NAME: Maria Sibylla Merian
BORN/DIED: 2nd April 1647 – 13th January 1717
JOB: Botanical artist, Entomologist, Naturalist
KEY FACTS: Maria grew up in Frankfurt, Germany. She had a fascination for natural history and enjoyed painting images of plants and insects that she had seen. She had a particular fascination for caterpillars and was interested in their transformation into butterflies or moths. At the time, very few people had an interest in insects and little was known about them. On the 10th July 1966 Maria set sail for South America to paint new species of insects. In order to pay for the trip, she had to sell 255 of her paintings! She discovered many new facts about insets and published her findings in a book called Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium when she returned.
ACHIEVEMENTS: She is most famous for the publication of her book which helped to educate people about insects. In particular, she made significant contributions to scientific thinking for her careful documentations about the metamorphosis of butterflies. Her portrait could be found on German bank notes before they converted to the Euro.