Biophilia: Pittsburgh is the pilot chapter for a global Biophilia Network of creative minds dedicated to strengthening the bond between people and the natural world through education, discussion and action.

Biophilia: Pittsburgh March Meeting: What is Science Illustration?

The Thurs., March 2 Biophilia: Pittsburgh meeting will feature published scientific illustrator Amanda Zimmerman, who will lead the discussion, "What Is Science Illustration?" Her presentation will summarize the origins of using illustrations to convey a subject or idea, examine the current uses of science illustration, discuss why illustrations matter and how they enhance communication, and share behind-the-scenes details of how scientists and illustrators work together on a project.

Amanda Zimmerman's contributions to science illustration are dedicated to encouraging awareness of the natural world. Her work has won awards from organizations like the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and the New York State Museum’s Focus On Nature XII. She has illustrations published in The Mollusks: A Guide to Their Study, Collection and Preservation and Stories in the Rocks. She teaches workshops for young adults at the North Hills Art Center, Shaler North Hills Library and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Her favorite subjects include paleo-reconstruction, mollusks, seahorses, coral reefs and mangrove ecosystems. She works with non-profit and for profit organizations, institutions, teachers, biologists and publishers. She is a member of Guild of Natural Scientific Illustrators, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators. Explore her body of work at

Meeting Schedule

5:30 – 6 p.m.            Networking and refreshments
6 – 6:30 p.m.            Presentation
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.       Discussion

Meetings are free to attend; however, advance registration is required. To R.S.V.P., please send us an email or sign up on our Meetup page

Discover Our Additional Resources

Biophilia: Pittsburgh meets monthly at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes classroom at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens where, over delicious small-plates and light refreshments, a discipline or behavior is identified — often by an expert guest speaker — and discussed among the participants in the interest of sharing ideas and identifying opportunities. 

Directions and Parking 

Meetings take place in the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) Classroom which is located on the facility’s first floor. The main Conservatory entrance will be closed, as these meetings take place after normal business hours; to access the CSL, follow Frew Street (located between the Oakland/Schenley Park bridge and the Christopher Columbus statue), which will take you around the Conservatory to the lower campus. Guest parking spaces are available on your left as you approach the CSL.

Our Goals

• To welcome and inspire others with the concept and principles of biophilia
• To foster collaboration and learning between professionals from a wide variety of disciplines
• To communicate biophilic principles in action-oriented ways to a wider audience for exponential and regional impact

What Is Biophilia?

The term “biophilia,” which literally means “love of life,” was coined by social psychologist Erich Fromm and popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson, who defined it as “the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms.”

The implications of biophilia extend across a vast array of disciplines including design and engineering, nutrition, psychology, public health, education, biology and the humanities. Biophilia is expressed all over the world every day, through complex collaborations such as the design and construction of buildings and landscapes; and intimate, personal encounters including nature hikes and home gardening.

Photo © Paul g. Wiegman, Phipps staff