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Serena Lotreck

What was the inspiration behind your artwork?

My art was inspired by my vision for my research. I see a future where our knowledge is based in peer-reviewed scientific articles, but can easily "take wing" (like the cranes in this piece) when it's extracted by artificial intelligence, as it will be much easier for humans to quickly find, read and digest the information they need.  The tree represents our growth as a scientific community from the more difficult-to-read full text articles, to simple graphical representations of knowledge that are easy to browse and use.

What do you see as the similarity between science and art? Why is science-art important in today's society?

To me, the similarity between science and art lies in the inspiration and creativity required to do both activities. My research is a wildly creative process in which I am asked to dream big, and imagine a future that I want to build towards with my work. From the small details of my every day work to the overarching ideas of where I think my research is headed, I have to be creative and innovative to imagine next steps and overcome challenges. This is the same way I felt while coming up with a piece of art for this exhibit; I had a vision, and then had to be creative to execute it. Science-art is important in our society because it helps make that process clear to the general public, and de-mystify the process of science. Providing analogies to the scientific process, as well as visual or tactile representations of scientific research, we make the work we do much more accessible and understandable to the world.

Get to know the artist!

Serena Lotreck is a second year PhD student in the Plant Biology and Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering programs. She studies the application of computational technologies to solving problems in plant biology.

Get in touch!

Follow Serena on Twitter @SLotreck, keep up with her work on her website or send her a message at

Behind the scenes

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