Two young boys draw near the spikes. “Look up into the mirror,” Mock encourages them. “Now tell me what you see.”

“The same thing,” one of the boys replies.

“That’s right!” Mock says. “The process of evolution keeps repeating, going in a loop.”

This year’s Atlanta Science Festival had a unique event that the Morran Lab had the opportunity to be a part of called Science.Art.Wonder (S.A.W).

S.A.W was the brainchild of our colleague, Dr. Nicole Gerardo. This project paired over 100 individual artists (mostly undergraduates) with laboratories across both Emory and Georgia Tech with the goal to share a researcher group’s work through art. We were paired with an Emory undergraduate, Ethan Mock, who created a thrilling 3D model of his vision of the red queen hypothesis.


Above, you can see black fishing lures (representing the C. elegans) crawling over jagged points of red paint (resembling Serratia marcescens, the worms’ pathogen, and happily also looking a lot like blood). The worm at the top of the art piece is perhaps the one who is able to get away from the deadly parasite due to superior immune genes, behavior, or some other beneficial attribute, and then go on to create offspring.

Read more about the Emory art exposition (and to learn more about Ethan’s project), here in this EXCELLENT article:

eScienceCommons: Science Art Wonder: Students team with labs to bring research to life

Ethan’s art was also represented during the Atlanta Science Festival Exposition, held in Piedmont Park on Saturday, March 24th. IMG_3684IMG_3685

Thanks, Ethan, for letting us be a part of your art!!


Outreach at Morningside Elementary

The Morran lab shares its research with the students at Morningside Elementary School in Atlanta, GA. The students had the opportunity to see worms under the microscopes and learn how worms find “safe” food.

Community Outreach

The Morran Lab visits Morrow Elementary School in Morrow, GA to demonstrate how C. elegans avoid pathogens- without vision capabilities! The students had a blast using their noses to locate the yummy food (chocolate chip cookies) and avoid the yucky food (rotten eggs)!

The students also had the opportunity to use the microscopes and identify different C. elegans lifestages.

Graduating with Highest Honors

Congratulations to Morran Lab undergraduates Will Milligan and Jae Hoon Cho for successfully defending their Honor’s Theses and graduating with Highest Honors!


Jae Hoon’s thesis is entitled, “Parasite virulence and the maintenance of outcrossing in the Caenorhabditis elegans and Serratia marcescens system”
Jae Hoon is heading to Amherst College as a research technician for Dr. Michael Hood.

Will and Levi Graduate 2017
Will and Levi, College of Arts and Sciences Graduation, Emory University, May 2017

Will’s thesis is entitled, “An empirical test of Baker’s Law”
Will is off to Columbia University as a grad student in the JD/PhD program in Biological Sciences.