Megan Biango-Daniels. Photo provided by Megan Biango-Daniels
Megan Biango-Daniels. Photo provided by Megan Biango-Daniels

Megan Biango-Daniels is a fungi-obsessed scientist who researches food and food-associated microbes. She’s an affiliate at Tufts University, where she researches the microbiome of surface-ripened cheeses and sourdough bread and she works as a scientist at Cambridge Crops, a company working to combat food waste. Follow her on Twitter @MNDaniels24

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, I love animals and I have 2 cats and a dog.

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Yes, I’m a mycologist and I collect kitschy 1970’s mushroom kitchen decor.

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Both

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Savory

7 Do you speak any other languages?

No

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

I would be a baker or cook. I think there’s a lot of science in the kitchen that we don’t appreciate and I feel really comfortable and happy when I’m baking and cooking.

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

Plant breeding

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

Egypt

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

I’d like to be able to stop time

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

Read everything! But start with Factfulness and Enlightenment Now.

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

Take my dog for a long walk and then watch movies or read.

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

I can’t live without coffee, my bullet journal, and music.

15 What beverage gives you life?

My favorite cocktail, a Metropolitan.

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

Harry Potter series

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

I wanted to be a translator

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Curiosity and my desire to solve problems

19 What got you excited in science?

Studying philosophy in college I learned about enlightenment thinkers. That inspired me to take Biology and I fell in love with science.

20 What excites you about science now?

I’m inspired by science because innovation can positively transform our world.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Ben and Jerry’s ice cream

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I’m not sure I have one but I’m crafty and can knit.

23 What is your favorite game?

Gin Rummy

24 What is the last book you read?

The Evolution of Everything: How New Idea Emerge

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

In E.O. Wilson’s letters to a young scientist he said ‘Deep ignorance, when properly handled, is also a superb opportunity.’ Reading that book my first year of grad school shaped how I approach research.

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

I’m happy not to have an answer to this question. When I want to do something fear never holds me back.

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

There are enough people in life who won’t believe you can do it, so don’t be one of them. Believe in yourself.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

I stress clean.

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Outlander

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

Diseased plant samples and mushrooms.

31 What is your favorite animal?

Owls

32 What is your favorite book?

Jane Eyre

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Grilled cheese sandwich

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Halloween

35 What is your favorite plant?

Sycamore tree

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Fungi (mushrooms and molds) are more closely related to humans than to plants.

37 What is your favorite season?

Fall

38 What is your favorite smell?

Lavender

39 What is your favorite sound?

crickets

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I’m a multitasking champion and I always get stuff done somehow.

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

Spitzenkörper

42 What is your proudest moment?

Getting my PhD

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Sycamore

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

Boston has amazing restaurants and I love trying new places.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I collect records and love listing to almost any kind of music.

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

Angel Kruse @arkannie
Michael Fulcher @fulchology