Genetic diversity in seagrass final product

For my final science communication seminar product, I created an infographic on the importance of genetic diversity in seagrass beds. After receiving feedback from my peers and professionals in the field, I decided to change my first draft into a more simple design and message. We also discussed visiting museums to present our products, so I created a small display (described below) that can facilitate conversation with people about the infographic.

Seagrass Genetic Diversity by Gina Digiantonio

The display is a piece of paper on which two “beds” of seagrass (A and B) are represented with 3 seagrass blades (see picture below). Each seagrass blade has 2 starbursts to represent their genetic diversity. Bed A has two kinds of starbursts present compared to the 4 kinds of starburst in bed B, and is therefore less diverse.

Then, a simulated disease washes over the beds in the form of a pink translucent cover. Suddenly, the pink starbursts are washed out and bed A only has 1 blade remaining while bed B retained its blades.

I will tailor this conversation to different audiences. For example, for a scientifically-minded adult the starbursts can be referred to as “alleles” and we can discuss the influence of dominant vs. recessive traits. My hope is that the activity (and candy) will capture people’s attention, generate interest in the topic, and better visualize the points on my infographic.

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