I am currently a senior undergraduate working on a double major in Biology and Studio Art. I credit Professor Foster’s Evolution course for my growing interest in natural selection, and since then I have been working on utilizing art to create means by which I can translate biological knowledge to both scientists and non-scientists. Last summer as a LEEP pioneer and REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) student, I worked at the Richard Guilder Graduate School at the Museum of Natural History in New York City under the guidance of Professor Mark Siddall, the “Leech Man,” studying the DNA and life histories of terrestrial leeches.
Currently I am working in the Foster/Baker lab as the resident artist, where I am studying the influence of Threespine stickleback (intruder) phenotypes on the responses of territorial males to intruders. The artistic aspect of this project involves visual stimuli constructed by capturing images of bright males and of non-gravid females (drab), and completing morphometric analyses of each. These will be used to provide the form and skin for the AnyFish fish image which can then be programed to move as appropriate for our needs.
As for my future goals, I would like to continue to connect science and art to create a practical educational tool that teaches not only scientific and artistic concepts, but one that carries forth a third and most important dimension, the connection between the two subjects. I want to demonstrate how science and art not only complement one another, but how they add another element when applied to a subject simultaneously.
Outside the lab
Outside of the lab, my most recent hobby is creating designs and logos using Adobe design programs. I am interested in developing my graphic arts skills, as the world is quickly headed in an increasingly technologically savvy direction.
I also love to make my own cards, cartoons, and miniature models. I’m attempting to teach myself the guitar, and when nobody is around I like to sing loudly and convince myself that someday I’ll be famous. I also spend a lot of time reading spiritual and philosophical books. I find it fascinating to compare what I’ve learned from biology courses with the teachings of the great spiritual masters.
- LEEP Pioneer Award 2012
- Research Experience for Undergraduates Fellowship, American Museum of Natural History 2012
- Lise Anne and Leo E. Beavers II Summer Research Fellowship 2013