Art by Scientists: Taryn Murray

By LSN Editorial Team posted 07-30-2017 08:26


Taryn Murray is a postdoctoral fellow at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity. She is also a talented artist who creates amazing drawings. Taryn was kind enough to share a little about her science and her art with us.

About the science…

I wish I could say that my chosen field has always been my childhood dream, but mine is more a story of “stumbled into it by chance”. On needing a third subject during my second year at university, a friend suggested taking Ichthyology (study of fishes). I thought “why not” and needless to say, 10 years down the line, I’m still in a field I would never have dreamed of being a part of! My specific interests include estuarine ecology and fish movement behaviour and I’ve been lucky to be involved in both these fields since 2012. My most recent interest is science communication (I’m still new and still learning).


About the art…

I completed my PhD thesis in January 2016. Saying I was stressed during pretty much the whole of 2015 would be the understatement of the century. I often found myself at a loss when it came to formulating problem statements associated with my thesis. And cue drawing! I’ve always loved drawing/painting/sketching. Sometimes, during my write-up, it seemed to be the only way I could formulate an idea properly, hence I began drawing cartoons about my study species (Lichia amia) and how this little fish was impacted by various things. Post-thesis (and along with it – stress-relief), I realised that drawing was what I really wanted to get back into, and due to the nature of my work, fish-associated pictures seemed appropriate. I started slow, then tried my best to take part in Twitter’s #Inktober in 2016. I never managed to produce something every day, but it made me passionate about drawing again. Needless to say, I’m happy to have reignited a passion I once thought lost to me.


Here are some of Taryn's beautiful drawings: 

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