Artist and scientist for creative education
My vision is to inspire children to discover, understand and protect their world
Through creative activities we can engage with the world, see the beauty, make discoveries, and see how we interact with it. We inspire a love and respect for the natural world and a practical understanding of how we can help protect it.
"Creativity is the secret sauce to science, technology, engineering and maths" Ainissa Ramirez
Kickstart your creativity with an out of the box hands on workshop or create scientific artworks! Let me lead your group on a wild imaginative romp whilst exploring key scientific concepts such as the carbon cycle, food webs, acid and base chemistry and adaptations to life in different environments. Make science memorable, inspire curiosity and encourage creative problem solving skills. Get in touch to see how I can add the sauce to your science.
We urgently need to educate and motivate society towards tackling environmental issues which threaten our planet and our own future. I would like to inspire others to engage with science and care for their environment.
I have a PhD focussing on marine phytoplankton and global change and a first class Hons degree in Marine Biology. I also have a combined BA degree in fine art, art in the community and psychology; and a diploma in scenic art for theatre.
I hold a current DBS certificate
Creative engagement in science
Artist and scientist to inspire and enlighten
As a qualified artist and scientist I am excited to combine my passions with creative workshops to engage students in scientific topics.
Workshops may be short hands on practical sessions or series of sessions aimed to inspire. They can also lead to the production of individual creative art pieces or a permanent/semi-permanent artwork created by the students.
Ocean acidification workshop
In this workshop we create natural pH indicator dyes, test the pH of household chemicals and see for ourselves the effect of carbon dioxide on pH. We will see what happens to chalk shelled phytoplankton if the pH decreases and discuss how ocean acidification may affect food webs and the carbon cycle. In longer sessions we can create pH responsive, colour changing lava lamps powered by carbon dioxide or pH responsive tye-dyed clothing!
Ocean acidification is one aspect of global change. The oceans take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and this becomes carbonic acid, reducing the pH. As carbon emissions from fossil fuels continue to increase so the ocean pH decreases.
Phytoplankton are the microscopic photosynthesising algae living throughout the sunlit region of the world's oceans. They are responsible for half the world's photosynthesis and thus carbon fixation and oxygen production; the same amount as all the land plants. They are also the base of the marine food web. They come in many shapes and sizes, some, like the one shown, have chalk shells.
Chalk dissolves in acid and these phytoplankton may struggle to grow as the oceans become more acidic.
Through hands-on practical and discussion we explore how carbon emissions may affect marine life, feedbacks to the global carbon cycle and food webs.
Ocean Colour workshop
· What colour is the sea?
· If you had to work out a way to measure what colour the sea is what would you do?
· What do you think makes it different colours?
· Why would it be interesting to know what colour it is?
· How do scientists do this
Get creative with artistic projects and learn about this important scientific topic. Discuss historic and cutting edge scientific methods. See how science can be creative too as you work out how to do this and put it into practice.
Adaptation to marine life
I was employed to facilitate this mural created by the children of North Prospect Primary School through a project funded by Plymouth Young Peoples Agenda 21. Initially I encouraged the students to examine carefully real and illustrated marine animals. We then discussed why they look like they do ie. what adaptations are required for marine life. How the environment influences the size, shape and features of marine animals and their particular feeding, sensory and oxygen uptake strategies.
The final mural, in the school playground was painted by the children. This was both an inspiring and empowering experience for them.
I have also led workshops on adaptation to marine life where we create our own marine animal and explore the zany world of amazing sea creatures.
As a marine biologist I have an understanding of the anatomy and features of marine creatures. This aids my ability to represent them extremely realistically. I also advocate that by sketching from life, ones observation is massively enhanced. I would recommend sketching to everyone as a mindful activity and a tool for seeing much more than usual!
This mural, which I painted on a blank wall in the small shark trust office instantly engages the casual passer by in the key theme of the business. The shark does not look menacing as they are so often portrayed.
World Environment Day chalk art day Salisbury Road Primary
This exciting, educational, environmental, creative project involved all 500 children at Salisbury Road Primary. Over 2 days they created this massive artwork in their playground. The main message "Love the World" was written large enough to be seen from space! Next to it the children wrote and a list of simple things that everyone can do to help the environment. Despite being washed off twice by rain spirits were not dampened and chalk art ruled!
Salisbury Road Primary dining room
Tropical lagoon scene featuring a life sized elephant, flamingoes and banana tree. This mural delights the children whilst stimulating conversation about animals in the tropics.