Ahna R. Skop will speak at the MDI Science Cafe on Aug. 21. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MDI BIOLOGICAL LABORATORY

Skop to talk art, science

BAR HARBOR — Artist and scientist Ahna R. Skop will provide a glimpse into how she has influenced science, education and the public with her passions for art and science at an MDI Science Café at the MDI Biological Laboratory on Monday, Aug. 21, at 5 p.m.

Skop describes herself as a scientist by day and an artist by night. In her scientific life, she is an associate professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studies cell division in the roundworm, C. elegans. In her artistic life, she is “an avid foodie, baker and cook.”


In her talk, she will describe the interface between these worlds, which was recently symbolized on her blog site, Foodskop, by a photo of a “cell division cake,” which takes the form of a mitotic cell in the process of dividing. The cytoplasm is described as “a coffee-infused, peanut butter buttercream and ganache topped cake,” with the “DNA depicted in blue, microtubules in green and mid-body proteins in red.”

“Cooking is really home chemistry,” Skop said. “If you can follow a recipe and be creative, you can be a scientist.”

Skop’s artistic side extends to more than food, however. She is the founder and curator of the popular biennial Worm Art Show, a highlight of the International C. elegans Conference. Entries range from nematode embroideries to nematode iPhone art. There’s even a “C. elegans for social justice” category.

The cafés are sponsored by Bar Harbor Bank & Trust and Cross Insurance. Refreshments will be served. Visit mdibl.org/events/ or call 288-3147.


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