome in order to survive in a marine environment. Because the plumage covering birds effectively obscures the underlying anatomy, it makes it difficult to understand the relationship of form and function with respect to avian flight.



The solution proposed in this thesis was to create a museum exhibit targeted for a general audience on the topic of avian flight adaptations with an emphasis on the specialized flight and anatomy of the Yellow-nosed Albatross. Large scale illustrations accompanied by text worked together to provide an educational experience for visitors to the exhibition. To further enrich the illustrations there was accompanying components that promoted interaction from the audience in order to create a memorable experience and elicit greater interest in the topic of avian flight adaptations.

Misc. Illustration