Eisen Lab (Science) Art Show

This past week the lab did something a bit different for lab meeting: we talked about and shared our science (and not-so-science related) art. All possible art mediums were encouraged for submission (baking, poetry, music, paintings, photographs, etc). The following slides contain the submitted art work shared at our lab meeting.


The following are descriptions of each artist’s work:

Alex Alexiev: These photographs of unidentified fungi were taken at Muir Woods National Monument in the Bay Area of California. The forest is constituted by redwoods, ferns, and small waterfalls. The high humidity creates a great habitat for various awesome fungi and molds to flourish.

Marisano James: The poem was written by Marisano when he was 19 years old and only recently mailed to him by a friend. The photographs he submitted included two dragon flies in the middle of a mating ritual, an intricately painted mailbox, a photograph of the UC Davis graduation, a dragonfly close-up and a silk moth emerging from its cocoon.

Katie Dahlhausen: These are pictures of mushroom spores taken on a scanning electron microscope that Katie built herself!

Madison Dunitz: These are images of a microbe an undergraduate student in the lab, Andrew Stump, is characterizing.

Ruth Lee: Ruth painted the two acrylic paintings and made the collage during her senior year of high school. The snow leopard was painted for a friend who had red-green color blindness. She wanted to give him something that looked the same to him as it would for everyone else. It was the first painting she ever did. The landscape painting was also a done for a friend and was the production of just her mind (no photo reference was used!). Her friend’s favorite movie was Disney’s Pocahontas, and this is her rendition of the waterfall scene. The prompt for the collage was how she thought the world should be changed and back then, Ruth thought that the best way to change the world would be to educate future generations about adopting an active approach towards the issues of today.

Hannah Holland-Moritz: Hannah enjoys amateur photography and is interested in the intersection of science photography and art. The majority of these photographs were taken on various hikes in Northern California. The microscope photo was from one of the first microbiology experiments she ever performed. It’s a biofilm stained for polysaccharides and bacterial DNA.

Cassie Ettinger: For my submission, I included a poster I made for our Seagrass Microbiome Project which I made using Adobe InDesign. I made all of the graphics included on the poster in Adobe Photoshop from scratch. I also enjoy amateur photography and included some photographs of flowers and birds that I have taken in the past. My last submission includes some photographs I took of trenches dug at an archaeological dig I took part in at Boltby Scar in the United Kingdom.
Chris Beitel: This is a photo Chris took of an object and then distorted to obscure what the object was. The purpose being that people would look at something they usually found familiar, but not recognize what the familiar object was.
Dongying Wu: Dongying talked to us about a Persian miniature painting that he made using Adobe Illustrator CS6. The last three slides provide references and background information for the story he was trying to represent and the archeological evidence that he used for inspiration.

Lab meeting at Yolo Basin – science should be fun …

Was both a very good and a very bad day yesterday.  I will leave out the bad here other than to say that a close relative was diagnosed with a very bad cancer.  Fortunately, I had already planned to have my lab meeting (in picnic format) out at Yolo Basin Wildlife area and so I had to soldier on.  I scouted out the Yolo Basin in the early AM (after dropping my mom off at the airport).  And during the scouting trip I saw all sorts of cool wildlife.  Some of the pics are below:

Coyote hunting rodents off in the distance

Ring necked pheasant

And then I headed on over to where we were going to have the picnic (to make sure they were not doing any construction work near there as I had seen trucks there a few days before).  And on the way to the parking lot I saw some otter poop in the road.  It seemed very very fresh.  So I slowed down (to even less than the 15 MPH I was going) and then I saw them.

Two otters.  Just a few feet in front of me.  Playing.  They eyed me suspiciously, and then headed into the little channel.

After a brief swim they headed out on the other side.

And then they eyed me from the safety of the other side and sniffed around, scratched, pooped and did many other things.

And then I guessed they decided it was time to go back in the water.

It seemed like they were egging each other on and then decided to both go in at the same time.

And then they swam around, mostly ignoring me and headed off.

What a wonderful sighting.  And then I headed on out of the park to get some picnic food.  But I went slowly and took some bird pics along the way.  Some very nice lighting as it was still early in the AM.

Lots of avocets, which are very photogenic

And lots of white faced ibises, which, depending on the angle relative to the sun can seem drab or glorious

And a slew of other birds including ducks, herons, etc. Here are some highlights

Breeding colors for egret (see green on nose)


Ruddy duck couple
Ruddy duck couple
And then off to buy food and then back to Yolo Basin to meet up with my lab.  
We had a picnic.  I was too distracted to take too many pics.  Here are some I took. Will try to post some from people in the lab too.

and then went for a hike.  Didn’t take too many pictures of that but here are some.  Good that 

Otter prints

Black shouldered kite
And then headed out, not before taking some more pics on the way such as this one

Oh and of course, there was some chatter on Twitter about lab meeting … see the Storify here.

And in response to some comments on Twitter – here are a few pics with plants featured. Mostly, I note, I was focusing on animals because I had my telephoto lens on the camera and did not switch until the very end of the day to a macro lens.

What to do when kicked out of my own lab meeting?

Thought some would enjoy a bit of comic relief.

Lab Meeting Tuesday October 1st CHANGED TIME to 12:00 (Room 4202)

Hey all,

Lab meeting this week (at noon, room 4202) will be a presentation by the UC Davis Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability’s Green Labs Program.   Our lab has volunteered to be the first lab officially certified under this new program to reduce waste and energy usage.   They’re going to explain what sort of services and support the program offers and what we’re supposed to do in order to get a little certificate to hang up somewhere saying that we’re awesome.