Science Illustration and
Visual Literacy for Scientists.



Milena’s work has appeared in Our Coast Our Future (a climate adaptation and planning tool), Adam Aron’s The Climate Crisis (a textbook on climate change action), as well as in scientific publications like Nature, Neuron, and the Proceedings of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Milena Viljoen Gavala is a seasoned science graphics professional and science communicator. She currently runs Curious G Design Studio, where she partners with other scientists to create engaging custom graphics with a focus on pressing environmental issues such as climate change and conservation.

Before dedicating her career to the visual side of science, Milena worked in science communication, outreach, and grant programming at NOAA’s Restoration Center. Milena holds a Masters of Environmental Science from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Duke University. She is currently based in the San Diego area.

Milena aims for a world where science is beautiful, approachable, and actionable. Her goal is to advance scientific research by getting it out of the lab or field, and into the hands of the the people making decisions. Coupling her knowledge of cognition and vision science and her illustration and graphic design skills, she helps researchers and science organizations share their important but often complex stories through engaging, and memorable visuals.

She loves learning about all the latest #scicomm efforts, collaborating with other scientists and creatives, and helping new and existing science artists find each other. Drop her a line to say hello!

limited budget?

Schedule a one-hour graphic review.

If your graphics need a little (or a LOT!) of love, but you don’t have the budget for custom graphics, my Design Help Desk is a great alternative. Get one-on-one feedback from a seasoned science illustration and communications professional. We’ll discuss your audience, their needs, the information you are presenting, and how it will be delivered. You’ll leave with a concrete to-do list to improve the readability, comprehension, and impact of your graphics.

Check out my other Projects!