INCUBATOR art lab Team

INCUBATOR art lab has grown over the last 10 years from an artist lead studio/lab to a vibrant research community. Our team includes several student researchers and staff members from the arts and sciences as well as 50 cross-disciplinary undergraduate students annually. Without the contributions of these individuals, and the enlivened community we have built together, INCUBATOR art lab would not experience the volume and diversity of outputs we enjoy today.

We would also like to acknowledge the non-human contributors to INCUBATOR art lab research/creation including; the large colony of spirulina algae growing and oxygenating the lab in preparation for exhibition; the LB Agar sculptures growing microorganisms adding an olfactory funkiness that lingers around the incubator, amongst others.

Dr. Jennifer Willet

Dr. Jennifer Willet is the Director of INCUBATOR art lab and a Canada Research Chair in Art, Science and Ecology at the University of Windsor. In 2017, Willet was inducted into the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada.

Willet is an internationally recognized artist and curator in the emerging field of BioArt. Her research resides at the intersection of art and science, and explores notions of representation, the body, ecologies, and interspecies interrelations in the biotechnological field. She engages in performance, installation, photography and sculpture based artistic practices, community arts and social practice, and philosophy of science, media studies, science and technology studies, combined with protocols and life forms from the biological sciences.

From 2000-2007 Willet and Shawn Bailey collaborated on a biological/computational art collective called BIOTEKNICA. Since 2008, Willet has also collaborated with Irish artist Kira O’Reilly resulting in numerous artworks, performances, presentations and exhibitions across Europe.

In 2009 she completed her PhD in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Program at Concordia University. She taught in Studio Arts at Concordia University (2000-2007) and at the Art and Genomics Centre at the University of Leiden (2008) in the Netherlands, and now works as an Associate Professor in the School of Creative Arts, at The University of Windsor. In 2009 she opened the first biological art lab in Canada, called INCUBATOR: Hybrid Laboratory at the Intersection of Art, Science, and Ecology. In January 2018 INCUBATOR art lab launched a new custom-built BSL2 facility that is both a functional biotech laboratory and a multi-media theatre and exhibition venue. In 2019 Willet will launch a parallel space INCUBATOR Studio, an artist studio, community engagement hub and BSL1 bioart facility.

Willet has presented her projects art various venues including: RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Australia (2018), WAAG Society, Amsterdam (2017), Open Space, Victoria (2016), Artcite Inc. (2014), Plug In Institute for Contemporary Art, Winnipeg (2013), the Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, (2013) and Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto (2013), The Banff Centre, Alberta (2011), Arnolfini Museum, Bristol UK (2010), Exit Art Gallery, New York, NY (2009), Ars Electronica festival, Linz (2008), ISEA San Jose, USA (2006), Biennial Electronic Arts Perth, Perth, Australia (2004), The European Media Arts Festival, Osnabrück, Germany (2003), amongst others. She has conducted many residencies including: The Arctic Circle Norway (2014); The Banff Centre, Canada (2002,2007, 2010, 2011); and SymbioticA, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia (2004,2006).

Philip Habashy

Research Coordinator

Philip Habashy is a recent 2018 Biological Sciences graduate with the emphasis in research. Philip is currently a research coordinator and a lab technician working in the BioArt laboratory at the University of Windsor. Philip is also a SMArt (Science Meets Art) member since 2016 and created a collaborative painting called the "Tree of Life" as one of his final year projects. A few of Philip's hobbies are drawing, music, dance to random music in the lab while performing experiments, and heavily exercise to regret it the next day.

Tina Suntres

Scientific Advisor

Tina Suntres has been involved with the Incubator lab since 2012 when she took the Bioart class during her biology undergrad studies. She then completed a Masters in Biological Sciences in 2016, while still helping out in the Incubator lab as a research assistant and giving guest lectures to bioart classes. Now, she is working at the University of Windsor in the Research and Innovation Office and also completing her MBA (2021). Tina is part of the University of Windsor Research Safety Committee, and the Animal Care Committee and is currently acting as the Scientific Advisor to the Incubator lab.

Jude Abu Zaineh

Graduate Researcher

Abu Zaineh is a Palestinian-Canadian multidisciplinary artist and cultural worker. Her practice relies on the use of food and technology to investigate meanings of culture, displacement, diaspora, and belonging. She’s interested in ideals of home and community while working to develop aesthetics rooted in her childhood and upbringing in a muslim environment in the Middle East. Abu Zaineh has exhibited her work locally and internationally in: São Luis and Lisbon, Portugal; Mexico City; NYC; Toronto, and Windsor, Ontario. She recently completed a residency with the Ontario Science Centre and MOCA Toronto and is currently pursuing her PhD at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

Gillian Hughes

Research Assistant and Lab Monitor

Gillian Hughes is a Behaviour, Cognition, and Neuroscience student at the University of Windsor. She currently works as a research assistant in the Incubator Lab, and specializes in digital illustration and graphic design. She has also coauthored a scientific paper on the olfactory behaviour of Round Gobies in Dr. Zielinski's lab, and is a member of SmART UWindsor and the Avian Taxidermy club

Michael Lucenkiw

Graduate Researcher

Michael examines how technological interventions inserted into the urban landscape can reveal the complex relationships of this unique ecosystem. Revealing these relationships involves building data collection devices, collecting and presenting data, creating networks, designing software code and presenting dynamic visual representations. The work is intended to help bridge the gap of understanding between natural processes and human beings using sensors and data collection to create a narrative of environmental advocacy.

Lauren Rapp

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Lauren Rapp is a photographer, painter and sculptor in her first year as an MFA candidate at the University of Windsor. Her previous work has been included in international publications and in 2015, her work was featured on the cover of The Washington Post magazine. Her current work focuses on painting and subject research.

Lisha Liang

Research Assistant

Lisha Liang is an international student with a combined major of Visual Arts and Biochemistry from China. She is a Research Assistant and Lab Monitor at the INCUBATOR Lab. Liang previously worked in a biochemistry lab focusing on inter-cellular parasite biochemical mechanisms under the supervision of Dr. Sirinart Ananvoranich. She has gained experiences and practices in the field of bio-arts from the BioART course, and developed graphic design skills in Photoshop Adobe from AIESEC Windsor and Windsor CSSA. She is proficient in digital painting in SAI and Sketchbook pro. She is a member of LEAD, an organization hosting orientation and welcome week for first-year students at the University of Windsor.

Aleeza Tariq

Research Assistant

Aleeza Tariq is a 3rd year Biological Sciences student in the department of Biology. She is a Lab monitor for the BioArt class as well as a research assistant. Previously, she has been involved in many research programs, among which is Insect Ecology and Behaviour lab under Dr. Sherah Vanlaerhoven. She is also part of the Office of Open Learning (OOL) Course Inquiry and Redesign Initiatives under Nick Baker, which focuses on improving first year courses.