Kassandra Ford is a PhD Candidate at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her research focuses on the evolution and functional morphology of electric fish skulls. Her areas of interest include CT-scanning, geometric morphometrics, feeding biomechanics, and phylogenetic comparative methods. She is active on Twitter (@kassthefish) and her website is www.kassandraford.weebly.com!

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?

Yes! A mini black panther named Ajax

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

So much! Just to name some, I have a few bones and skulls, along with some images of cleared and stained fishes

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Baking

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Sweet

7 Do you speak any other languages?

Fairly fluent in Spanish

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

This is so tough- I love research! But I would probably be a zoo veterinarian.

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

Carnivore conservation

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

Gabon. I have always wanted to go and collect fish, but while I’m over there I would also love to go to a refuge to see lions.

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

Flight

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

Becoming by Michelle Obama. She is such a strong, black woman and it was incredible to read about her journey.

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

Go on a hike (if only I lived somewhere less flat!) then head home, eat and watch Netflix.

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

Music, books, Netflix

15 What beverage gives you life?

Chai tea

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

A Short History of FNearly Everything. I read this in high school and remember being amazed by our world and motivated to study it!

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

When I was really little? A waitress (dream came true for a while!), then a vet

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

I want to be the first Dr. Ford in my family.

19 What got you excited in science?

There are ALWAYS more questions! I was always good at it, but it was my Evolutionary Biology class that really got me hooked.

20 What excites you about science now?

There are STILL more questions! I want to know how and why and can’t really turn my brain off to stop thinking about it.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Rewatching Criminal Minds over and over and over and…

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I don’t really post much about it, but I do Crossfit!

23 What is your favorite game?

To watch? NFL football.
To play? One Night Ultimate Werewolf

24 What is the last book you read?

Completed? Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Reading? Anne Boelyn: A King’s Obsession.

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

One of my mentors in undergrad told me to go to grad school, kick butt, and do it so future undergraduates of color can have someone who looks like them teaching their classes.

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

I’m not scared of much, but skydiving looks both amazing and horrifying. I don’t like the feeling of falling.

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

Switch to the College of Letters and Sciences so you can major in something different. Also look up the term “functional morphology” to get a head start on grad school!

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Find your one-rep-max Clean and Jerk; or pretty much any Crossfit WOD

29 What is the last thing you watched?

The Devil Next Door on Netflix (I’m in the middle of it- don’t ruin the ending!)

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

A preserved fish? A skull? A jar with a turtle? There are probably many things I could list.

31 What is your favorite animal?

Lion

32 What is your favorite book?

Harry Potter #3

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Mac and Cheese

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Christmas

35 What is your favorite plant?

Bleeding Heart- my mom always had them hanging up outside the house when I was growing up

36 What is your favorite science fact?

House cats can’t roar and lions can’t purr!

37 What is your favorite season?

Fall

38 What is your favorite smell?

Fresh laundry

39 What is your favorite sound?

The crunch of leaves as you walk through the forest

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I can be very motivated if I want something.

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

Amore (Italian) because 1. It means love and 2. It’s a-moray is my favorite pun ever

42 What is your proudest moment?

Passing my comprehensive exams (recently)!

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Red Maple

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

Louisiana (home for now) has swamps with some of the coolest wildlife around!

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I was raised in Green Bay, WI and am a die-hard Packers fan.

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

Juita Martinez! @juitamartinez