Introducing Allysa and Scientific Illustrations to DANTAisms!

Hello! My name is Allysa Hallett, and I will be contributing scientific and artistic illustrations to the DANTAisms blog, most of which will highlight tropical plant and animal species. Sometimes these drawings will focus on subjects that are important to tropical ecological communities, and at other times they might focus on subjects that are important to tropical agriculture. Wherever they lie on this spectrum, background information will be provided on the organism so that readers become more aware of the subject’s importance and function. Given that I have a strong love for both plants and insects, my illustrations will often involve these organisms.

As for myself, I am a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee working towards an MS in Biological Sciences, with an emphasis on pollination ecology and conservation. My current research involves studying the relationship between population size and reproductive success in whorled milkweed, as well as understanding the effects of removal of the most abundant pollinator species on pollination success in a whorled milkweed system. The former project can provide information on the influence of habitat fragmentation on plant populations, and the latter may improve our knowledge of the effects of pollinator declines on plant populations and pollinator communities. Post-graduation I hope to find a position that involves any combination of conservation, horticulture, agriculture, education, or illustration. In general, I am very interested in living a sustainable life and maintaining a strong respect for nature and education, and sharing related ideals with others. Aside from illustration, I also enjoy knitting, gardening, cooking, dogs, and any outdoor related activities.

My involvement with DANTA began in 2012 when I attended the January primate behavioral ecology and conservation course. I have been involved in many wildlife and biologically related activities, but one of my most valued experiences was with DANTA. I received an inspirational educational experience and personal support, both of which strongly contributed to my interest in fieldwork, ecology, conservation, and scientific illustration (there is many a field sketch opportunity in Costa Rica!). I attribute much of the development of my passions and personal goals to this experience, and hope that many others have the same opportunity for growth. There are few ways to obtain such a well-rounded introduction to the tropical world.

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Chatting with a Katydid.                                 Befriending a large mantis.

Gamboa, Panama, 2013.                                Gamboa, Panama, 2013.

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A beautiful orchid, species unknown.         A lovely massive beetle, species unknown.

Rincón, Costa Rica. 2010.                         Near Piro Biological Station, Costa Rica. 2012.

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