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Purple Zone


Rachel Nguyen


Karen Guillemin

Purple Zone

I am a senior at William & Mary, majoring in Biology and minoring in Psychology. I work with all mediums, but focus mainly on digital art. Partnering with the Guillemin lab from the University of Oregon, which does research on microbial processes in zebrafish, I challenged myself to combine my illustrative art style with microbial research. I worked on a project for postdoc fellow Laura Desban, who focuses specifically on chemosensory receptors in zebrafish, and chemical effects on social and environmental behaviors. This particular project investigates the body odors that fish rely on to perform social behavior.

This project expanded my interest in creating more abstract and fun illustrations that represent ideas from science, to make science more tangible and accessible to different audiences. For me, the AiR experience was an incredible exploration into the intersection between art and science.

Artist Statement: 

This illustrative cover art piece represents zebrafish entering the "purple zone," and how they can detect certain concentrations of chemicals or odor fields in flumes to navigate their environment.


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