Auriel Fournier
Auriel Fournier. Photo provided by Auriel Fournier.

Dr. Auriel Fournier is currently a postdoctoral research assistant at Mississippi State University, specializing in bird conservation (especially the wonderful rails!) and soon to be the Director at the Stephen A. Forbes Biological Station. You can learn more about her work at her website ( or on twitter (@RallidaeRule).

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early Bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?


4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?


5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?


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


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


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

To visit a dear friend

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

Speak to animals

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

The Gulf, Making of an America Sea, has been on my mind a lot ever since I finished it.

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

Cook, Crochet, Garden, hangout with my dogs

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

Tea, Dogs, Friends

15 What beverage gives you life?

A good dark beer

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

Kingbird Highway by Kenn Kaufman (I was homeschooled, so the line between ‘in school’ and not for reading was loose)

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


18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Wanting to leave the world, and science better then I found it, a curiosity about the world

19 What got you excited in science?

Attending a bird banding demo when I was in middle school

20 What excites you about science now?

Seeing positive changes, and seeing how birds connect people with different backgrounds

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Tumblr posts of funny stories about kids told by their parents

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I am very good at cooking for large groups

23 What is your favorite game?

Oh that is tough!! Lately I’ve been really enjoying the card game “codenames”

24 What is the last book you read?

I’m almost always reading 3 or 4 books, so the one I finished most recently is Becoming by Michelle Obama

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

Most advice is well intentioned, but not necessarily applicable to you, choose wisely.

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

Admit how much I don’t know about most things, even things people assume I know a lot about

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

You are stronger then you know, and its ok to show that by not being so serious all the time

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Be out in nature, or dog cuddles

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Grey’s Anatomy

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

Probably the variety of cliff bars (I’m lactose intolerant, so I always carry food I can eat, just in case)

31 What is your favorite animal?


32 What is your favorite book?

Kingbird Highway, and The Name of the Wind

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Dairy-free mac and cheese

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

The first thunderstorm of the year

35 What is your favorite plant?

Any lovely smelling pine tree

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Over 2 billion birds migrate each spring through the Gulf of Mexico

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

After the rain

39 What is your favorite sound?

Sora whinny

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

Pretty level-headed

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


42 What is your proudest moment?

Probably a tie between finishing my PhD, and landing my first permanent job

43 What kind of tree would you be?

I’d love to be a live oak

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

Being on the Gulf of Mexico coast provides so many chances for fun recreation, and great food!

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I raised goats growing up.

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

Kevin Burgio (@KRBurgio)