About me

I find it quite awkward to write a page about myself…

I am Ine. I studied biology at the University of Leuven and finished a PhD there in evolutionary biology, using the waterflea Daphnia magna as a model species.

Waterfleas are cute, they are humble and they are great, all at the same time. All this waterflea-related drawing started in the lab in Leuven, where I work. It often happens that someone says, while cleaning Daphnia cultures, ‘imagine if these fleas could…’ or ‘what if…’.

At some point I started drawing some of these “what-ifs” and pretty soon, things kind of got out of control from there…

Waterfleas are amazing creatures, and because they have such basic body shape, you can draw them into almost anything. Add an entire lab full of inspiring people to that, and the result is endless ideas for cartoons and animation. Suddenly, I had a wesite.


The website is set up as a blog. Every new item will appear on the home page. You can find older items through the categories they were posted in. Every tab (Animation – Flea-free stuff – Philosoflea – Whimsical) explains what you can find in a certain category. I will add more categories (and tabs) as I add more drawings. Drawings started out to be mostly about waterfleas, but having left the lab where I used to work and get my inspiration, I will upload non-flea related content as well.

Everything on this website can be used in non-commercial scientific work (e.g. presentations, posters,…). Just be fair about it and mention my name (Ine Swillen) and where the drawing came from (i.e. this website).

If you want to use a drawing for something else, please let me know first at ‘ine.swillen [at] gmail.com’. Thanks!





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