Melissa Betters

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Artist Biography

Hello! I am an early-career scientist and self-taught artist based in Philadelphia, PA. I recently earned my Ph.D. from Temple University where I studied drivers of speciation and biogeography in deep-sea gastropods. The deep-sea has always been inspiring to me, both scientifically and creatively. I am fascinated by how populations and species have evolved at the bottom of the ocean, particularly around areas of chemosynthetic activity like hydrothermal vents and hydrocarbon seeps.
During the COVID-19 lockdown during 2020, I began making deep-sea art as a way to stay connected to my passion and love for the deep ocean. Oftentimes, the deep sea is depicted as something to fear. I want to present it as something to love. Why? Because people protect what they love! When I created my series of “Deep Sea Travel Posters,” I wished to depict the deep sea as I see it as a scientist: Interesting, complex, beautiful, and vitally important. My hope for this series, as well as future projects, is to get people familiar with the diversity of environments and animals at the bottom of the ocean, many of which they may not be aware of. Art is a powerful science communication tool that has the capacity to bolster people’s interest and personal connection to the deep sea. As the ocean faces ever-increasing threats from climate change, biodiversity loss, and resource extraction, it is incredibly important to foster a sense of stewardship over our oceans, both deep and shallow.
All my pieces are made using digital drawing programs. I am always open to new inspiration and project ideas.

Relevant Links


“Lau Basin” – Travel poster inspired by my experience on a research cruise to the Kingdom of Tonga in Spring 2022. Sales from this design helped support aid efforts following the volcanic eruption in Tonga that took place shortly before our expedition. Digital painting.

Pieces shared in this folder are made available for digital reproduction by DSBSoc only. Files may not be sold or disseminated to third parties without the express, written permission of the artist. Physical reproductions of this artwork are strictly prohibited. The artist reserves the right to rescind access to these files at any time.

Posts about Melissa’s works soon!