Rutgers doctoral student Julia Van Etten, whose @Couch_Microscopy Instagram page garnered more than 25,000 followers by showcasing microorganisms as art, has been working with NASA on research into how red algae can help explain the origins of life on Earth.
In this film, Van Etten, a graduate student in the Ecology and Evolution Graduate Program, speaks about her work on algal genomes that addresses the evolution of cells on the early Earth.
Van Etten also describes her @couch_microscopy project on Instagram that documents microbial life for non-experts and has reached thousands of people. Debashish Bhattacharya, Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Microbiology at Rutgers University, introduces Van Etten and discusses the wonderful world of algae. Van Etten’s work at Rutgers is supported by NASA and the Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute.
Van Etten just received a Rutgers University School of Graduate Studies University and Louis Bevier Fellowship in recognition of her work and to support the final year of her dissertation! She plans to pursue a career in academics, focusing on teaching and research at a university.