Catherine Strickson. Photo provided by Catherine Strickson
Catherine Strickson. Photo provided by Catherine Strickson

A palaeobiologist, writer, occasional media personality and 30 under 30 luminary for Nottingham, Cat’s research is focused on macroevolution and biomechanics of dinosaurs and other vertebrates.

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?

I have a wooden ammonite model which is perfectly sized to take up an entire table or window.

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?

I would love to be a historian. I’m obsessed with history.

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

Either astronomy, or the social sciences. I think sociology is horribly underrated.

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

Australia. I yearn for that weather and wildlife.

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

Shapeshifting, although if immortality is on offer I’ll take that instead.

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

Everyone should read the Fitz and the Fool series by Robin Hobb. You will cry.

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

Goof off with friends and eat greasy food until I can no longer move.

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

Estrogen, pepsi max, summer

15 What beverage gives you life?

Pepsi Max. It runs through my veins instead of blood.

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

to kill a mockingbird

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

a palaeontologist, then a rockstar, then an author, still working on the last two.

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

caffeine and existential dread

19 What got you excited in science?

I was reading encyclopedias and science books for kids since before I have memories. I’ve always loved it. It’s like solving the puzzle of the universe.

20 What excites you about science now?

the sense of wonder that still persists, it can always surprise you

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

I’ve learned to stop feeling guilty about the things I enjoy. If I love Carly Rae Jepsen and metal in equal measure there’s no conflict there.

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I can roll my belly with surprising flexibility

23 What is your favorite game?

This is an impossible question. Somewhere between Pokemon Heartgold, Portal 2, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Mass Effect 3… the list goes on

24 What is the last book you read?

Black and British by David Olusoga

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

Don’t insult yourself. That’s someone’s friend you’re hurting.

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

Run for office. So much needs changing, but that world looks brutal.

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

You’re a girl. Tell your doctor and get on hormones. It’ll save your life.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Go somewhere or to someone that/who makes you forget you have things to do and act like you have no responsibilities

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Sailor Moon

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

Lumps of very, very old dirt

31 What is your favorite animal?


32 What is your favorite book?

If I can count the whole saga, the Fitz and the Fool by Robin Hobb

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

A massive takeaway, usually Indian or Chinese

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

The only one where it’s sunny in the UK

35 What is your favorite plant?

Dragon plants remind me of home, we have one in parents’ house that has to be supported by a cane and I love it

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Vertebrates develop our mouth from where most other animals have an anus

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

the ground after it stops raining, freshly mown grass, frying sausages

39 What is your favorite sound?

Are we talking the sound of the ocean lapping the shore, or like, Touch by Shura?

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I’m a big goofball, and I have a nice waist

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


42 What is your proudest moment?

I cried when I got my official PhD offer, but probably when I realised I finally feel good about my body

43 What kind of tree would you be?

a monkey puzzle tree

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

the history, the geology, wherever it is

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I was featured in a newspaper for being a caesarian birth, and later featured in puff pieces about easter eggs and disney movies on local tv

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

Karin Moejes – science_wanderer – mainly on instagram