The meeting logo was designed by Acadia University Graduate Student Rachel Pomerleau.

Meet the Artist

It is my absolute pleasure to have created the logo for the 2023 Northeastern Division and Southern New England Chapter of the American Fisheries Society meeting, where great minds come together to understand and describe our wonderful world!

I am a self-taught artist and budding biologist. I grew up in a rural home near Windsor, Ontario, where I spent most of my early years immersed in two worlds: the natural world and my own world of imagination.

My appreciation for art and nature traces back to summers spent snorkeling, gardening, baking, and doing a variety of art projects at my grandparent’s cottage on Manitoulin Island. My grandfather, an avid storyteller, teacher, and professional artist, taught me the fundamentals of drawing and studying the structures of the plants and objects I collected. Later, I realized this was scientific illustration.

Throughout grade-school I became dead-set on becoming a veterinarian and helping animals. However, at some point in my teenage years, self-doubt dampened my hopes of pursuing a career in science, and I decided to pick up a degree in Culinary Arts. After several years being in the industry, I sought change and enrolled in Biology at the University of Windsor. Feeling dissatisfied and wanting more opportunity than Windsor could offer, I made the leap, and in 2017 I packed my life into my little Nissan and moved to the East Coast to complete my Bachelor of Science at Acadia University.

Currently, I am completing my Master’s Thesis which focuses on trace element contaminants in coastal-recreational fishes in Atlantic Canada. My academic years in science have not stifled my creative side though, as I still find myself immersed in fictional worlds when free time grants me escape into a book or on Saturday nights engaged in collaborative storytelling playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends, or, of course, doing art. During the covid pandemic, I revisited and ramped up my creative side and continue to do freelance graphic design, art commissions, and operating my small Etsy store on a part-time basis.

In the future, I plan to pursue a career combining my experience in environmental research and outreach with my artistic skills to provide a more inclusionary understanding of science. There is this old mindset that still permeates within the scientific community that science and arts are two subjects that rarely cross paths, but the more education I have received, the more frequently I return to my younger ethos that art and nature are not mutually exclusive things, but instead are intrinsically linked. In fact, the part of the brain that encodes visual content is the same part that encodes imaginary content. The minds eye and the eye that observes becomes the same thing. It is no wonder it seems impossible to not be creatively inspired when looking at nature.

Rachel Pomerleau