Michael Fulcher. Photo provided by Michael Fulcher
Michael Fulcher. Photo provided by Michael Fulcher

Mike is a plant pathologist trying to improve crop disease management practices. As a postdoc researcher at the University of Minnesota, he studies the ecology and evolution of soil microbes that suppress disease in long-term monocultures. He also enjoys tweeting about cool plants and science related art.

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?

Does a microscope count?

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?

I have tried and failed to learn: French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and Burmese

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?

Someplace warm

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

Reading minds

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

(listen) Field Guide by Sarah Louise

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


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

Greenhouses, newspapers, and a good pair of socks

15 What beverage gives you life?


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

Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds by George Hudler

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

Lawyer/Sam Waterston in Law and Order

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Learning new things

19 What got you excited in science?

Seeing the world through a microscope

20 What excites you about science now?

Getting to ask and answer new questions

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Welch’s Fruit Snacks

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

Pushing a shopping cart at the Costco without getting into any accidents

23 What is your favorite game?


24 What is the last book you read?

Becoming by Michelle Obama

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

Hard work is its own reward — my mom

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

Scuba diving

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

Slow down

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Spend time in nature

29 What is the last thing you watched?


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

rotting potatoes

31 What is your favorite animal?

13-lined ground squirrel

32 What is your favorite book?

Seeing Flowers by Robert Llewellyn and Teri Dunn Chace

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Fried chicken

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

June 5 (National Donut Day)

35 What is your favorite plant?

Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

36 What is your favorite science fact?

The world’s largest living organism is the Humongous Fungus, which covers more than 2000 acres of forest floor in Oregon

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

Creme brulee

39 What is your favorite sound?


40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I try to listen

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


42 What is your proudest moment?


43 What kind of tree would you be?

American hornbeam

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

The Hotdish

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

The common hippopotamus is an invasive species in Colombia

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

Can I pick three? Morgan Carter (@PlantPathSecret); Zoe Dubrow (@ZoeDubrow); Andrea Lugo-Torres (@drearus_)