David Shiffman standing at a podium at The National Press Club. Photo provided by David Shiffman
David Shiffman standing at a podium at The National Press Club. Photo provided by David Shiffman

Dr. David Shiffman is a marine conservation biologist specializing in sharks. DavidShiffmanCV.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?

A doggo named magnolia

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Lots of 🦈 stuff

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?


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

Sea turtle biology

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

Antarctica. I’ve been to the other continents

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

Breathing underwater

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

Read the three-body problem, Chinese science fiction.

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


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

Food, water, and shelter

15 What beverage gives you life?

Coke Zero

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

“Lady and the sharks” by Genie Clark. I later got to meet her and she gave me a signed copy

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


18 What drives you and keeps you going?

The ocean needs my help

19 What got you excited in science?


20 What excites you about science now?


21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Cookies, which was also my first word

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I am quoted in Nature about the importance of karaoke as a conference networking skill

23 What is your favorite game?


24 What is the last book you read?

A Preston/Child Pendergast thriller

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

Don’t touch the wild predator that’s larger than you

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

Nothing comes to mind

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

Pay more attention in organic chemistry, it’ll matter later

28 What is the best way to de-stress?


29 What is the last thing you watched?


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

I asked the head of Miami airport TSA what he says is the weirdest question he’s ever been asked: does frozen fish blood count as a liquid?

31 What is your favorite animal?

🐬 j/k 🦈

32 What is your favorite book?

Silence of the lambs

33 What is your favorite comfort food?


34 What is your favorite day of the year?


35 What is your favorite plant?

I don’t particularly care for plants

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Greenland sharks eat polar bears

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?


39 What is your favorite sound?

The sound of someone asking if I want a cookie

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I’m living my childhood dream!

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


42 What is your proudest moment?

Ph.D. Graduation

43 What kind of tree would you be?

I am not especially familiar with trees

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

Lots of friends nearby!

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I was featured in a question on who wants to be a millionaire

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

Aerin Jacob