Carter. Photo provided by Carter
Carter. Photo provided by Carter

Carter is a quantitative ecologist with a research focus on modeling and predicting the impacts of environment on organisms’ thermal ecology, and does a lot of work with GIS and remote sensing. R is my friend. | Website:

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Night owl

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?

I have a dog named Stitch and a cat named Patch. They’re both super weird.

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

I like science-themed coffee mugs and posters!

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?

I speak R and Python and know enough Spanish to get by.

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

I’d open a vegan soup cart.

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?

Papua New Guinea

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

Teleportation (of myself, to wherever I wanted)

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

Any time Roxane Gay speaks about anything, it’s worth tuning in.

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

Curl up with tea and read a book, accompanied by one or more furry animals

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

I mean…food, water, and shelter but I know that’s not what this question is asking. Probably…the ocean, warmth, and a pillow.

15 What beverage gives you life?

English Breakfast tea with soy milk

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

‘Invisible Man’ by Ralph Ellison

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

A marine biologist

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Insatiable curiosity

19 What got you excited in science?

Fossilized sharks teeth and rocks

20 What excites you about science now?

Designing new research studies!

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

I’m not guilty about any of the things I like.

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I can draw photorealistic portraits.

23 What is your favorite game?

I don’t really like games.

24 What is the last book you read?

‘The Optics of Life’ by Sönke Johnsen

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

Don’t do an unfunded PhD. – my undergrad research mentor

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?

Substantial improvements will be made.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Walk barefoot on a deserted beach.

29 What is the last thing you watched?

The series finale of Orange Is the New Black

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

I don’t do a lot of work with biological samples, so my bag contents are pretty innocuous: data loggers, GPS, assorted hand tools.

31 What is your favorite animal?

This question is too hard.

32 What is your favorite book?

‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Probably vegan mac & cheese (made with sweet potatoes)

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

I don’t have one.

35 What is your favorite plant?

Drosera (sundews)

36 What is your favorite science fact?

That what humans have managed to figure out is just a tiny piece of all possible knowledge.

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

The ocean

39 What is your favorite sound?

A running creek or ocean waves

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

The way my brain works

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

I don’t have one.

42 What is your proudest moment?

Probably getting my PhD

43 What kind of tree would you be?

No idea. Maybe a honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)? It has spikes.

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

The clouds

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I sailed tall ships after finishing my undergrad, and I worked for a brief time on the HMS Bounty. The ship sank in deep water in 2014, when the Captain sailed it into Hurricane Sandy. In general, you shouldn’t intentionally sail into a hurricane, but you could probably figure that one out.

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