About Me

Photo of April Isch Neander

April I. Neander is a professional scientific illustrator specializing in mammal paleontology, but also does work in broader fields of biology, such as anatomy and botany. April has worked as the illustrator and visualization expert for the Luo Mammal Paleontology Lab at the University of Chicago since 2012. In the Luo Lab, April fills the additional roles of lab manager, CT data specialist, and UChicago PaleoCT technician. Her illustrations range from technical pieces for scientific journals to editorial illustrations to captivate public interest.

April started work at the Luo Lab after earning an M.S. in Biomedical Visualization (BVIS) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Because of the program’s focus on technology, when April attended in 2010-2012 she was able to focus on various digital media, such as 3D sculpting, CT data, and animation.

April became aware of the field of scientific illustration while studying Biology at the University of Vermont after taking the Painting and Drawing Botanicals class. This class coincided with a Mammalogy course, and the two worked synergistically together for her.

In her free time, April hones her artistic technique by doing visual studies of a wide variety of animals and plants. She is fortunate to live in Chicago, where there are a plethora of resources available at local zoos, museums, and art communities.


2016 Lazendorf National Geographic Digital Modeling and Animation Award.

Art published in

Brusatte, S., Luo, Z. X. (2016, June). Ascent of the Mammals. Scientific American, 30-35.

Luo, Zhe-Xi, et al (2015). Mandibular and dental characteristics of Late Triassic mammaliaform Haramiyavia and their ramifications for basal mammal evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112.51, E7101-E7109.

Chang, Kenneth. "Jawbone in Rock May Clear Up a Mammal Family Mystery." The New York Times 16 Nov. 2015.

Hopson, James A. Fossils, Trackways, and Transitions in Locomotion. Pp. 125-141. In Dial, Kenneth P., Neil Shubin, and Elizabeth L. Brainerd, eds. Great transformations in vertebrate evolution. University of Chicago Press, 2015.

Luo, Z. X., Meng, Q. J., Ji, Q., Liu, D., Zhang, Y. G., & Neander, A. I. (2015). Evolutionary development in basal mammaliaforms as revealed by a docodontan. Science, 347(6223), 760-764.

Meng, Q. J., Ji, Q., Zhang, Y. G., Liu, D., Grossnickle, D. M., & Luo, Z. X. (2015). An arboreal docodont from the Jurassic and mammaliaform ecological diversification. Science, 347(6223), 764-768.

Zhou, C. F., Wu, S., Martin, T., & Luo, Z. X. (2013). A Jurassic mammaliaform and the earliest mammalian evolutionary adaptations. Nature, 500(7461), 163-167.

Yuan, C. X., Ji, Q., Meng, Q. J., Tabrum, A. R., & Luo, Z. X. (2013). Earliest evolution of multituberculate mammals revealed by a new Jurassic fossil. Science, 341(6147), 779-783.

Work in Exhibitions

3D reconstruction of Haramiyavia jaw on display at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C. Reopening 2019.

Megaconus illustration featured in Cliff Field Gardens Timeline, Seaton, Devon, England. 2015.

Listed as Co-Author in

M. M. M. Meier, L. Bindi, H. Busemann, P. R. Heck, A. I. Neander, C. Maden, M. Riebe, N. H. Spring, P. J. Steinhardt, R. Wieler. Cosmic-ray exposure and shock degassing ages of the quasicrystal-bearing Khatyrka meteorite. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XLVII, Abstract 1226. 2016.

Meier, M. M. M., et al. "Shedding Light on the Origin of the Quasicrystal-Bearing Khatyrka Meteorite." LPI Contributions 1856 (2015): 5035.