Annelise Blanchette holding a fledgling Northern Mockingbird. Photo provided by Annelise Blanchette
Annelise Blanchette holding a fledgling Northern Mockingbird. Photo provided by Annelise Blanchette

Annelise is a second year PhD student at Tulane University. She studies how soil-based lead contamination behaviorally impacts the Northern Mockingbird in New Orleans. Annelise loves community outreach and is working to raise awareness about lead pollution in the city! See her website for more:

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?

Yes! A 3 year old Chihuahua named Foxtrot. He is my world.

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Perk of New Orleans – A lot of art! I buy herp themed art whenever I can.

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?

Archaeologist or something in the CIA

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

Marine Biology

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


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

To be really lucky, always

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

Watch: Lucifer on Netflix
Read: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult (you might cry a lot)
Listen: Hello from the Magic Tavern or Unladylike

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

Go for a run and bring my dog for a walk in the park

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

Tea, running shoes, laptop

15 What beverage gives you life?

Tea!! Almost any kind. I make my own lattes with almond milk and I am at peace.

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

Peril in the Ponds – really made me think about conservation and pollution

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

Professional ballet dancer for the longest time.

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

My desire to do really cool research that I can share with the community. I want my future self to look back and be proud of what I’ve accomplished.

19 What got you excited in science?

I’ve always loved being outside and most iterations of ‘what I want to be when I grow up’ could be accomplished through science.

20 What excites you about science now?

Answering questions that might have an impact on the community I live in. Also teaching young students and getting them excited about STEM.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?


22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I have no talent 😦

23 What is your favorite game?

I love Kingdom Hearts and wish I had a console to play the third game!

24 What is the last book you read?

Paris by Edward Rutherfurd.

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

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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

Traveling alone in another country – some place like Greece or Prague.

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

In all seriousness… Don’t date *that* guy. But also, don’t be afraid to explore interests during college. Working to pay for college is important but so is finding yourself and discovering what you really love.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Run or take my dog for a walk and listen to a podcast.

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Dracula on Netflix.

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

I’ve almost always got an extra tea bag or two.. just in case.

31 What is your favorite animal?

Dendrobates auratus. The green and black poison frog.

32 What is your favorite book?

Recently I’ve loved Rupi Kaur’s books Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers

33 What is your favorite comfort food?


34 What is your favorite day of the year?


35 What is your favorite plant?

Chocolate mint

36 What is your favorite science fact?

That moss and ferns use flagellated sperm to reproduce. Wild.

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

Washed ashore flotsam in combo with the ocean

39 What is your favorite sound?

Horses walking on cobblestone

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I’m patient.

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


42 What is your proudest moment?

Completing my first half marathon. (running my 5th Feb. 9th)

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Live Oak

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

The culture, the music, the food – how can I pick just one thing. NOLA is a good time.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I have broken both my wrists and the radius and ulna in my right arm.

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

John Jones @JonesJA91