Transformation and biodiversity in art and biology


Brandon Ballengée in conversation with Dr. Dylan Fraser, Department of Biology Concordia University
Wednesday, March 31, 5pm
Lecture Hall, 1.114, CJ building
7141 Sherbrooke Street West
Loyola Campus
Concordia University

NY based artist Brandon Ballengee works across media, including print media, biological staining and preservation techniques, installation, and performance to explore the interconnection between environmental ecology, selective predation and biodiversity, particular that of amphibians.  Brandon engages in scientific practices, conducting both field and laboratory research to generate art exhibitions in public galleries. To better understand his practice and the concerns such art raises, it is necessary to have a rudimentary understanding of the science he is engaging in. Dr. Dylan Fraser, from the Department of Biology at Concordia joins Brandon in conversation to reflect further on the overlapping issues that arise between bio art and biology today. Dylan’s research is focused on biodiversity and fish.

Brandon Ballengée

Artist and Biologist. Candidate for Ph.D.University of Plymouth, England in collaboration with Z_Node, Zurich University for the Arts, Switzerland. Visiting Scientist at Redpath Museum, McGill University
More than many environmental artists, the work of Brandon Ballengée bridges the gap between research biology and art. He combines a fascination with fish and amphibians with the techniques of commercial art photography. In 1996 Ballengée began collaborating with scientists to create hybrid environmental art/ ecological research projects. Since then he has had numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally in which he presents photographs and biological samples of the creatures he collects. He is involved directly with field research and uses the visual impact of science to engage the public in a discussion of broader environmental issues.


Dr. Dylan Fraser

Dr. Dylan Fraser is assistant professor in the Department of Biology. His research seeks to understand how ecology, evolution and genetics interact to generate and sustain biodiversity, how human activities alter this diversity, and how this collective knowledge can be applied towards more effective biodiversity conservation in a variety of contexts. To date, this research has involved a combination of field, laboratory and molecular studies on fishes.