Anthony Caravaggi
Anthony Caravaggi. Photo provided by Anthony Caravaggi

Anthony is a conservation biologist, lecturer and science communicator based at the University of South Wales. He runs the Twitter-based science communication project, Biotweeps (@biotweeps), is a proud nerd, and enjoys outdoor pursuits, rugby, science fiction, baking, reading, board games and weight lifting. You can find him on Twitter (@thonoir), or check out his website (https://arcaravaggi.github.io/) for more on his research.

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?

Not yet and also sort of. We have a family cat but she lives with my mam. My partner, daughter and I are looking at adopting a tortoise, soon.

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Yes

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Baking

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Both

7 Do you speak any other languages?

Does Klingon count? I kid (though I am tempted to give it a shot). I’m rather ashamed of being unilingual and do have ambitions to learn several languages.

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

I’m too old and injured to be a professional rugby player, so I’d be an actor.

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

Palaontology

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

New Zealand or the Amazon

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

Shape-shifting, with a side-line in accelerated healing

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

Oh my, where to start? This is almost as bad as asking about my Top 10 [insert catgory]. I’ll keep it simple, for each.
In terms of reading, almost anything by Terry Pratchett.
For viewing, Life on Earth and The Living Planet were big influences on me, as all David Attenborough’s documentaries have been, so I’ll pick them.
For listening, I’ll pick one of my favourite albums off the top of my head – Hymn to the Immortal Wind by Mono.

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

Go for a walk in nature, play with my daughter and read a book.

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

My family, access to nature and my phone

15 What beverage gives you life?

Coffee and squash

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

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

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

A palaentologist

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Curiosity and a love of what I do

19 What got you excited in science?

I honestly don’t know that I can give a clear answer to that. It’s just something that I’ve always been interested in.

20 What excites you about science now?

The sheer number of questions that can be asked and the quest for answers.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

This might be a rubbish answer but I don’t feel particuarly guilty about the things I enjoy

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I’m not terrible at drawing

23 What is your favorite game?

Battlestar Galactica with components from expansions. Or, rugby

24 What is the last book you read?

The Tyrannosaur Chronicles by David Hone

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

There are three: “You die if you worry and you die if you don’t worry, so don’t worry”; “don’t forget to be awesome”; and “do what makes you happy”.

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

If you’d have asked me years go, it would have been to hold a tarantula as I had acute arachnophobia. But I’ve done that, now. I genuinely don’t know that there is anything else.

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

You do you, dude. Just remember that we all need help from time to time.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Either walking in nature, lifting heavy weights, or with a cup of tea and some good sci-fi.

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Umbrella Academy and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

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

Ruffed lemur feces

31 What is your favorite animal?

I’ll always have a soft spot for ruffed lemurs

32 What is your favorite book?

Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Pizza

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Christmas Day

35 What is your favorite plant?

Common oak

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Despite all our efforts and estimates, we still have no idea how many different species actually share this planet alongside us

37 What is your favorite season?

Spring

38 What is your favorite smell?

A broadleaved forest, in the spring and after it rains

39 What is your favorite sound?

My daughter, laughing. Or, the crowd singing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (the Welsh national anthem) before a big rugby match in Cardiff. Or the dawn chorus of birds in a temperate broadleaved forest. Or the beginning of the right song at the right time.

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I treat everyone fairly and with compassion.

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

Cwtch. It’s a Welsh word that means ‘to hug’ but more. Perhaps ‘to hug/cuddle with deep meaning and affection’.

42 What is your proudest moment?

Realising that I’m far more like my mother than like my father

43 What kind of tree would you be?

A common oak. I mean, it is my favourite plant.

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

The mountains. The Welsh valleys may have declined in recent decades – our coal mines have closed, public funds are being cut and services closed, we have an aging population and some of the most deprived areas in the UK – but they’re still utterly beautiful.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I broke my neck three times playing rugby. And still went back to play again.

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

@RhinoEcologist