\ Visualizing Evolution: First Post - An Introduction

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

First Post - An Introduction

The origins of this blog go back to a train ride. An agonizingly long (27 hour) train ride home to visit my family. I'd brought a small sketch book with me and was spending a lot of my time doodling. As a professional (I can say that now that I'm finally out of school) scientific illustrator, I tend to spend a lot of time doing that.


For some reason, I started to doodle trees. Evolutionary trees--also called clades. I was playing with all the different ways I knew of to represent species relations using clades, and since I had a lot of time on my hands, I started to sketch out other ways of representing evolutionary history. I ended up filling most of the book, and rather surprised myself by the depth of the subject


There are many, many ways to visualize evolution. Just a few that I thought of on my long journey were:

  • Cladistics
  • Line of descent drawings
  • Shared character / vestigial character illustrations
  • Development (embryo comparison)
  • Animations

I am hoping with this blog that I, along with the other contributors, can explore these and other topics, as well as how to best use them to educate both scientists and lay people on the topic of evolutionary biology.


Have an idea or wish to contribute? Please send me an email!

1 comment:

Heidi Richter said...
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