About Me & Resume

Resume – Art & Teaching

Lee Bess is a biologist, science educator and visual artist. They live in Toronto, where they farm crickets and research insect farming in collaboration with Carleton University, Bug Mars, and Entomo Farms.  

Proudly queer and neurodivergent, Lee also works as a coach and group facilitator for LGBTQIA+ people with autism and/or ADHD at Facilitate Joy! Autism & ADHD Consulting

Lee holds a PhD in insect biology from the University of Illinois, an MS in plant biology from University of Missouri – St Louis,  and a Master Composter certification and Permaculture Design Certificate through Seattle Tilth Alliance.

They post about nature exploration and science teaching on instagram @_lemony_cricket_

Select Art Pieces & Group Shows

  • Dear Scabbie, Real Life Advice from Lice” fanzine, in progress. 
  • Spring Starts in the Summer” photographs displayed as video. Crush/Repeat group show, online, 2022
  • The Longest Month” handmade book. Crush/Repeat group show, online, 2020
  • Tree Holes, Tree Scars” photographs displayed as cylindrical sculpture. Crush/Repeat group show, Gay City, 2019
  • Grab Back Comics: Acts of Love and Resistance” editor (as Erma Blood). Anthology of autobiographical comics about the #metoo movement, 2017
  • 42” fanzine in collaboration with Kelly Froh and Mita Mahato, 2016
  • “The Nature of Fleas, Starring Dame Miriam Rothschild” A fanzine of science and biography, 2014
  • Soil Dwellers” Letterpress art book of poetry and science, in collaboration with Catherine Alice, Emily van Kley, and Melanie Valera, 2015
  • Cargo” Illuminated X-Ray micrographs of mason bees “in utero.” Flight Path Project group show, SeaTac Airport & Seattle City Hall, 2013
  • Insect photos, USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine Photo Calendar, 2011-2013

Service & Volunteer Work

  • Organizer, Gender Affirming Spaces Project, Peterborough, Ontario 2022
    GASP! creates community events and volunteer opportunities that connect and celebrate transgender, Two-Spirit, and gender diverse people.
  • Artist in Residence, Pacific Science Center, Seattle 2019-2020
    In collaboration with the Madagascar Biodiversity Center, I presented creative content to classrooms in the Seattle area, including How to Cook a Cricket.
  • Scientist in Residence, Madagascar Biodiversity Center 2019
    Valala Cricket Farm at MBC raises, processes, and distributes edible crickets for famine relief. I helped optimize rearing and processing of cricket livestock, and developed pest management techniques for farm pests.
  • Member of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board, Short Run Seattle 2015-present
    Short Run hosts an annual comix and arts festival, creates arts education programming, and works to strengthen Seattle’s lauded comix and arts community.
  • Pansy Patch Garden Club Facilitator, Lambert House 2011-2015
    Training youth, ages 13-22, in gardening skills. Lambert House supports LGBTQIA+ youth in Seattle.

Professional Experience

  • Entomologist, Entomo Farms, 2021-present
  • Cofounder and CFO, Seattle Nature Schools, 2015-2019
  • Head of Research and Development, SpringStar Inc., Woodinville, 2015-2016
  • Entomologist (Identifier), USDA Plant Protection & Quarantine, Seattle. 2010-2014
  • Collections Manager, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 2003-2005
  • Collections Assistant, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 2000-2001

Teaching Experience

  • Teacher: Seattle Nature Schools 2016-2019
  • Resident Naturalist: Trailer Blaze Artist Residency, Long Beach, WA, 2018-2019
  • Workshop Leader: Short Run Seattle Summer School, 2018-2019
  • Faculty Member: The Evergreen State College, Biology curriculum 2014-2017
    • Summer 2017: “Olympic Invertebrates” with Trisha Towanda
    • Summer 2016: “Relentless Entomology” with Dr. Chris Looney
    • Summer 2015: “Entomology Field Techniques”
    • Summer 2014: “The Art and Science of Entomology”
  • Instructor: Field techniques for Customs & Border Protection Agricultural Specialists, 2010-2014
  • Invited Lecturer: Geobiology course, University of Washington, Seattle 2010-2011
  • Laboratory instructor: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 2006-2008
  • Instructor: New York Botanical Garden Adult Education.  2004
  • Laboratory instructor: University of Missouri – St. Louis. 2001-2003


  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 2005-2011
    PhD in Entomology. Specialization: Evolution and Biogeography of Native Insects of Hawaii.
  • University of Missouri – St. Louis. 2001-2003
    MS in Plant Biology. Specialization: Evolution and Development of Grasses.
  • University of New Mexico. 1996-200
    BS in Biology and Spanish.
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