What is this project about?

The project

The Amazing European bison

In an increasingly image oriented world, the inclusion of visuals for the successful communication of scientific subjects is on high demand. Nevertheless, the visual needs of each area of science are varied. Therefore, not only the selection of images, but also their style and layout could potentially influence differently each subject. The Amazing European bison project came up as part of an interdisciplinary research between science and art that explores the effectiveness of different illustration types and visual communication formats for their use in specific ecological subjects.

A particular study case that serves as an ecological basis was used, namely the European bison’s comeback from the brink of extinction as part of an intense restoration programme, as well as the journey of translocation from Poland to the Netherlands and their ecological effects on the environment according to the rewilding context in which these translocations took place. This project explores different themes inside this subject with the development of infographics, animations and virtual reality worlds. It aims at creating a toolkit of effective visual communication tools that can potentially make research easily and quickly understood by other scientists and laypeople in the context of European bison.

Journey of the project

2019 : Starting to discover the European bison’s rewilding hooves

The start of Lisa Sánchez Aguilar’s PhD project in the University of Groningen meant the start of The Amazing European Bison project.

2019-2023 : Development of visuals

Throughout her PhD project Lisa has created dozens of visuals related to the European bison and related topics that you can find available for free download in this webpage.

2020 : Research on illustration types

The relative effectiveness (through attractiveness, recognition, understanding and memorability) of six types of illustrations was compared in the context of communication of rewilding with European bison. Interviews were made on 57 participants with material that showed six illustration types ranging from realistic to graphical schematic with the aim of getting individual responses from audiences of specialists, decision-makers, attentive public and interested public.

2021 : Research on different design layouts

Using questionnaires on 62 participants reader’s experience of informational media was explored by focusing varying levels of text-image relations at a design strategy level. The aim was understanding the impact of three different layouts (prose primary which resembles a magazine spread, prose subsumed which lies in the middle of the three layouts in terms of text-image integration, and fully integrated which in our case was a static infographic) on audiences of specialists, decision-makers, attentive public and interested public.

2022 : Research on audience perception

Through focus group results the critical and comparative views from specialists and non-specialists in European bison were described for two visual communication tools: a static infographic and an animated documentary in the context of European bison. Additionally, the iteration stages of the two visuals towards improved versions of their communication potentials in a conservation ecology context were made.

2023 : PhD project comes to an end

This PhD project is a practiced-based PhD, meaning that half its results are textual and the other half are visual. Lisa will defend her PhD on August of 2023, but hopes to keep this project running for all those who are connected in some way or another to the European bison.

Are you up to date?

Hear about project up dates and new visuals.