Niba looking at a plant sample. Photo provided by Niba
Niba looking at a plant sample. Photo provided by Niba

Niba is a plant genetics PhD candidate and science blogger / vlogger @notesbyniba on YouTube and Instagram. Originally from California, she hopes to go into science communication + representation in media in her future career.

In the lab, she researches how plant stem cells express their genes to develop into specialized cells. She spends her days in the greenhouse tending to her plants, at the lab bench cloning genes, and at the microscope to see how roots look.

She believes in the importance of conveying the importance and relevance of science. She wants to demonstrate science in a way that drives others to appreciate science and the scientific process.

Outside of lab, she shares her notes about beauty, fashion, and skincare through a science lens.
Artsy pics:
Aesthetic vids:

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!!! we are celebrating CRISPR’s 3rd birthday tomorrow and she just got a little sister named Osmosis who is 6 months old. Both are tiny black cats :3

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

…does having 174 plants at home count?

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?

english, french, telugu, conversational japanese

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

I will be switching, I hope to enter science communication + representation in media.

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

right now I work on plant roots but I love plants so much….can I work on flowers?

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

home – to San Francisco, California

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

control over the space-time continuum – if that is too OP, then control over plants like Poison Ivy.

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

Honestly, my YouTube channel! I put a LOT of research and love and work and creative energy into those videos – I’d love to get your feedback!

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

sunrise yoga, gardening, journaling, filming a youtube video, shooting pictures, editing, editing, editing, editing, editing, editing

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

My journal, my cats, and my plants

15 What beverage gives you life?

black tea with 5-10 stevia packets

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

ishmael, an excellent philosophical novel about humans, the earth, our relationships, and everything in between

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

a writer, then a veterinarian, then a cannabis farmer, then a professor, and now a science communicator

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

a passion I can grow and improve on – I do all my own filming, editing, and production for my videos and photography which has been a satisfying source of productivity especially when in science input work =/= output

19 What got you excited in science?

wanting to just explore and discover – I’m interested in science broadly

20 What excites you about science now?

the new technologies that let scientists discover and develop things exponentially faster

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

maybe watching youtubers? there’s no guilt in that though

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

can bend my fingers at the fingertips

23 What is your favorite game?


24 What is the last book you read?

the vagina bible

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

develop an internal value system

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

film a video in public

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

try making videos and photos right now – you’re going to love it

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

bubble bath with candles and a book or journal

29 What is the last thing you watched?

bojack horseman

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

animal skulls

31 What is your favorite animal?

bats – they are like the cats of the night sky! so cute and they crash into each other nonstop when flying (recently discovered using high fps cameras)

32 What is your favorite book?

the elemental trilogy

33 What is your favorite comfort food?


34 What is your favorite day of the year?

my cats birthdays

35 What is your favorite plant?

ALL OF THEM! begonias and snake plants >>>

36 What is your favorite science fact?

we put a man on the moon before putting wheels on suitcases

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?


39 What is your favorite sound?

my cats meows or the rustle of light wind across grass

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My will to survive

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

shakti (Hindi) meaning power in every way – absolute power, internal strength, female goddess, the primordial cosmic energy and dynamic forces like gravity or magnets move through the entire universe

42 What is your proudest moment?

getting the courage to start @NotesByNiba

43 What kind of tree would you be?

banyan – those are some beautiful roots!

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

difficult to think of anything…I really want to move back to California ASAP once I’m done

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I’m a HUGE batman fan – he represents such strong determination and will and is general inspiration

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

@ninadrawsscientists on instagram