Erick Bayala is a second year PhD student in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy. After graduating from an art specialized high school he did his undergrad on microbiology at the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao. As a PhD student, he is interested in how color patterns are form and change in nature from a developmental perspective? Mainly focusing into characterizing the different steps of forming a color pattern across development and how alterations to these steps can promote the color diversity we see today in the animal word. He is using butterflies as models to start analyzing some of these developmental mechanisms for color pattern specification and formation. Finally, he remains interested in possible opportunities to integrate his scientific formation with his artistic experiences.
Hannah Burnett is a PhD student in the Anthropology Department whose work considers how environmental disasters reorganize the way people sense, value, and speculate about ecosystems. Most recently she has studied oyster cultivation in the estuaries of southern Louisiana, in the long aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill. Through this work, she asks questions about smell, taste, toxicity, and endangerment. Hannah also explores these questions through her painting and drawing practice, with the aim of attuning to shifting modes of speculative attention.
Composer Jack Hughes is a PhD student at the University of Chicago, where his principal teachers have been Marta Ptaszynska and Shulamit Ran. A primary concern in his vocal and instrumental works is the unification of musical elements such as melody, harmony and texture into a single fabric that engages with notions of narrative and drama. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2014 as a double major in theory and composition, studying in the studio of Keith Fitch. While in Cleveland, Jack served as the Composer Fellow of the Canton Symphony Orchestra for the 2013-2014 season. A native of Reston, Virginia, he plays the trumpet, piano, violin, and viola.
Nicole James is a Chemistry PhD candidate at the University of Chicago, working with Prof. Heinrich Jaeger where she studies the role surface chemistry plays in the properties of non-Newtonian suspensions. She received her BA in Chemistry & German Languages and Literatures from Whitman College. In addition to research, Nicole is intensely interested in teaching, science communication, and opportunities for discussions across disciplines.
Tyler Schroeder is a PhD student in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, and is currently in the process of developing a dissertation proposal. His investments include hygienic, medical, scientific, and popular-scientific film and media; German intellectual history; applied art and industrial design; theories and aesthetics of new (and old) media; and the critical possibilities associated with melodrama and comedy. He also enjoys gathering wild mushrooms, cooking, his terrible cat, and his weird dog.
Allison Turner is a PhD candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature. Her dissertation, entitled "The Salvaging Disposition: Waste and Plenitude in Eighteenth-Century British Literature," explores various forms of recycling in Enlightenment-era fiction. Her research demonstrates how literature in this period sought to reclaim—through both formal and representational means—persons, places, and things that had been wasted or discarded and that would otherwise have remained so. As a Graduate Fellow with the Arts, Science, and Culture Initiative, Allison plans to bring this historically informed sense of modern salvaging to bear on contemporary urban renewal projects in postindustrial cities.
Erzsebet Vincent is a second year PhD student in the Institute for Molecular Engineering, working with Professor David Awschalom. Her research focuses on using light to explore and control the quantum properties of atomically-thin matter. In addition to her work, she is particularly interested in the question of how to successfully communicate scientific concepts to mainstream audiences. Erzsebet received her BS in Chemical Engineering and BA in Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Shanna Zentner is a MFA candidate in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. She holds a BFA from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, where she received an interdisciplinary arts education with an ultimate focus on painting, drawing, and printmaking. She has been commissioned to do technical illustrations for scientific journals and a mural for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Her recent work engages painting with science fiction imagery, examining the communication of scientific research in popular culture and the ethical entanglements which arise from scientific development. She is currently writing and illustrating her first comic book, which addresses the intricacies of time travel.