This gallery shows just a few of my illustrations and data visualizations.

You can see more at Instagram: katbeescience



Pollination in Egg Tempera.

Egg tempera is a new endeavor for me, which I’m so far loving (especially since I have chickens). I’ll be posting the latest experiments here.


A dissected prickly pear flower, showing the flower's internal anatomy.


Plants and Animals in Scratchboard.

I’ve had a lot of fun illustrating animals that I’ve photographed at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. They have great instructors at their art institute, and many of them are human. The products of those activities can be seen in this section.

A scratchboard drawing of the head and shoulders of an ocelot, looking left.A scratchboard illustration of an Andrena bee in flight.


Space Art.

From outreach visualizations to abstract scratchboard art, I’ve been experimenting with portraying the beauty and mystery of space. My illustration of the 107″ Telescope (third image in this section) won first prize at the University of Arizona’s Interplanetary Art exhibit in 2023.

Data Visualization.

These visualizations of carpenter bee nests went into my dissertation. I very much enjoyed combining traditional art media with data visualization on this project.




The following visualizations won 3rd place in the University of Arizona Libraries Data Visualization Challenge 2021. It can be found at UA’s figure collection here. The illustrations were done in scratchboard, and the boxplots and woodpecker damage marks were built using ggplot2 in R version 1.2.5042 (R Core Team, 2021), from data we collected in southeastern Arizona. These four panels appear as figures in our research article:


Predator, prey, and a plant: Do carpenter bees (Xylocopa californica) position their nests within sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri) leaf rosettes to maximize protection from woodpeckers?

The following graphs featured in my and Barrett Klein’s research article on what behaviors honey bees do while immobile inside honey comb cells:

Klein, B. A. & Kathryn Busby, M. Slumber in a cell: honeycomb used by honey bees for food, brood, heating… and sleeping. PeerJ. 8, e9583 (2020).

Desert Endemism.

These graphite on Ampersand Claybord illustrations each depict interactions between organisms endemic to the Sonoran Desert.

Illustrated Arthropods.

These were portraits of insects that I found already dead and tattered. The illustrations were done directly from the specimens in ink and colored pencil.

Abstract Bee Anatomy.

These pen and ink drawings inspired by bee anatomy were all a part of my first Inktober challenge in 2020. A selection is shown here, but the full 31 drawings can be viewed on my Instagram and Twitter (katbeescience). I was identifying bees for the USGS and couldn’t help but illustrate structures I saw.