Behind the Logo:
This year we have not one, not two, but three logos, one to represent each of the diverse states in our section. I had a lot of fun researching the different types of symbiotic relationships that exist in our states, and I think that they could have not been more beautifully illustrated. Our artist Diana Munoz is truly talented.
The Nevada logo features a beautiful phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) feeding on the mistletoe that grows parasitically on desert willow. In the wild the willow supports the mistletoe, which provides food for the phainopepla. But the bird helps out too, spreading mistletoe seeds in their scat that stick to branches in other trees and grow new plants.
The California logo features three charismatic species, the burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia), the California ground squirrel (Otospermophilus
beecheyi), and the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense). The burrowing owl and tiger salamander both use ground squirrel burrows for shelter. Having owls around can benefit the ground squirrels by having an additional set of eyes looking out for predators and making alarm calls.
The Hawaii logo features a honu (Chelonia mydas) being cleaned by lau’ipala (Zebrasoma flavescens). In tropical waters such as those found around the Hawaiian islands high biological diversity facilitates many different types of symbiotic relationships, with turtle cleaning stations being one of the most exciting to see. Many types of fish perform cleaning services for turtles and other fish, with both animals benefitting.
I hope that you enjoy these logos as much as I do, and that they inspire you to rethink the relationships in your career and life!
– Katie Smith, TWS-WS President-Elect and Meeting Chair
About the Artist:
Diana Muñoz is a PhD Student in the Genomic Variation Lab at UC Davis studying vulture microbiomes and previously worked as a Wildlife Biologist for the US Geological Survey. Her adventures with wildlife frequently inspire her artwork. She is partial to drawing birds, but welcomes the challenge of capturing the likeness of other animals.