When you think of a scientist, what is the first thought that comes to your mind? Perhaps someone in a white coat? Or someone mixing chemicals? How about a photographer. At Innately Science, we believe that being a scientist is as simple as being curious and asking questions to understand the world around us. For Lucyna Kania, she engages with the natural world through her camera lens, capturing moments to further her own knowledge and share her curiosity with others.
As a wildlife photographer, Lucyna seeks to capture a story in a single photo. "If you are able to capture a moment that reflects a behavior or characteristic that makes that particular fauna or flora unique from anything else, then I call that a win" shares Lucyna. Lucyna and her partner, Nick Volpe, freelance under their own business NLWild Media. Their shared curiosity for the natural world has already resulted in significant achievements, including working on a Natural History shoot for "Our Great National Parks" on Netflix.
Lucyna Kania and Nick Volpe
Lucyna Kania and Nick Volpe have harbored aspirations for their photography to serve as a medium for telling the stories of the unique world of invertebrates in the Northern Territory. "Not many people pause to look at the world around them" says Lucyna. Their photography aspirations have materialized in the form of the Tiny Territory exhibit at the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, where Lucyna and Nick have channeled their curiosity into a project that ignites curiosity in people about the wonders of their own backyards. Shedding light on bugs in the yard is a truly special endeavor that can foster an open dialogue about these creatures, which is much needed. "They are the foundation of many aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, driving crucial processes within them. You may not always see these tiny creatures, but you do see the effects of their helpful presence everywhere.”
Smaller creatures are often misunderstood, but as Lucyna states: "Really small animals have really big stories." Their presence in this world is beneficial and helpful, but unfortunately, data on little creatures is lacking. As a Technical Officer in Collection Management at the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Lucyna contributes to the team that curates the museum specimens for display. The preservation of collections in museums helps tell stories. As Lucyna says, “Using these collections as a resource, we can facilitate the reflection of the past, the monitoring of the present and planning for the future in so many aspects. In an era where human-induced changes are being felt rapidly on a global scale, access to these resources is truly invaluable. It is evident that through all that Lucyna does, science is an appreciation of nature and an effort to preserve it.
Lucyna Kania and Nick Volpe at the Tiny Territory exhibit at the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
There should be no barriers to science. “I always thought I could never pursue science because I wasn't particularly good at maths or because I could not physically perform in a certain area due to health issues that I manage” says Lucyna. There is an unfortunate misunderstanding in science that we need to be a certain way to be able to do it, but to do science means to be curious and to join in the pursuit of understanding. We are all on a scientific journey. A journey that empowers us all, that allows us to grow, and one that makes us into better, more curious human beings. Curiosity isn't always just about asking questions, it is much more than that. The questions we ask lead us down paths, give us guidance on our quest (that is life), and ultimately shape what we choose to become. Where has your curiosity taken you?
Lucyna completed a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science (Wildlife and Conservation Biology). Lucyna is currently a Technical Officer (Natural Science) and exhibition curator at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT). In addition to her roles at MAGNT, Lucyna is also a wildlife photographer, filmmaker and science communicator through NLWild, a freelance business she runs with her partner Nick Volpe. Through NLWild, their work has featured in the Netflix natural history documentary “Our Great National Parks”.
Explore NLWild: https://www.nlwild.com/