Featured EyeWirer: @ketta

A behind the scenes look at the EyeWire community.

Meet the EyeWirers who are mapping the retinal connectome. This week’s Featured EyeWirer is Jennifer Rose aka @ketta.


So, tell the world a little about yourself.

My name is Jennifer Rose and I live in Oregon (US). I’m a student at Oregon State University and am a zoology major with a minor in horticulture. I’m nearly 40 but only now getting started with earning degrees…I was not so driven and motivated in my ‘younger life’. I hope to focus in birds (ornithology), and I’d love to study intelligence in corvids (crows and jays).

Why do you play EyeWire?

I play EyeWire because it’s the PERFECT game to play for my play-style needs. For example, it’s very difficult for me to sit still and do anything like watch my favorite tv shows or movies (I’m very fidgety), nor can I just play a game and get involved (something has to be going on the background or I get fidgety and bore quickly). I can easily play EyeWire and pay attention to a show at the same time; I can also listen to recorded study notes for classes and play. Finally, a huge reason why I play is because I feel like my playing is contributing to something (something awesome…science!), so it has a purpose! I *love* gaming, particularly MMOGs, but now that I’m going back to school, this game feels far more purposeful and doesn’t take away huge chunks of my much-needed daily life.

How did you discover EyeWire?

I discovered EyeWire on Facebook through a page I subscribe to called I F–king Love Science.

Share a short story that helps the world get to know you.

For much of my adult life, I didn’t have direction. This was despite knowing that I loved birds and soaked up knowledge like a sponge, that I’m crafty and creative, and that I love gardening. I’m one of those people that has a hard time getting motivated, but once I am, I finish what I start.

A few years ago, after being at a job I loved but got paid very little for (running a warehouse for a huge fabric store), I was watching the Planet Earth series narrated by David Attenborough. I realized that he had been an inspiration to me my whole life, and that I’d wanted to meet him since I was little and saw reruns of Zoo Quest. I reasoned with myself that if I REALLY wanted to meet him someday (and it has to be soon, no one lives forever and he’s in his early 80s), I needed to get serious with my life–particularly in the profession I’d always dreamed of.

So, after a couple of days I came up with a plan–getting my old student loans out of default (which took a year), finished my Associates degree (which took three years), and am now a junior at OSU. And of course, I know I’m not in this journey *just* to hopefully meet David Attenborough someday, but also to fulfill a dream I’ve had since I was about seven years old.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m not a self-professed nerd; I’ve been categorized as such since I was little (long before it had positive associations!)–so if you’re ever chatting with me while playing EyeWire, you should know that I’ll probably say some fairly nerdy things (like go on about some critter or another, in a ‘Hey, did you know..?’ sense). I apologize in advance! 🙂

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