Vacation at the beach had always been a highlight for me since I was a kid. Without getting tired I used to dig holes in the sand and build sand castles. And then I received my very first field guides from my godfather Fredi. His words were: “Sometime you will become a natural scientist.” Some years later his word became true. I loved to spend my time in the garden cooking tea with my mother’s flowers and plants, collecting snails in order to watch their behaviour, bringing up butterflies from caterpillars, taking care of injured or orphaned animals and digging a pond.
At the age of 14, I got the homework to make a herbarium. I was to told to conserve at least 30 plants. After 200 different species I stopped counting. Later I studied Pharmaceutical Sciences at the ETH Zürich and I obtained the master degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and the diploma as dispensing chemist. I had the opportunity to do my diploma thesis in Portland (Oregon) which was for me the first step in the big, wide world. Having finished my studies and with 3 publications to my credit I dedicated myself to the work as a chemist in a pharmacy. I really enjoy my profession because every single day confronts me with new challenges. My customers and my team were always dear to my heart.
My vacations spent at the sea made me feel a strong attachment to nature and its positive energy. I would really love to understand the underlying mechanisms of nature, explore, love and conserve it in a respectful, awestruck manner.
Totally fascinated I watched the grapevine snails build their shell: they produce with their mouth a new very fragile layer at the aperture of their shell. It`s getting thicker and thicker until the shell is growing discoverably. That means that the shells don`t just grow by themselves. No, the animals build them actively. And they are true professionals: with their profound sense of esthetics they are able to build wonderful shapes and complex print patterns. The snail seems to know exactly when and where to put a particular colour.
At the beaches of Venice there is an enormous richness in marine species like bivalves and gasteropods. Since my childhood I have enjoyed spending my holiday in this region. To go for a walk on the beach with a little bucket in my hands makes me truly happy. And, of course, it would be a great pleasure for me to share my joy and wonderment about the magnificient beauty of these animals and nature with all of you.
I`m convinced that we begin to protect nature when we, as one united people, discover our deep, eternal love for it.
“We only love what we know and we only protect what we love.”
Konrad Lorenz (behaviour scientist)
By the way, does it interest you how the name of shellesca came into existence?
Shell + Francesca = Shellesca