Some painters choose pastels. Others use oils. Shaina D’Souza’s medium is microbiology.

D’Souza, ’18, is a biochemistry and molecular biology major who spent the summer of 2017 in the lab of biology professor Laura Runyen-Janecky. The lab focuses its work on symbiotic bacteria living in tsetse flies.

But D’Souza saw other possibilities in the bacteria and the agar in which they grew them. She dyes the agar and streaks the bacteria “with a sterile sort of bacteria paintbrush apparatus,” she said. After a day or so of incubation, her images emerge.

“Sometimes they’re pathogenic,” she wrote on Instagram, “but aren’t they also wonderful?”