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creating accurate 3d models of life on earth



Digital Life aims to preserve the heritage of life on Earth through creating and sharing high-quality and accurate 3D models of living organisms. We aim to spur scientific discovery, support wildlife conservation and create educational opportunities.

Digital Life is a non-profit initiative within the University of Massachusetts at Amherst that creates digital 3D models of living organisms to support wildlife conservation, science and education.  We are partnering with scientists, zoos, and NGOs to ethically gain access to a wide array of animals for 3D scanning, including endangered species.  

Utilizing the Beastcam™ technology, our team of photographers, engineers, modelers and scientists creates high-quality 3D models through photogrammetry - the integration of 2D images to create 3D models.  Digital Life’s models are freely available online for public viewing.  Over time, we will dramatically increase the number and diversity of models. 

With a deeply rooted conservation ethic, an innovative team of experts, unique 3D scanning technology, and a network of science, education and conservation partners, our aim is to become the leader in 3D modeling for life on Earth.


The Team


Our interdisciplinary team is comprised of award-winning wildlife photographers, biologists, engineers, 3D modelers and digital education specialists. Based within the Center for Evolutionary Materials at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Digital Life has a director, a four-person leadership team, as well as several advisors, collaborators, and students. 


Leadership Team


Duncan J Irschick - Director

Professor, UMASS Amherst

Co-inventor of Geckskin™ and Beastcam™ Technology

Co-Founder, Center for Evolutionary Materials




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Andy Danylchuk

Professor, UMASS Amherst

Co-Founder, Fish Navy Films 

Ambassador, Patagonia Inc.

National Fellow, The Explorers Club




Neil Hammerschlag

Professor, University of Miami

Founder, Shark Research & Conservation Program


Advisory committee


Paul Lewis

President, Great Pacific Media


Angela Rosenberg

President, The Angari Foundation

Educational and Technical Advisors


          Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki, Ph.D.                                          Ryan Schmidt

         Educational Advisor                                                               Technical Advisor

              Director of Landmark College Institute for Research and Training                                                Dynamics Graphics Project

Digital and Animal Team

Johnson Martin - 3D Artist

Nicholas Dibello - 3D Artist

Willem Fuehr  |  Engineer

Jeremy Turgeon - Reptiles and Amphibians

Cameron Siler - Amphibians

Robert Hill- Amphibians

Joe Mendelson - Amphibians


Jeanette Wyneken - Sea turtles

Annabelle Brooks - Sea turtles




The Technology

The Beastcam™ technology is a multi-camera 3D modelling platform that can rapidly capture 3D models of everyday objects, including living animals.  The Beastcam™ systems provide high-resolution scanning, combined with speed and portability. Our team also uses a variety of other imaging techniques to create our 3D models.