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Lift a rock, and you’ll find me there.

Hey, it’s me, Chris Tucker! No, not that Chris Tucker: I don’t know Jackie Chan, and if you ask nicely I am fine with you touching my radio. Although, to be honest, how green would that be?
Anyway; as you have probably guessed by this point, I am a new contributor here at Mad Art Lab and this is my ever so classic obligatory introduction post.

I was trying to decide what I should write about to properly introduce myself, and decided what better way than to talk about what got me brought on board: my job, or more precisely my penchant for taking pictures at my job.

Application of immersion oil to a microscope slide.

I am a microbiologist. I’m not a research microbiologist, or some cool forensics scientist, I work in a regulatory lab. I test your food before you eat it, in hopes that I can keep you from getting sick. That means I spend a lot of time putting food products into bags filled with media and letting them incubate for a day or two, and then trying to see what I can get to grow in petri dishes.
To many people every step of this seems to produce one disgusting thing after the next, but to me there is something cool, or pretty, or just really weird and neat at each turn. So I take pictures. Pictures of the enrichment bags, pictures of the pipettes, pictures of the petri dishes; I take pictures of pretty much everything.

Ecoli flourescence
A fluorescent strain of E.coli used as a positive control.

Outside of work, I also continue my love of taking pictures of things most people ignore. I love learning about, studying, and photographing mushrooms, slime molds, or basically anything squiggly, icky, or slimy. And that’s the kind of thing you can expect from me here. Whenever there is a map of Japan’s rail system made out of slime mold, I’ll be here to tell you about it. When there is a TED talk about wrapping you body in mycelium to aide in decomposition, I’ll make sure you don’t miss it. Whenever I find a cicada carcass being eaten by ants, you’ll know about it. Every time I see a slime covered stinkhorn thrusting its way out of the ground, you’ll get to feel slightly awkward about how phallic it is. When I am at work at get to melt meat in sulfuric acid to determine the amount of protein it contains, I’ll show you how beautiful it can be.

I hope that through me, you will come to not only appreciate, but perhaps come to love the beauty in those dank, musty corners of science most don’t don’t think to look.

Chris T.

Chris is a microbiologist with a passion for nature. He has a degree in Natural History and spends his time taking pictures of mushrooms, riding his bike, painting, and watching tv.

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  1. Thanks, Donna! And don’t worry, I’m working on a couple mushroom posts right now. 🙂

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