Combining a passion for visual communication and strong interest in ornithology, Jillian joined the Bartels program after completing a graduate certificate in Science Illustration from California State University, Monterey Bay. During her studies, Jillian honed her observational skills and pursued an interest in naturalist subjects, most notably bird behavior and anatomy. Before becoming a scientific illustrator, Jillian pursued fine art and graphic design. She received a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design University and a Master in Design Studies from York University in Toronto, Canada. Jillian’s work has been featured in books, editorials, and campaigns throughout North America.
During her residency, Jillian worked on scientific figures as well as editorial illustrations for Living Bird magazine. Jillian also contributed illustrations to the Lab’s Bird Academy course Feeder Birds: Identification and Behavior, which describe species-specific body postures birds display at feeders to signal aggression or dominance.
Upon completion of her appointment, Jillian stayed on at the Lab to produce illustrations for the Handbook of Bird Biology. In 2019 she began her current position as Graphics Editor for Living Bird magazine and staff scientific illustrator, working closely with the communications team at the Lab to produce graphics for press releases such as the Three Billion Birds campaign. Jillian teaches an undergraduate class at Cornell called The Art and Science of Birds and invites current Bartels illustrators to contribute to each offering of the course.