Secret Underwater Life by Lauren Jenny

This piece showcases the secret underwater life of aquatic macroinvertebrates. In the format of a panel design, this piece will be fabricated into a mounted sign adjacent to a hiking trail by a freshwater stream in the Alpine area of Italy. Lauren Jenny’s goal is to educate hikers passing about Dr. Alberto Scotti’s research studying these macroinvertebrates and what we can learn from them. She used acrylic paint on multi-media paper to depict the two macroinvertebrates on the sign, as well as the habitat and the cow (Bruna Alpina). To assemble everything, she scanned and imported her paintings into Adobe Illustrator, and designed the rest of the panel using this program. The sections describe what macroinvertebrates are, where they live, what we can learn from them, as well as the impact of agriculture and hydropower. By studying the kinds of macroinvertebrates in different ecosystems, we can then assess how certain anthropogenic factors, such as agriculture and hydropower, are influencing the environment.


Lauren Jenny is currently a sophomore at UW-Madison double majoring in Conservation Biology and Life Sciences Communication. She is also planning on completing two certificates in Studio Art and Sustainability. Jenny’s goal is to be a scientific illustrator, focusing on spreading environmental awareness. In her free time she likes to paint, draw, play and compose piano music, and go birding. You can check out more of her work here!


Dr. Alberto Scotti is a researcher at the EURAC Institute for Alpine Research in South Tyrol, Italy. He studies different human impacts on freshwater streams in the Alpines, which includes looking at macroinvertebrate communities to determine the health of streams. Dr. Scotti reached out across the ocean to get involved in this project because he is a strong believer in art and science collaborations!

Funded by the Center for Humanities HEX-U Undergraduate Exchange.