Alex Fitzpatrick holding a bone. Photo provided by Alex Fitzpatrick
Alex Fitzpatrick holding a bone. Photo provided by Alex Fitzpatrick

Alex is a zooarchaeologist and PhD candidate at the University of Bradford, as well as an occasional scicomm writer . You can find her writing at www.animalarchaeology.com, or listen to her podcast, ”ArchaeoAnimals”, which she co-hosts with Simona Falanga on the Archaeology Podcast Network (www.archaeologypodcastnetwork.com/animals).

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Night owl

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?

Anti-pun

3 Do you have any pets?

Does a family dog back in the US count? Her name is Nana and she’s a Beagle!

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Alongside my actual skeletal reference collection, I also have many replicas of animal skulls which are scattered all over the house.

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Neither

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Savory

7 Do you speak any other languages?

French, German, and very little Norwegian and Cantonese picked up from my family.

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

I’d have my own herbal apothecary up in Edinburgh, probably.

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

Zoology – it would be nice to work with LIVING animals for a change!

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

I’d save it for the next time my family wants me to visit – it’s expensive to fly to the United States, okay?

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

Ability to manipulate plant life.

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

Watch – Schitt’s Creek
Read – Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown
Listen – Cuz I Love You by Lizzo

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

People get days off? I’d sleep. I love sleeping and I don’t do enough of it.

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

My Kindle/My iPhone/A pair of cotton dungarees

15 What beverage gives you life?

Coffee with sugar and a lot of non-dairy milk.

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

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

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

A scientist. No particular kind of scientist, just “a scientist”. I wasn’t a very narrow-thinking sort of kid growing up, I think.

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Spite – specifically all of my previous teachers who didn’t think I’d amount to much. It’s a hell of a motivator!

19 What got you excited in science?

My Dad – he was an aerospace engineer who has worked for NASA among other government institutions and he also introduced me to science fiction as a kid.

20 What excites you about science now?

Creating and developing new theories and frameworks with friends and colleagues.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Vine compilation videos on YouTube, sue me.

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I can tap dance! I used to be a dancer in a previous life, even danced competitively and in professional companies.

23 What is your favorite game?

Stardew Valley

24 What is the last book you read?

Pleasure Activism – Adrienne Maree Brown

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

“Don’t leave a forwarding address” – my Mom on student loans

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

Get my nose pierced! I’ve got loads of tattoos, but apparently I draw the line at getting holes in my body.

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

Stop worrying about what other people think, you’re gonna move out of the country in a few years and not even remember most of their names.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

By eating a donut that’s as big as your head.

29 What is the last thing you watched?

The Castle of Cagliostro

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

The bones of an extinct bird (Great Auk).

31 What is your favorite animal?

Penguin

32 What is your favorite book?

The Secret History – Donna Tartt

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

A big bowl of pork fried rice.

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Chinese New Year – means good food and money from my family!

35 What is your favorite plant?

English Ivy

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Many fish have teeth that go as far as the back of their throats – this is less of a “favourite” fact and more of a “favourite fact that haunts me to this day”.

37 What is your favorite season?

Fall

38 What is your favorite smell?

Fresh apples

39 What is your favorite sound?

The silence from not having an alarm set and being able to sleep in for once.

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

As a born and raised New Yorker, I’m very loud which I think it needed to break the polite silences of England now that I live here.

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

Astralagus – it’s a bone in the foot that has been used as a toy, for divination, as a polisher, etc.

42 What is your proudest moment?

Teaching my first ever zooarchaeology workshop and seeing how fascinated kids were about animal bones.

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Plastic multi-coloured Christmas tree.

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

Just so much greenery! Between wildlife to local gardens to parks, there’s just so much flora around our town.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

Sometimes you can tell the difference between a piece of bone and a piece of rock by licking it…yes, I’ve licked a LOT of archaeological bone.

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

Divya M. Persaud (@Divya_M_P)