Aaron Alcala, a Ph.D. candidate in genetics at UGA, won Arcadia Science’s first SciComm Hackathon with “One Cell to Rule Them All: Chlamydomonas,” a video that explains how studying a type of green algae has led to landmark discoveries that shed light on human health. He also produced a video for an earlier round of the competition that explores the question “Why Study Glowing Animals?

Alcala’s research focuses on how genes are regulated to build body parts during embryonic development, and how changes during this process can lead to the evolution of novel forms and structures. During his five years at UGA, he’s worked with the embryos of mice, lizards, snakes, turtles and alligators in the lab of Douglas Menke, professor and director of UGA’s Developmental Biology Alliance. Alcala, who earned M.S. and B.S. degrees in biology at Georgia State University, will graduate in August.