Bees do far more than just make honey. Globally, the 25,000 or so bee species play a crucial part in crop production and in promoting biodiversity.
This month Nature Outlooks published a supplement focussed on bees. As part of the supplement I worked on the infographic, Meet our prime pollinators, giving an overview of the species.
What I learned was that there are a lot of bees! Honeybees and bumblebees steal the limelight a little in this species, considering they make up only a very small percentage of all the species that there are.
One of the challenges with this piece, and I believe with the whole supplement, was that there is such a dearth of data on bees. And what there is rarely agrees. There are very few researchers in the field, making it difficult to track these little critters.
For the Biomaterials supplement produced by the Nature Outlook team, I worked on an infographic that provided an overview for the rest of the supplement on biomaterials research.
The piece, Learning from nature’s best, is a more playful 101 inforgraphic compared to others that the Outlooks team have produced. With a comic book style theme, this piece gives an insight into what is inspiring scientists and how they are applying their learning to create novel and interesting materials and objects.
My first piece of freelance work for Nature magazine was to put together the facts and figures for an inforgraphic that would become part of a Nature Outlook supplement called Assessing Science: focusing on how Australia and New Zealand assess their research. It was an interesting piece to work on, and very intensive as a first foray into freelance journalism. It taught me a lot about fact-finding and checking, especially as multiple sources would convey the same information in different ways.
Australia and New Zealand both rely on assessment schemes to improve research quality, yet the money associated with each is very different. Read more about how Australia and New Zealand assess their scientific output.