Alum's artistic talent translates research into art

By Xiaoxin Yu | Emory Wire | Jan. 31, 2014

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Heidi Ma ©2013.

Who would expect an environmental scientist to be a brilliant artist? This summer in rural Bangladesh, artist Heidi Ma ('13, College) investigated the habitat preferences of local fish species and worked towards ecological restoration in rural homesteads. Her art is revelatory.

"I am a visual learner and found that using sketches to communicate with farmers was the easiest and most interesting for them, especially because drawings can bridge all language barriers," Ma explains. Ma’s artistic talent translated her research into beautiful sketches, which were compiled into a final report summarizing her summer fieldwork.

Though the Bangladesh internship is complete and Ma is now a graduate student in biodiversity conversation and management at The University of Oxford in England, her journey to meld science and art continues. "Today’s scientists must have multidisciplinary skills in order to reach citizens and influence policy. Sharing artwork is a great way of showing people around me why biodiversity matters and how humans and the biosphere are inseparable."

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