Rachael Wade
Rachael Wade. Photo provided by Rachael Wade

Rachael is a phycologist, or someone who studies seaweed, and is interested in how seaweeds interact with other organisms in their environment, particularly the services they can provide, including humans. Check out her website for more info about what she’s worked on: rachaelmwade.wordpress.com

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?

One cat (Leeloo) and one doggo (Finnegan)

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Multiple green algae prints and figures

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?

Own and run a vegan bakery and kombucha brewery

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?

New Zealand

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

Limitless self-confidence without being arrogant

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

I really loved Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. It’s incredibly empowering and I took several things from it that I try to live by.

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

Snuggle with the pets and my husband

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

Coffee, chapstick, and sunglasses

15 What beverage gives you life?

Flavored carbonated water

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

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, it’s still my favorite book

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

A marine biologist

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Pushing myself further and accomplishing more than I or anyone else ever thought possible.

19 What got you excited in science?

The ocean in general. It’s incredible that we still know more about space than our own oceans, and the creatures that live there.

20 What excites you about science now?

Learning something new everyday.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

B Horror Movies

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

Expert Sea Slug Hunter

23 What is your favorite game?

Munchkins Adventure Time Edition

24 What is the last book you read?

I’m terrible at finishing books, the last one I actually finished was In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson

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

When writing a manuscript or finishing a project, there has to be a point when you realize that it’s likely never going to be perfect, but the story remains the same, and a good story is what matters.

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

Dying my hair a wild and fun color

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

Don’t settle, identify and strive for what you deserve.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Guided meditation

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

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

I’m sure I’ve had sea slugs in my bag at some point

31 What is your favorite animal?

Obviously the sea slug Plakobranchus, but Costasiella (the sea sheep) comes in close second

32 What is your favorite book?

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Anything vegetarian from Taco Bell

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Any day in autumn

35 What is your favorite plant?

Caulerpa (green alga)

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Algae are arguably the most important photosynthesizers on the planet. They oxygenated our atmosphere and they continue to be the fastest growing and greatest producers of oxygen the planet, not to mention that they gave rise to ALL flowering plants.

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

Fresh baked cookies

39 What is your favorite sound?

Rain falling

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My empathy

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


42 What is your proudest moment?

Completing my PhD

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Does a sea palm (the brown alga Postelsia palmaeformis) count?

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

Sweater weather

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I have multiple algae tattoos

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

Dr. Jason Cantley, @JasonCantley