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World of Plankton team




sandra at dwfi                                   IMG_5300

Department of the Arts
Games and Simulation Arts & Sciences (GSAS)
School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences Team

Kathleen Ruiz—Associate Professor of Integrated Arts & GSAS, Lead Artist, Creative Designer, Director, Producer

Kathy High—Professor of Video & New Media, Co-Producer of 3D Prints

Ian Stead—Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication '04, 3D Environment Art/ Design/Production Consultant


Science Team

Rick Relyea—Professor of Biological Sciences, Director of the Jefferson Project 

Sandra Nierzwicki-Bauer—Professor of Biology, Associate Director of the Darrin Fresh Water Institute

Miriam Katz—Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Charles Stewart—Professor of Computer Science, Department Head

Lawrence Eichler—Research Scientist, Darrin Fresh Water Institute

Matt Schuler—Postdoctoral Researcher, Darrin Fresh Water Institute

Jeremy Farrell—Postdoctoral Researcher, Darrin Fresh Water Institute  

Brian Mattes—Senior Research Specialist, Darrin Fresh Water Institute 

Krysia Kornecki—Geology, Presidential Graduate Research Fellow

Hendrik Weidman—Computer Science, Doctoral Student


Production Team

Eric Lujan—Computer Science & GSAS ‘20, Project Manager

Sol Toder—Computer Science & GSAS ‘19, Programmer/Designer

Hongyang Lin—Electronic Arts & GSAS ‘20, Programmer/3D Modeler

Autumn Walters—Computer and Systems Engineering & eARTS ‘20, Artist//Programmer

Connor Fahey—Computer Science & GSAS ‘17, Lead Programmer/Project Manager

Samuel Chung—eARTS & GSAS ‘20, Artist/3D Modeler

Andrew Son—Computer Science & Information Technology and Web Science ‘20, Associate Programmer

Harrison Essig—Computer Science ‘19, Associate Programmer

Christiana ChiusanoeARTS ‘15, Animator/Lead 3D Modeler

Evan Daniel Rose Gonzalez—eARTS ‘16, Audio Designer/Composer

Matthew Carlson—Computer Science & GSAS ‘19, Associate Programmer

Jerry Huang—Architecture ‘19, Lead 3D Print Designer

Justin Cirigliano—Computer Science & GSAS ‘16, Programmer

Leo Antelyes—GSAS ‘16, Animator/Audio Designer

Yijia Chen—Arts & GSAS ‘17: Artist/3D Modeler

Phillip Cioni—Computer Science & GSAS ‘17, Programmer

Domenic Cristaldi—Computer Science & GSAS ‘16, Programmer

Dashiell Kieler—Computer Science & GSAS ‘16, Designer/Programmer

Andrew Morris—Computer Science & GSAS ‘15, AI Programmer

Emily Lujan, Video Editor

Tobi Saulnier—Computer & Systems Engineering ‘10, CEO of 1st Playable Productions

Kevan DuPont—eArts ‘15, Animator

Abdul Brown, Animator/Modeler

Justin Candeloro, GSAS ‘09 Designer/Production Manager

James Marcil, Programming Consultant




Kathleen Ruiz, Ph.D. abd is an internationally exhibiting media artist who works with simulation, games, photography and sculpture exploring the resonance of scientific and technological issues in culture.  Her current research is centered on simulation, perspective and empathy - exploring first-person experience, intentionality, and the possibilities for simulation media to approach a non-colonizing understanding of “other.” She is an Associate Professor of Integrated Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where she co-created the GSAS program and where she teaches courses in Advanced Digital Imaging, Experimental Game Design, and Vertical Studios in Integrated and Environmental Arts.\~ruiz

Kathy High is an interdisciplinary artist and educator working with time based arts, visual arts and biology. High is Professor of Video and New Media in the Department of the Arts, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY - a department specializing in integrated experimental arts practices.

Jefferson Kielwagen is an artist and activist from Brazil. He has an MFA from Michigan State University and teaches in the Art Department at Rensselaer in Troy, NY. He was project director of the first pride parade in Joinville, Brazil, where he also helped conceive and organize the 2015 conference INVENTANDO GENEROS (Inventing Genders). His art practice deals with issues of identity, violence and religion. He has exhibited internationally, including the 2013 and 2015 editions of the Ghetto Biennale, in Haiti.

