Bio Summit 5.0: Nymph of the Dark Water with Nathalie Dubois Calero

Hosted through Global Community Bio summit
November 19 - 21, 2021
Written by Inès Mastellotto - Lesny

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) held their Global Community Bio Summit 5.0 from November 19—21 and Nathalie Dubois-Calero was invited to give an artist talk. Aiming to be a catalyst for movement and an advocate for the accessibility of life sciences to communities globally, the Summit bridges together a diverse collection of biologists. They provide a platform for exposure and act as a bio-praxis incubator to create a fertile environment of collective action, shared knowledge, and resources (fully spelled out in their mission statement) 1

With a Ph.D. in plant science and experience with microorganisms and human dermal microbiota, Nathalie’s presentation, Nymph of the Dark Water, synthesized both her scientific and artistic practices. Her talk sought to showcase her findings regarding Why do we host microalgae amongst our dermal microbiota (microorganisms present on the different layers of the skin) from thousands of years? Nobody knows exactly, and that ignorance opens the door for scientific, poetic, and artistic answers. Because they are difficult to cultivate in vitro, I grow them directly on my body for weeks. I make a Petri dish of myself where I can experiment with different nutrient media. I will share my technique and some information about those mysterious algae.2

Learn more about the Global Community Bio Summit 5.0 at

  1. “Our Shared Purpose is to fundamentally transform life sciences & democratize biotechnology to inspire creativity and improve lives by organizing life science change-makers and bio enthusiasts to build an inclusive global network, cultivate an accessible commons of knowledge and resources, launch community labs and projects and enable local educators” Walker, J. T., Strawhacker, A., Angleton, C., Allan, J., Konwar, A., Obayomi, O. & Kong, D. S., (Eds.), 2021. Proceedings of the Global Community Bio Summit (GCBS) 4.0, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Retrieved from:
  2. Nathalie Dubois-Calero Bio Summit 2021 statement.