Scott J. Davidson on the shore. Photo provided by Scott J. Davidson
Scott J. Davidson on the shore. Photo provided by Scott J. Davidson

Scott J. Davidson is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo looking at boreal peatland carbon dynamics, disturbance and restoration. You can check out his website at

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?

Just adopted a kitten called Ralph!

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?

Film reviewer/writer

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?


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

The ability to control the weather (Storm from Xmen)

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

TV show – Please Like me Movie – Can you ever forgive me?

Music – Joanna Newsom’s entire back catalogue

Podcast – All Killa No Filla

Book – Ring of Bright Water (Gavin Maxwell)

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

Go to an independent movie theatre

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

My partner, books and very quickly, Ralph the new kitten.

15 What beverage gives you life?

I really enjoy an ice cold glass of milk

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

Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell

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

A writer

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

The never ending need to find out the answer to the questions that buzz around my head about my research.

19 What got you excited in science?

The environmental extremes of the planet

20 What excites you about science now?

Fieldwork and the chance to visit remote places in the boreal and arctic regions of the world

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Hallmark Christmas movies

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I can turn my legs around the ‘wrong way’ and run

23 What is your favorite game?

Stardew Valley (or Pokemon Blue, it’s a tough choice).

24 What is the last book you read?

Paddlenorth: Adventure, Resilience, and Renewal in the Arctic Wild by Jennifer Kingsley

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

What is for you, won’t go by you

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


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

Remember that you matter and you are not less than.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Go to the movies

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Wind River

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

I carried around a (live) lemming for a whole days worth of gas flux sampling out in the tundra during my PhD in Alaska. It wouldn’t leave me alone.

31 What is your favorite animal?

Eider duck

32 What is your favorite book?

Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Gregg’s sausage roll

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

I’d have to say April 25th, because it’s not too hot, not too cold. All you need is a light jacket!

35 What is your favorite plant?

Rubus chamaemorus (Cloudberry)

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Permafrost contains around 1700 billion tons of organic material, which is almost half of all organic material in all soils

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

Clean clothes that have been dried outside.

39 What is your favorite sound?

Rain falling on a window

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I’m the funniest person I know (Ha!)

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

Fankle (Scottish word to mean getting in a tizz about something)

42 What is your proudest moment?

Graduating from my PhD and moving to Canada

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine)

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

I promised myself when I was wee I would live abroad and now I do.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I thought one Lynx was called a Link

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

@natapopovic (Natasa Popovic)