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These articles explore biological topics of various kinds within their inextricable cultural contexts. Click on corresponding image to download a PDF version of each paper.


Parasites are an intimate and inescapable form of life. As much as we try to avoid them we often become their food, and in fact contract them through the food that we ourselves eat. This article for the journal Gastronomica looks at these complex trophic relations from a biodiversity perspective.


Genetic Ancestry Testing is now a very popular method for those trying to find out more about their heritage for a variety of reasons. Many of these tests give seemingly definitive statistics for the percent "African" or "Asian" you are, while others claim to identify you are a descendant of Irish Kings or Genghis Khan.But what does this even mean? Can this kind of data really be used to make legal personal, historical or legal claims? This article outlines some of these important caveats.


Animals are they icons and avatars of humanity, from the Chicago bears to Snoopy to the Chinese zodiac they play a key role in how we understand ourselves and nature more broadly. This essay looks at the representation of animals in zines, for the journal of nature & visual culture Antennae.


Different disciplines rely on particular methods and assumptions, however there may be significant costs in the boundaries that they set as specialized communities. How can non-specialists be a part of scientific knowledge and decision-making given the complex and interwoven nature of biological phenomena today? A number of practices in contemporary art and design are engaging with biology and raising important questions about the possibilities of critical interdisciplinary engagement.


Suggestions from the Animal Kingdom: a collaborative animation with Christa Donner that explores the biodiversity of reproductive modes in animals as visualized in the human body. Slipper limpets, peach aphids, hydras, and thrip mites are just a small selection of the ways that life makes more of itself...


We see patterns everywhere. The visual analogies between the astronomical and the anatomical, for example, go back thousands of years but more recently scientists are taking these connections more seriously in terms of data visualization. This brief article mentions some of those efforts in the area of "Astronomical Medicine."


Historically the ants and bees have been held up as paragons of cooperation and communality. A metaphor for what's missing in our human way of being, the social insects seem to offer quite a nice ideal. This essay discusses some of the prospects and pitfalls of this argument, proposing that ants may in fact provide an interesting model, but not of the kind typically thought of. The book it appear in: Participatory Autonomy


This a a brief book review of the book Ant Encounters: Colony behavior and network interactions (2008), by Deborah Gordon. What is the nature of ant interactions and the the complex systems the colony represents? how do collective behaviors emerge and what models do we use to understand these natural systems?


Scientific illustrations are foundational to the dissemination of scientific knowledge - they communicate, conceptualize, and conjure in ways text cannot achieve. However beyond simply documents of objective information such images also charge our imaginations. I consider a re-visioning of the classic text The Life of Vertebrates found in a pile of trash in Durham, NC with this in mind; essay included.