Melissa Gay is an award-winning illustrator of books and tabletop roleplaying games. She has done book covers and illustration projects for Hugo, World Fantasy, and Stoker Award winning authors, and her client list includes Baen Books, Llewellyn Worldwide, Hay House, and Apex Press. Her art has appeared on the covers and in the pages of games such as The Dresden Files, Night's Black Agents, Trail of Cthulhu, Part-Time Gods, Mermaid Adventures, Fate Core, and the Yellow King RPG. One of her pieces for the SagaBorn RPG core book has been nominated for a Chesley Award.
Her work has been featured in multiple Infected By Art anthologies, she belongs to the Changeling Artist Collective, she co-founded the Bird Whisperer Project, and she moderates the Women in Fantastical Illustration and the One Fantastic Week online communities. Her passion projects include sci-fi sumi-e and her acrylic space paintings, which have met with international success. A former scientific illustrator, she is constantly seeking the perfect balance between precise detail and hazy obscurity to better engage the imagination of the viewer.
Author and Archaeologist David Baird moderates this panel on ethnobotany (the study of a region's plants and their practical uses through the traditional knowledge of a local cultures, religions and people.)