Thanks for sharing your article Barrett. Your finding that SOIs are not replacing illustrations in any great number is interesting. Tinbergen was certainly right that much less descriptive work is done but I think there are deeper reasons for that than just 'it's already been done'. So many of today's ecological researchers are fearful of doing any descriptive because of the perception that it is soft, or popular. In our tenure driven world that's a big problem. I wonder if researchers in areas of science that operate on the micro or macro level are more likely to use images now days since technology has opened the door to all kinds of "new and exciting" imagery. Hope that makes sense - just getting over the flu and still a little dopey!


On Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 8:20 PM, barrett klein <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I thought some might be interested in a new paper Tom Seeley and I just published, investigating the use of visuals in animal behavior publications.  We found that images have precipitously declined over the course of behavior journals' histories--- I would argue to the detriment of the field.  I am excited about the potential this paper has to make fellow scientists reflect on the value of visuals to convey concepts and ideas in biology, as well as to inspire our audience. 

A link to the paper:

The publication will appear in print in the May issue of Animal Behaviour.


barrett klein
Department of Biology
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
1725 State Street, La Crosse, WI


Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the instructions at

Lore Ruttan, Ph.D.

Lore Ruttan Illustration

Visit my Etsy shop at


Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the instructions at