Rawlins Scientific Illustrations Published Highlighting New Species of Isopod 

By Dan DiPrinzio | February 1, 2024

Scott Rawlins, professor emeritus at Arcadia University, collaborated on and recently published scientific illustrations as part of a research paper in ZOOTAXA that identified a new species of isopod. 

Isopods are crustaceans like crabs and shrimp and are found in both saltwater and freshwater habitats. Terrestrial isopods are known as pillbugs or woodlice. These creatures are commonly found in humid environments including the undersides of rocks, bark and flower pots.

Rawlins began this project in 2014 and involved several of his Scientific Illustration students in the research. 

“I thought this would be a good way for some of my students to gain some real world experience,” Rawlins said. “Although the project was considered to be an Arcadia internship, it was really more of an apprenticeship where the students worked beside me – we were the illustration team for the project(s).”

“What began as a short-term undertaking ended up lasting just about 10 years,” he added.

Two students – now alumnae Elizabeth DePace ’16 and Julia Lerner ’14 – joined Rawlins and other researchers at the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) in the Bahamas in December 2014 to create illustrations to accompany a description of Bathynomous maxeyorum, the first newly discovered species. The article that resulted from this research was published in the journal Zootaxa in 2016.  Work on a second new species was begun in 2016, when Rawlins again visited CEI accompanied by Natasha Mutch ‘16 and Michael McGlynn ‘17.  After a number of setbacks, a second article,  featuring Booralana nickorum, was completed early in 2024. 

CEO scientists continue to work to assess the diversity, distribution, and abundance of deepwater creatures using special technology and cameras. This is how the new species of isopods were first discovered.