Kristen Covino (@CovinoKristen) is an avian physiologist with a primary interest in songbird migration. I consider myself a teacher-scholar and am a professor at a PUI. I do research with undergraduates leading the way!
Lab hashtag: #CovinoLab

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early Bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?

Indoor cat

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Bird paintings and marine decor (Wife is marine biologist)

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?

I used to speak a little Italian with my grandparents, but I’m not good at it any more.

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

Military medic/doctor

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

I don’t want to switch!

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

Drop me somewhere in an eastern forest (during spring/summer specifically)

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

Memory (remembering all details, total recall!)

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

Read: Ordinary Men
Watch: Band of Brothers (HBO series on WWII)

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

Play with my children (twins)

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

Coffee, my contacts (so I can actually see things), wine

15 What beverage gives you life?

Coffee (duh)

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

Ordinary Men

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

A veterinarian

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Impacting the lives of my students (and others)

19 What got you excited in science?

Asking questions and figuring out how to answer them

20 What excites you about science now?

Doing science with amazing collaborators (including students)

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?


22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I’m pretty good at playing tag

23 What is your favorite game?

Chicken Foot (it’s a domino game)

24 What is the last book you read?

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

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

Be comfortable being who you are

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

I honestly cannot think of anything

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

Forget about what you think other people think of you. Don’t try to make yourself into what you think other people want, figure out who you are and just be that.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Gin (tonic optional) or walking in an eastern forest

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Super Wings (kids show)

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

I’m not sure I am a good judge of weird anymore. A live King Snake; vials of bird blood; A Snowy Owl skull

31 What is your favorite animal?

Warblers the former genus Dendroica (now Setophaga)

32 What is your favorite book?

Sibley Birds

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Spaghetti and meatballs

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

My birthday

35 What is your favorite plant?


36 What is your favorite science fact?

Hemoglobin changes its binding affinity for oxygen based on the pH (e.g. CO2) present in tissues thus ensuring that the most oxygen gets to the most active tissues.

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

Eastern forest after a short rain

39 What is your favorite sound?

Catharus thrushes (all of them)

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My family (not really about me but…it’s my favorite thing)

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

I’m cheating. Cento anni (pronounced something like ‘ghen-dian’) is an Italian toast that basically means another hundred [years]. My grandfather said it all the time at supper.

42 What is your proudest moment?

When my children (twins) were born!!!

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Live Oak

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


45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I came super close to joining the military. But the it didn’t work out and the events that happened because of it not working out lead me to meet my spouse 🙂

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

Darcy Ernst (@birdphys)