Campus & Community

Capturing curiosity

Harvard labs open their doors to let a photographer record the essence of discovery

4 min read
Professor Robin Hopkins and Izzy Acevedo looking at plants.

In the Weld Hill Research Building at Arnold Arboretum, Robin Hopkins (left), John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and research assistant Izzy Acevedo, examine a plant for speciation. Their focus is on reinforcement, the process in which reduced hybrid fitness generates selection for the evolution of reproductive isolation between emerging species.

Photographs by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Harvard’s campus and community through the lens of our photographers.

As a world-class research university, Harvard labs explore everything from capturing carbon to city planning. Cross-collaboration and community are the threads that tie them all together.

“The science of electrochemistry is driving the development of new frontiers,” said Kiana Amini, a postdoctoral fellow in Michael Aziz’s flow battery lab at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Collaborating with my colleagues, exchanging knowledge and expertise, and contributing to the development of sustainable energy storage and carbon capture is an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences student Noah Lopez agreed. “It is an absolute pleasure to engage in regeneration research in the Whited Lab,” said Lopez. “We place great importance in fostering a sense of community, collaboration, and mentorship within our lab.”

For Professor Kathryn Franich, it’s the diversity of speech that she explores in her research in the Linguistics Lab. “A big part of our work looks at how differences in structure across languages — such as whether a language is a tonal language or a stress-based language — influence speech timing and coordination,” she explained.

Nia Faith ’26, Summer REU student, works with a scanner.
Grace Burgin works at a science lab bench.

Nia Faith ’26, a veteran of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program, works with a scanner in the Hopkins Lab. Grace Burgin, a graduate student in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, gets busy at the bench.

Kyeong Baek (left) and Nicole Taylor use Molecular beam epitaxy.
Kyeong Baek (left) and Nicole Taylor use molecular beam epitaxy, an ultraprecise form of evaporation in high-vacuum environments, to synthesize thin-film metals.
Molecular beam epitaxy
Margaret Anderson uses Molecular beam epitaxy.

Margaret Anderson uses the same process inside Julia Mundy’s Lab.

Christina (Tina) Warinner extracts proteins and looks at dental calculus samples.
Christina (Tina) Warinner, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, extracts proteins and looks at dental calculus samples in a clean room in the biology labs. Warinner specializes in biomolecular archaeology, with an emphasis on reconstructing the prehistory of human foods and the evolution of the microbiome.
Inside the Peabody Museum, students work with a 3D scanner.
Melina Seabrook and Christina (Tina) Warinner,.

Warinner’s students work with a 3D scanner in the Peabody Museum. Melina Seabrook, (left), a GSAS graduate student in anthropology, performs bone sampling and collagen extraction using sheep mandibles as Warinner looks on.

Noah Lopez, Shifa Hossain ’23, and Jessica Whited engage in research using a MinION bench top.
In the Whited Lab, GSAS grad student Noah Lopez (from left), undergrad Shifa Hossain ’23, and Assistant Professor Jessica Whited engage in cell research using a MinION. The portable device is used for DNA and RNA sequencing.
Priscilla Cheav ’25 in class.
Priscilla Cheav ’25 works on a city planning model.

Priscilla Cheav ’25 works on a city planning model during a winter session workshop at the Art Lab.

Kiana Amini uses a fume hood electrochemical carbon capture.
SEAS postdoctoral fellow Kiana Amini uses a fume hood electrochemical carbon capture and release station while studying flow batteries with Michael Aziz’s group at the McKay Lab.
Kia Hardcastle and Cheshta Bhatia work on motor learning.
Kia Hardcastle, a postdoctoral fellow in instruction and research, and Cheshta Bhatia (blue shirt), a GSAS Ph.D. candidate, work on motor learning in Bence Ölveczky’s lab.
Michal Szurek and Alexander Douglas, and Ognjen Markovic “analyze images of single atoms."
Markus Greiner, “analyzes images of single atoms moving around in an optical lattice”

GSAS students Michal Szurek (from left), Alexander Douglas, and Ognjen Markovic (hand shown), study images of single atoms moving in an optical lattice. Markus Greiner’s Urbium Lab uses ultracold quantum gases on optical lattices to simulate models from condensed matter physics. Using a microscopy technique developed in the lab, they can see and manipulate individual atoms to perform experiments with remarkable levels of control and accuracy. Greiner analyzes images of single atoms moving around in an optical lattice.

Michal Szurek, Alexander Douglas,Ognjen Markovic, “analyze images of single atoms moving around in an optical lattice.”
Szurek (from left), Douglas, and Ognjen Markovic analyze images of single atoms moving in an optical lattice.