Elizabeth (Liz) Miller holding a bearded dragon. Photo provided by Elizabeth (Liz) Miller
Elizabeth (Liz) Miller holding a bearded dragon. Photo provided by Elizabeth (Liz) Miller

Liz is an evolutionary biologist interested in patterns of biodiversity. Specifically, why do some places or groups of animals have more species than others? She uses computer programming and the evolutionary relationships among species to answer these questions. For more see: https://elizabethcmiller.weebly.com/

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Night owl

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?

Yes, a bearded dragon, two leopard geckos, and a red-eared slider. I’ve had my turtle since I was 4 years old.

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Yes, marine life everywhere

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?

a little Spanish

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

I’d be a makeup artist, lawyer, or app developer

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

Pedagogy, I like thinking about how we can teach better

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

Corona, CA. Or Miami

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?

RuPaul’s Drag Race

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

Clean and run errands (I’m boring). If my house is messy I get anxious

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

Pasta, ice cream, laughing with/at my husband

15 What beverage gives you life?

Literally? Coffee

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

The Grapes of Wrath

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

A herpetologist, also a cartoonist

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

I get to solve mysteries! It’s fun to put together all the pieces to solve a puzzle

19 What got you excited in science?

I always loved animals. I watched the Lion King over and over as a kid.

20 What excites you about science now?

I use lots of different skills. I write, code, give talks, work with other scientists, etc. My day is never boring.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?


22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I like to sing!

23 What is your favorite game?

Pokemon, I play the video games

24 What is the last book you read?

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? By Caitlin Doughty (it’s about death but it’s funny)

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

My mom told me to put relationships before work. She was afraid I’d be alone with a bunch of lizards.

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

Train for a marathon

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

My 18-year old self wouldn’t’ve listened to advice, I was a brat

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Go running

29 What is the last thing you watched?

How to Get Away with Murder

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

My pet bearded dragon, Red

31 What is your favorite animal?

My pet bearded dragon, Red

32 What is your favorite book?

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

33 What is your favorite comfort food?


34 What is your favorite day of the year?


35 What is your favorite plant?

Mint or pine

36 What is your favorite science fact?

A tuna is more closely related to a human than to a shark

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

The ocean, how San Diego smells all the time

39 What is your favorite sound?

The ocean

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I think I’m a good communicator

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

Ice cream

42 What is your proudest moment?

Defending my Ph.D.

43 What kind of tree would you be?

a Christmas tree

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

The seafood is bomb

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I’m really girly and I like fashion, but my field is casual so I have few opportunities to dress up. I love high heels. I wore a huge poufy wedding dress.

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

Jesse Czekanski-Moir @jesseSeeEm