The Canberra Times
by Elliot Williams
You can read the full article here.
One happy pairing was Team Beetle Sex, who got their name from the ANU's Megan Head and her research into the mating habits of Eucalyptus Beetles.
Dr Head's research examines how sexually transmitted infections in the beetle population affect mate choice.
"One of the benefits of mating with an attractive beetle is they've got the good genes," Dr Head said.
"But if they have these good genes they've probably been mating around with lots of other beetles and might have picked up these STIs."
She said she hoped to see how theories on mating applied to the beetle population and whether they could similarly be applied to other species and if STI's could be used as a method to control pest populations.
She said the process of partnering with artist Sophie Kristine had been plenty of fun and the shirt they created was wonderful way to explain her research.
"It's made me think about how I explain my research in a more accessible way and reminded me that not everyone is into beetle sex - but I don't know why not!"
For Ms Kristine, who is a full-time public servant and pursues art as a hobby, she said her partnership with Dr Head was a "match made in heaven".
The self-taught artist mainly works in lino prints but loves capturing native species in her work so the chance to capture the native Eucalyptus Beetles was a real thrill.
"I've always loved science and when I was studying art actually got put on the backburner for biology," Ms Kristine said.
"It was especially meaningful for me because I'm married to a scientist and I'd noticed the communication bit in the middle was always the most difficult."
She said that became particularly obvious when her husband was two years into his PhD and he pulled her up for still explaining it incorrectly to others
IMAGE CREDIT:GEOFFREY DUNN