My scientific work looks at the role of epigenetics and transposable elements on the rapid evolution of insect pests, whose evolution is largely driven by human activity (farming, spraying insecticides, changing the climate). Insecticide resistance is a prime example of rapid evolutionary change brought on by humans - and provides us with an ideal “natural” experiment to examine. I integrate data science, bioinformatics, and a variety of genomic and statistical tools to answer questions about how insects evolve.
My art explores the interactions between humans and other-than-humans, by highlighting the commonalities of form shared by ships and whales, by wondering about the ways we shape each other; through domestication, eating each other, and changing each others experience of the world, increasingly through extinction. Some of my recent projects focus on the entanglements between whales and humans, and the ways in which how we experience the lives of others through art may shape our attitudes and behaviors.
Engaging with the pressing ecological crises we face can feel daunting. With my work I endeavor to draw people in to contemplate these issues, without being overwhelmed by grimness and despair. Through light and sculpture I explore the interactions and relationships between humans and other species. This leads me to focus on our often harmful impacts on many beings, particularly whales and other marine wildlife. Coming to terms with the grief caused by the endangerment and extinctions of plants and animals which we humans are responsible for is a monumental challenge. I work to find ways that art can help to foster a sense of deep connectedness with the nonhuman kin with whom we share the world.
I create illuminated sculptural lanterns representing the breadth of biodiversity in the living world. When lit, these lanterns reveal skeletons, colors, and patterns of the creatures they represent - they cast a warm glow, drawing the viewer in. These works encourage the consideration of these beings, their role in ecosystems, and their wellbeing in the world. Inspired by open, public, inviting events, I work to facilitate the co-creation of large, participatory art installations, rooted in the places and ecologies they represent.