Science Tattoos

Science tattoos and stories:

Date: April 2014
Artist: Gus Martinez – Primary Concepts, Davis, CA
Story: This little guy was my Master’s study system. And yes, in this case, it’s a guy… It’s a male Buff-breasted Sandpiper showin’ off for the ladies by performing a lekking display right over my side there. Earning my Master’s was a huge step in my career, and I celebrated this painful milestone with an equally painful dose of ink.

Date: June 2013
Artist: Phil Geck – Primary Concepts, Davis CA
Story: Zebrafish were my gateway study system. The first science job I ever held was a volunteer internship at an aquaculture center. Nothing like waking up at 6am to siphon mouthfuls of dirty fish water while your colleagues remained sound asleep recovering from a night of actually having fun. I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. This little cyprinid got me into science, and I got the tattoo to remember that I am as passionate about doing science ¬†today as I did when I was many years ago. Will I be doing science forever? Who knows. Ask me in forever…

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Date: December 2009
Artist: Justin DeGroff – Sick Creations, Deptford NJ
Story: This tattoo is about 300bp of a North American haplotype of the Cytochrome Oxidase I subunit in small hive beetles. The first paper I ever published used this mitochondrial gene to reconstruct phylogeographic patterns of an invasive pest of honeybees (see: publications for a solid read!). To celebrate my first peer-reviewed publication, I had my poor artist spend a few hours inking the sequence onto my arm.

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Date: October 2009
Artist: Justin DeGroff – Sick Creations, Deptford NJ
Story: My first tattoo, science or otherwise. I studied female mate choice in Siamese fighting fish as an undergraduate, which culminated in me graduating with High Honors in Biology. To celebrate finishing my undergrad career with high honors for studying this fish’s mating system, I had a couple of them mating inked onto my shoulder. Definitely hooked me on science tattoos…