Solomon David holding a gar.
Solomon David holding a gar. Photo provided by Solomon David.

Dr. Solomon David is an assistant professor of biological sciences at Nicholls State University who studies fish ecology and conservation. His current research focuses on “ancient fishes” (e.g. gars and bowfins), Great Lakes migratory fishes, and peripheral populations of species. He also communicates science through traditional and social media to raise awareness of the value of aquatic ecosystems and freshwater biodiversity.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Night Owl

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?

Pro-pun

3 Do you have any pets?

Gar (all seven species)!

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Yes

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Cooking

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Both

7 Do you speak any other languages?

No

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

Happy doing what I’m doing!

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

Herpetology (maybe), but happiest with Ichthyology

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

Australia

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

Flying

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

Any nature documentary episode on freshwater biodiversity (especially fishes!) There are relatively few of them (episodes) compared to other ecosystems.

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

Fieldwork on the bayou collecting fishes, or go to the movies.

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

Family, friends, fishes

15 What beverage gives you life?

Coffee (used to be SuGAR-free Red Bull in grad school)

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

Jurassic Park

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

Scientist

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

The “X” factor of fieldwork, not knowing what we will find out on the water on any given day.

19 What got you excited in science?

All the “creatures” in the outdoors, also dinosaur books.

20 What excites you about science now?

Discovering new things about organisms & systems that fascinate me; sharing those discoveries with friends, peers, students.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Binge-watching Netflix (too many shows to name)

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I’m a really good whistler.

23 What is your favorite game?

Halo

24 What is the last book you read?

Fishing Through the Apocalypse by Matthew Miller

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

Don’t be afraid to be yourself. ALSO back up your data.

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

Cook a Bowfin

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

Don’t be afraid to be yourself!

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Go outdoors, preferably on the water.

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Game of Thrones series finale*

(*at the time this question was originally answered)

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

Fish skulls….

31 What is your favorite animal?

Gars! (all seven species)

32 What is your favorite book?

Jurassic Park

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Crawfish Omelet

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Christmas or Thanksgiving (days when the family gets together)

35 What is your favorite plant?

Venus Flytrap

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Gars have been around for 154 million years; they outlasted T. rex!

37 What is your favorite season?

Summer

38 What is your favorite smell?

Earl Grey Tea (Captain Picard’s favorite)

39 What is your favorite sound?

My 6-month* old daughter laughing

(*age at the time this question was originally answered)

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I try to share science with a sense of humor

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

Pejelagarto (Spanish for gar; “crocodile fish”)

42 What is your proudest moment?

Introducing my parents to their first grandchild (my daughter)

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Cedar of Lebanon

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

So. many. GARS.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I’m really good at sleeping in; like, the whole first half of the day if given the chance…

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

Katie O’Reilly (@DrKatfish)