Kaitlin Rasmussen. Photo provided by Kaitlin Rasmussen
Kaitlin Rasmussen. Photo provided by Kaitlin Rasmussen

Kaitlin Rasmussen is a graduate student studying astrophysics at Notre Dame. Her specialty is in ancient stars and the production of heavy elements in the early universe through exotic phenomena such as supernovae and neutron star mergers. She also enjoys reading and writing science fiction, mentoring, and traveling.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Night owl

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?


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?


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?


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

The Traitor Baru Cormorant (book) by Seth Dickinson

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

Go to a bookstore and spend all my money on books

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

Twitter, pizza, my plants

15 What beverage gives you life?


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

The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking

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

A geologist

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Love of learning new things

19 What got you excited in science?

Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” series

20 What excites you about science now?

Seeing all the advances we have made toward understanding the climates and atmospheres of other planets

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

sleeping for 12+ hours straight

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

Tuba playing

23 What is your favorite game?

Portal II

24 What is the last book you read?

Dead Astronauts by Jeff Vandermeet

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

Do it right the first time

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

Bungee jumping

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

Pay attention in math class!!

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Watch Miyazaki movies

29 What is the last thing you watched?

The Expanse

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

A cat

31 What is your favorite animal?


32 What is your favorite book?

Hyperion by Dan Simmons

33 What is your favorite comfort food?


34 What is your favorite day of the year?

June 1

35 What is your favorite plant?

My cactus, Borne

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Uranus has a tilted rotation axis which makes it basically roll around the sun

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?


39 What is your favorite sound?

Cello music

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I’m REALLY stubborn

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


42 What is your proudest moment?

When I get my PhD in a month*

[note from 46Qs – *which may have happened by the time this profile is published!]

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Banyan tree

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

Good beer

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

The average density of space is 3 protons per cubic meter!

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

@Garrodactyl (Garrett Merz)