Overview

My speciality is telling visual stories in science. From paleontology to patient education, I believe that there is an intuitive, engaging way to explain every subject, no matter what the audience.

My projects have been designed to meet the needs of a variety of groups, including students, researchers, and the general public.

Please enjoy this sample of my work, and explore some of my current interests below.
 

Comics

Stories in science and healthcare

Naturally, my love of visual storytelling extends to comics. As both a reader and creator of comics content, I have a deep respect for the medium.

Comics are able to closely mimic real lived experiences, recreating point of view, dialogue, and the immediacy of emotions through both literal images and visual metaphors. For this reason, they are frequently used in both personal and academic healthcare narratives.

I recently completed my own graphic medicine story-- 'Cat's Tongue: A Story about Social Anxiety' (excerpt left). It is currently updated weekly as a webcomic.

 

Research

The fascinating teeth of Captorhinus aguti

An Animation Challenge

Video link↗.

C. aguti is a small reptile that lived during the later Paleozoic (roughly 290 million years ago). It is often studied as an ancestral species to modern reptiles, but its mechanism of tooth development is evolutionarily unique: it possesses several rows of teeth that are replaced continuously during its lifetime.

However, unlike sharks and other vertebrates with multiple tooth rows, the teeth of C. aguti are not replaced on an individual basis-- instead, entire rows shift in the bone to make way for new teeth, appearing to drift sideways due to differential rates of bone accretion and resorption. The net visual effect is one of teeth on a conveyor belt.

Reconstructing this process is a challenge, since many events must come together in space and time to produce this "drifting tooth" effect. Thus, my research involves creating an animation that will effectively describe C. aguti tooth replacement for paleontology researchers and students.

The lower jaw of C. aguti (retopologized 3D scan of fossil)

Committee

Supervisor:
Dave Mazierski, BScAAM, MSc, CMI
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Communications,
Institute of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine,
University of Toronto

Content Advisor:
Robert Reisz, BSc, MSc, PhD
Professor, Division of Vertebrate Paleontology,
Department of Biology,
University of Toronto
 

About

Alice F. Zheng is a biomedical artist living in Toronto. She completed her BScH in Biology at Queen's University, and holds an MScBMC from the University of Toronto

Skills

Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Maya, 3D-Coat, Cinema4D, a variety of traditional media, and competitive Scrabble

Contact

Let's get in touch! I can be reached at
fff.zheng [at] gmail.com or
twitter↗ and linkedin↗