Sean Vidal Edgerton, M.Sc.
Virologist, Evolutionary and
Formerly theIllustration.co, Sean Vidal Edgerton has dedicated his studies to natural history, biodiversity, conservation, and visual communication. As a Science Illustrator, his work under the Pen & the Pangolin is driven by his passion to blend the worlds of art and science. Sean creates art in the service of science and for the purpose of education. His portfolio focuses on the beauty of natural history, biodiversity, and organisms poorly understood and in dire need of our conservation efforts.
After studying Plant Sciences and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz, Sean completed the graduate program in Science Illustration at CSU Monterey Bay. Since then he has worked as Wildlife illustrator in Madagascar, entomological Illustrator at the Smithsonian, and now botanical illustrator at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Sean also works as a microbiologist and researcher in the Microbiology Department at the California Academy of Sciences, studying the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases.
There are eight extant (living) pangolin species, all taxonomically grouped within a single family, Manidae. All eight species live in the tropics: four in Africa, and four in Asia. Every pangolin species is listed as threatened to critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on the Red List. Pangolins are the most trafficked animal on the black market and populations have declined substantially. Fortunately, international conservation efforts have increased dramatically over the years to raise awareness and protect all eight species from extinction. As my longtime favorite animal, I strive to illustrate poorly known species in dire need of our help and to spark a conversation for conservation's sake.