Chuck Stewart is a Professor and Head of the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His research is in computer vision, with applications in ecology and environmental conservation. See IBEIS project (Image-Based Ecological Information System).

Hendrik Weidman is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he is using machine learning for the automatic identification of plankton species from images captured by an underwater camera.

Sandra Nierzwicki-Bauer is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Director of Rensselaer's Darrin Fresh Water Institute on the shore of Lake George, N.Y.  She is internationally known for her work in the molecular studies of microbial and picoeukaryote communities in lakes and rivers, studies of invasive species, and expertise in water resource management. She has been involved with and led many large and long term interdisciplinary research projects involving water quality in Lake George, acid rain in the Adirondacks, and invasive species nationally.

Jeremy Farrell is a Postdoctoral Associate working at Rensselaer's Darrin Fresh Water Institute. His research is focused on freshwater ecology using traditional and advanced sensor technologies and big data analyses. He has carried out ground-breaking studies that use hydroacoustics for detection of the invasive Eurasian Watermilfoil, as well as in situ real-time sensors for studying water quality, water circulation, and contaminants into Lake George through storm water run-off.

Lawrence Eichler is a research scientist with the Darrin Fresh Water Institute, an environmental research division of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute located on Lake George in Bolton Landing, New York.  Larry’s research interests include aquatic chemistry and biology with a focus on aquatic plants, particularly the effects of exotic invasive species on native plant assemblages.  

Rick Relyea, Ph.D., is Executive Director, Darrin Fresh Water Institute, Director of The Jefferson Project, and David M. Darrin ’40 Senior Endowed Chair, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Brian Mattes is a Senior Research Specialist currently working in Dr. Rick Relyea’s lab at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has a variety of research interests, ranging from freshwater ecology to developmental biology. He specializes in zooplankton and other aquatic micro-organisms.

Matthew S. Schuler, is a postdoctoral researcher working in Dr. Rick Relyea’s lab at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who studies how ecological factors alter patterns of species richness across spatial and temporal scales. Much of Matthew’s research addresses questions related to the roles of resource abundance, resource heterogeneity, and assessing the spatial scales at which resource heterogeneity becomes important. He has recently started investigating the roles of environmental stressors on aquatic community diversity and function.

Justin Cirigliano is a member of the class of 2016 at RPI, with a dual major in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences and Computer Science. His interest in ecology stems from spending summers at a nature center, and he has made biologically-themed games before, but the World of Plankton is the most realistic simulation he’s had a part in making so far.

Leo Antelyes is a member of the class of 2016 at Rensselaer. He majored in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences and was responsible for the visual effects programming of the World of Plankton. Now he is working in California as a software engineer in the satellite communication industry.

Evan-Daniel Rose-González is a New York-based composer and improviser working under the name Opaque Body. His past work includes the soundtrack and sound design for Arcane Kids' Zineth as well as an assortment of solo and ensemble work including Flo: The Watershed Project.

Christina Chiusano is a recent graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Electronic Arts, concentrating in Visual Arts and Animation. She is a part-time freelance artist working to further develop her skill set in two-dimensional and three-dimensional digital mediums. Much of her work is governed by a devout interest in animals and environmental science.

Ian Stead is a well-known international game designer and artist who graduated from RPI in 2007 majoring in Electronic Media Arts & Communication.

Philip Cioni is a member of the class of 2017 at RPI, dual-majoring in Computer Science, and Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences. He has worked on multiple games, with World of Plankton being the first one officially released to the public. Philip has always seen games as a tool for learning, and hopes World of Plankton will inspire others to share his passion.

Connor Fahy is a Computer Science and Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences dual major at RPI. He’s a jack of all trades programmer with a passion for making game AI and simulations.

Julius Lee is an animator recently graduated from RPI. He worked as a project manager for the World of Plankton project for half of a year.

Andrew Morris is a recent RPI graduate and joined World of Plankton close to its inception. He worked as a programmer and designer for the project in 2015.