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About the Society Awards Past Award Winners 2019 Awardees 2019 (Lanzendorf PaleoArt Prize) Scientific Illustration - April Neander

April I. Neander is a research specialist for the Luo Mammal Paleontology Lab and UChicago PaleoCT Lab at the University of Chicago. For the Luo Lab, April produces visuals needed for journals and public outreach. This includes digital and traditional illustration, 3D modeling, and animation. For the PaleoCT Lab, April is responsible for maintaining the machine, scanning specimens, and training new users. She enjoys the intellectual and practical challenge of capturing a good scan of a difficult specimen. As different as these two fields may seem, both rely on light to create an image. As a result, much of April’s recent artwork has focused on the behavior of light and using it to create believable form.

April came to have this one of a kind mix of responsibilities after graduating from the Biomedical Visualization program in 2012. There, she learned medical illustration, how to produce 3D models from CT data, and 3D animation. Prior to that, April studied biology with a specialization in mammalogy as an undergrad at the University of Vermont. It is there where she took a Painting and Drawing Botanicals class and first learned of the field of scientific illustration. Her training in CT scanning came after graduate school from a combination of individual instruction, workshops, conferences, and on-the-job learning. The field is very specialized, but quickly growing, and provides interesting challenges and room for growth both in technology and technique.
In her free time, April continues to study and practice the principles of art and technique. Chicago is a wonderful place to do this. She is active in the local Guild of Natural Science Illustration chapter and often visits the various museums, botanic gardens, and zoos to practice. For additional information about April, you can visit her website at or see more of her work on Instagram or Twitter under the name AINeander.