Faelan Mourmourakis with a desert landscape behind him. Photo provided by Faelan Mourmourakis
Faelan Mourmourakis with a desert landscape behind him. Photo provided by Faelan Mourmourakis

Faelan Mourmourakis is a recent graduate with a Masters of Research at Macquarie University. They studied neuroethology in honeybees, presenting cognitive tasks to determine just how smart bees are (the answer may surprise you!). They have helped in upcoming research into the bias of the hypotheses space in homosexual research between and is active in LGBT activism within STEM.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?

Pro-pun

3 Do you have any pets?

I had a mischief of rats not too long ago but they have all passed on now. They make for the best pets but sadly don’t live very long.

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Yes! I have all my taxidermy things including skulls, bones, feathers and specimens. As well as my insect taxidermy collection which I pin myself. I have so many I’ve run out of room to display them all.

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Both

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Sweet

7 Do you speak any other languages?

I’m learning some basic Auslan for my roomate.

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

A beekeeper for sure!

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

Paleobiology

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

The Greek islands

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

I grew up reading animorphs so the power to shapeshift into animals

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

Evolution’s Rainbow by Joan Roughgarden and The Autobiography of a Transgender Scientist by Ben Barres

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

Catch up on some sleep

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

Peanut butter, Redbull and a fan.

15 What beverage gives you life?

Redbull

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

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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

A zoologist!

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

My love of science and all things bees

19 What got you excited in science?

How science has the ability to answer questions.

20 What excites you about science now?

Being able to start working on answering some of those questions

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Musicals and cosplay

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I’m very good at cooking

23 What is your favorite game?

The Assassins Creed games and Red dead Redemption 2

24 What is the last book you read?

The Sting of the Wild by Justin Schmidt

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

You shouldn’t have to light yourself on fire to keep other people warm

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

Move and live in another country

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

You are transgender. It’s scary to admit at first but once you do you’ll feel stupid for waiting so long

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Music and a bathbomb

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Jenna Marbles making a Dog Kissing Booth

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

An emu femur bone

31 What is your favorite animal?

Blue-banded bee

32 What is your favorite book?

Biological Exuberance by Bruce Bagemihl

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

My nonna’s lasagna

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Day of the Sydney Mardi Gras parade

35 What is your favorite plant?

Lavender

36 What is your favorite science fact?

While bees are trichromatic like us they lack the cone to see red.

37 What is your favorite season?

Spring

38 What is your favorite smell?

Frankincense

39 What is your favorite sound?

Bees buzzing

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

That I am gay and trans

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

Infinitesimal

42 What is your proudest moment?

Finishing my masters thesis and getting through my top surgery.

43 What kind of tree would you be?

A willow tree

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

Hard to think of anything nice to say about Sydney currently.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

There are over 20,000 species of bees!

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

Alex Barley – @birdsbugsbones