Adriana L. Romero-Olivares in a lab room with samples and equipment around here. Photo provided by Adriana L. Romero-Olivares
Adriana L. Romero-Olivares in a lab room with samples and equipment around here. Photo provided by Adriana L. Romero-Olivares

Adriana is a soil microbiologist and she investigates how microbes adapt and evolve to global climate change. Ultimately, she wants to provide knowledge that will help us plan and mitigate the effects of global warming on Earth, while answering long-standing questions on microbial adaptation strategies and ecosystem-level consequences on biogeochemical cycles. Website:

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, two guinea pigs, Lobo and Babi

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?

My first language is Spanish, so English would be the “other language”

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?


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


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

Time travel

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

The podcast Code Switch

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


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

Knitting, exercising, tortillas

15 What beverage gives you life?


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

Little Women

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

A gas dispatcher…it’s a long story.

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Academically, betterment of our environment.
Personally, my family.

19 What got you excited in science?

Taking care of the environment

20 What excites you about science now?

Still, taking care of the environment

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

True Crime

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I don’t have any secret talents

23 What is your favorite game?

“Basta” don’t know if there’s an equivalent in English

24 What is the last book you read?

Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay

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

Write down what you value and put it in front of you and be yourself because people will criticize you either way

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

I’m not into doing things that scare me. I’m ok with being scared.

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


28 What is the best way to de-stress?

I usually knit

29 What is the last thing you watched?

One child’s nation

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

Not weird really but a very funny (at least to me) drawing I found on my now husband’s notebook when we were in college. I laminated it and carry it with me all the time.

31 What is your favorite animal?

Guinea pigs

32 What is your favorite book?

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

33 What is your favorite comfort food?


34 What is your favorite day of the year?

My birthday

35 What is your favorite plant?

Fouquieria columnaris

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Fungi are microbes

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

the smell of fresh baked bread or freshly handmade flour tortillas

39 What is your favorite sound?

Black-capped chickadee fee bee call

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I like that I’m organized

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

“chafa” in Spanish and “random” in English

42 What is your proudest moment?

I was very proud during my PhD commencement

43 What kind of tree would you be?

I would be a mesquite

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

the landscape is breathtaking

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

Burritos are thought to be tex-mex food but are really traditional mexican dishes from the north of Mexico where I am from. Google: “burro de carne con chile” and “tortilla sobaquera”

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

Rocio Caballero-Gil, twitter: @CaballeroGill