On the European bison’s rewilding hooves: How to visualize it? A scientifically based visual communication toolkit for long-term and large spatial scale ecological processes


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The need for public awareness of scientific findings through effective communication, delivered in easily understandable formats, is rapidly increasing. In this context, art and graphic design can help bridge the communication gap between science and various target groups, both within and outside academia, for a wide range of scientific topics.
Centred on the field of conservation ecology, I explored the interdisciplinary relationship between visual arts and natural sciences. I focused on rewilding with European bison as a specific ecological subject, narrowing down to two locations in Poland and the Netherlands.
Drawing on my background in scientific illustration and graphic design, a set of questions regarding visual communication in science were developed. How effective are visual communication tools for sharing scientific information? What types of visuals should be used? How should the information be laid out? What is the public’s perception on the format used? What is the process of creation of these visuals and how can these processes improve? To address these questions, a series of studies were conducted, resulting in both textual and visual outcomes.
The findings of this project have implications for enhancing communication about European bison research and conservation efforts, with potential application to other related ecological topics. By examining the effectiveness of different types of illustrations, the layout of graphic scientific information, a variety of visual communication formats, and the public’s perception of these visual tools, we shed light on opportunities to visually improve the communication of ecological subjects. These insights also aim to inspire more interdisciplinary studies, investment, and interest in collaborations between visual communication and natural sciences.
Originele taal-2English
KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
Toekennende instantie
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • Smit, Christian, Supervisor
  • Kuijper, Dries Peter Jan, Supervisor, Externe Persoon
Datum van toekenning29-aug.-2023
Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
Gedrukte ISBN's978-94-6483-297-6
StatusPublished - 2023

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