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Translating science through art

Elodie Freymann

About Me

My name is Elodie Freymann and I am a New York-born, London-based freelance natural history storyteller. In 2019 I took a break from the film world, where I worked as an art director, assistant producer, and freelance graphic designer to begin a Masters in Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford. I liked it so much I stayed on for a Ph.D. My research focused on how wild chimpanzees self-medicate with medicinal plants. This brought together my interests in primatology, botany, social anthropology, filmmaking, scientific illustration, and conservation. Throughout my research, I had the opportunity to employ a mix of natural historical approaches and methods. Over the course of nine-months living in Uganda's Budongo Forest, I worked with two communities of wild chimpanzees - following them each day, recording their behaviors, and learning as much as I could about the ecology of their habitats. I also conducted a series of ethnomedicinal interviews with traditional healers, and collected plants for pharmacological testing in collaboration with Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany.

Along the way, with the help of a storytelling grant from the Explorers Club x Discovery Inc., I've been able to document my research and hone my scientific communication skills. I'm currently editing two mini-doc projects I directed and produced about a powerful medicinal tree, used by both chimpanzee and human inhabitants of  Budongo Forest, which is quickly disappearing due to illegal logging operations.


Over the last few years I've also conducted ethnomedicinal fieldwork in the Ecuadorian Amazon and collaborated on a research project investigating baboon diets in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. Outside of academia, I have also been pursuing several creative projects, writing and illustrating artist books, paper cutting,  and practicing scientific illustration. 


Throughout my work I strive to blend the worlds of science and art to communicate complex ideas through visually engaging mediums. Specifically, I am interested in documenting stories about how people interact and co-exist with the flora and fauna around them - and how anthropogenic disturbances are disrupting these symbiotic relationships. 

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