Alex Bond holding a Gough Island Finch on Gough Island.
Alex Bond holding a Gough Island Finch on Gough Island. Photo provided by Alex Bond.

Dr. Alex Bond is an ecologist and conservation biologist, with a focus on marine birds and oceanic islands. You can learn more about his research at his website (https://alexanderbond.org/) or on twitter (@TheLabAndField).

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early Bird

2 Are you pro or anti-pun?

Pro-pun

3 Do you have any pets?

Webster the big fluffy grey rescue cat. He’s moved twice with us (Newfoundland-Saskatchewan-England)!

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

No home office is complete without a selection of bird skulls!

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Baking

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Sweet

7 Do you speak any other languages?

French, and some basic Russian. I’m also (slowly) learning Welsh

8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?

It’s a toss-up between archivist and stage acting.

9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?

Public health

10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?

Right now? It’s a bit cold to head back home to Canada, so probably Italy or Croatia

11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?

To instantly fix injustice

12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?

This TEDx talk by Panti Bliss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIhsv18lrqY

13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?

Lie in bed with a cuppa (tea) and a good book

14 What are three things you can’t live without?

Tea, binoculars, camera

15 What beverage gives you life?

Have I mentioned tea yet?

16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?

Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy

17 What did you want to be be when you grew up?

An optometrist

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Seeing the successes of friends

19 What got you excited in science?

I was always probably excited about science, but my high school science teacher, Mr Beatty, really instilled it as a passion.

20 What excites you about science now?

I work mostly in conservation biology, so it’s often a combination of needing to find a solution to a problem, or provide data to answer a question.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Cookies. They just aren’t safe around me.

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

Improv. I was in a semi-pro improv theatre troupe for many years

23 What is your favorite game?

Cribbage

24 What is the last book you read?

Not Guilty: Queer stories from a century of discrimination, by Sue Elliott & Steve Humphries

25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?

If there’s something that you want, but it doesn’t exist, make it yourself.

26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?

Going to a gym

27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?

Life will get so much more unbelievably better. Hang in there.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Loud classical music, ideally Claude Debussy

29 What is the last thing you watched?

The 3rd season finale of The West Wing (again)

30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?

Leaving aside things in the field (I do study seabirds, after all), probably a box of rat skulls.

31 What is your favorite animal?

Razorbill. So svelte!

32 What is your favorite book?

I’ll always go back to The Lord of the Rings

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Cream of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

I’ve always been partial to October 5th

35 What is your favorite plant?

In the house, Aloe vera. Outside, give me a spruce forest any day of the week

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Albatrosses can spend the first 10-15 years of their life at sea, never coming to land

37 What is your favorite season?

Fall

38 What is your favorite smell?

It’s a tie between bread baking in an oven and a wood fire

39 What is your favorite sound?

The chaos of a seabird colony

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I like to think I’m approachable?

41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?

Naturgeschichtsentdeckungswochenende (roughly, natural history discovery weekend)

42 What is your proudest moment?

Landing my current job in charge of the bird collection at The Natural History Museum

43 What kind of tree would you be?

A big old banyan

44 What’s the best thing about where you live?

We’ve got 300 km of cycling trails in the city

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

Since 2005, I’ve spent close to 4 years living in the field

46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?

Steph Borrelle (@petrelstation)