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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Hippodrome features students’ research projects as art

<p>Mitch Walters will display five photos at the Hippodrome demonstrating how the human population and urbanization affects birds. “I like so many parts of science, but research is such a key opportunity to go out there and study these birds,” he said.</p>

Mitch Walters will display five photos at the Hippodrome demonstrating how the human population and urbanization affects birds. “I like so many parts of science, but research is such a key opportunity to go out there and study these birds,” he said.

UF biology graduate students are showing off their research projects through artwork.

Eleven UF students are showcasing their studies at the Hippodrome State Theatre, and they will use photographs of landscapes and organisms to do it.

The exhibit is free to the public, and it will be open until Nov. 22. On Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Hippodrome will hold a discussion with the scientists, who will field questions about their research and art, said Sarah Carey, the event organizer.

UF zoology masters student Mitch Walters said he is excited to see his work, which is five bird photographs, in a gallery. The photos demonstrate how the human population and urbanization affects birds.

"It’s a good opportunity to show another side of what we do, not just the publications or the research," the 27-year-old said. "There’s a pretty cool side to it. I think it’ll get some pretty good attention."

Carey, who also has artwork featured in the exhibit, said she created the event to make science easier for the public to relate to.

"(We’re) getting to share with everyone the general beauty of the subjects that we spend all day long thinking (about) and looking at," the 27-year-old botany doctoral student said.

She will be showcasing seven original photographs, including one of a glowing moss placenta, which is a group of plant cells.

Hippodrome art gallery curator Chelsea Collison said it’s important to combine the arts and sciences.

"People see nature every day, but not in the way these scientists are going to allow them to view it," she said.

Peter Houlihan, a UF biology doctoral student, said he thinks his photography will educate the public about environmental problems they may not be aware of.

"The environment is such a critical part of people’s livelihood and recreation, especially in the Gainesville community where people are really active outdoors," he said.

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Houlihan said he was traveling in Madagascar this summer when he was given the opportunity to submit eight photos of endangered Florida orchids.

"I’m excited that my research is getting a chance to be communicated to a broader audience," he said. "I just enjoy relating science to everyone."

Mitch Walters will display five photos at the Hippodrome demonstrating how the human population and urbanization affects birds. “I like so many parts of science, but research is such a key opportunity to go out there and study these birds,” he said.

Sarah Carey created the event and will display seven photos in the gallery. “It surprises people that moss and other plants have placentas,” she said. “I slice apart the tissues and divide them into sections and take pictures of them.”

Peter Houlihan will display eight photos of endangered Florida orchids. He produces media content as a National Geographic Explorer and films research behind the scenes as a GoPro Ambassador.

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