My name is Eav Brennan, and I am a science communicator and environmental educator with a passion for the visual communication of science. I also live with a psychosocial disability from early developmental PTSD. 

Not everyone who struggles with mental illness lives with psychosocial disability. Psychosocial disability is the societal exclusion experienced because of the stigma of mental illness. People with psychosocial disabilities experience added stressors of risk of incarceration, increased risk of homelessness, decreased work capacity, and ongoing stressors of everyday life that intersect with other forms of discrimination.

I have a complex relationship with being Disabled in STEM. 

I am extremely grateful for my science training – the ability to remain calm while I identify that what I am seeing is inconsistent with the laws of physics has enabled me to stay grounded while experiencing hallucinations. 

I also believe the fact that I do experience life differently to be an asset to my scientific thinking. I consistently evaluate the biases and assumptions in my everyday observations like my life depends on it. 


I love science and will always love science, but I found the systemic erasure of complex mental illness in STEM to be too much for me. I found that conversations around mental health started and ended around eating well, exercising, and seeing a counsellor, which are important but do not allow an honest conversation about ableism.


Now I use my imagination and creativity to engage and inspire others of science and the impact that it can have on the world.

I have a Bachelor of Marine and Antarctic Studies from the University of Tasmania and a Masters of Environment (Advanced) from the Australian National University, where I conducted research in marine debris.


After realizing I wasn’t suited for research, I thought long and hard about how I wanted to continue. I loved environmental and marine science and didn’t want to stop exploring our Blue Planet. I embraced the fact that my university notebooks were filled with more doodles than words. I decided to have a go in sci-art, particularly comic strips.


I now work at Reverse Garbage, a world-renowned creative reuse centre. I am a host on the Climactic Collective podcast network, and I am a research assistant evaluating the uptake of scientific advice in oceans governance.

I love that I get to blend art and science in my work, and am looking forward to telling the story of the amazing science being conducted in so many different ways around the world.


This Disability Pride Month, I want to highlight three things:

  1. That disability takes many forms, and you can never assume that you’re talking to an able-bodied person.
  2. That STEM professions, particularly Science Communication, can be as diverse as you need them to be and that there is no shame in taking your own path.
  3. That self-care looks different for everyone. For me, when I am in crisis, I call my doctor, get myself to the hospital or call an ambulance, and that is okay. 

Connect with Eav on Twitter (@eavbrennan) and Instagram (@eavrose)