Carly Aulicky holding a Lesser Prairie Chicken. Photo provided by Carly Aulicky
Carly Aulicky holding a Lesser Prairie Chicken. Photo provided by Carly Aulicky

Carly is a queer wildlife biologist with an interest in the relationship between mating systems and spatial behavior. She is passionate about birds, wildlife conservation, science communication, and photography. Outside of science, Carly enjoys D&D, fantasy novels, Marvel comics, practicing martial arts, and concerts.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?

Not currently, but I am very much a sporting dog person. They also have a habit of pointing at birds on walks so we get along great.

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

I have bird and wildlife themed decor throughout my home and my office space. Its mixed in with nerdy fandom art and stuff from concerts, so all and all very eclectic.

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?

I speak a bit of Latin American Spanish, but I hope to be fluent someday.

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

I would love to write fantasy novels or be a wildlife photographer.

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

I think forensics is a fascinating field of science.

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

Right now, I would hop on a plane to Italy, but this question is hard for me because I love traveling and have a running list of places I want to go.

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

The ability to make things that I write come to life whenever I wanted.

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

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer is an absolutely fantastic read. The Cryptonaturalist podcast is a constant source of joy (and their twitter feed is like the best virtual hug) and Alice Isn’t Dead is one of my favorite story podcasts.

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

All the things! Play D&D, take a breather in a hammock and read a book, go birding or shoot some photos, go find some great music, and catch up with my loved ones.

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

Music, books, and adventure.

15 What beverage gives you life?

Tea of almost every variety and flavor.

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

The Giver by Lois Lowry

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

A writer, then a philosopher, and finally a wildlife biologist.

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

I love learning new things, exploring how the natural world works, and the support of my family and friends.

19 What got you excited in science?

Understanding how things interact and function has always gotten me excited about science, but I can still remember the feeling of awe I had when I realized the depth of the interconnections within nature across all scales.

20 What excites you about science now?

The interactions and connections between living things still invokes as much excitement and awe now as it did when I was younger, especially when I can see these interactions playing out in realtime.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Cheesy pop music

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I make some mean dark chocolate brownies.

23 What is your favorite game?

D&D or other table top RPGs.

24 What is the last book you read?

A D&D book- Eberron Rising from the Last War

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

You can be great at one thing or pretty good at a wide range of things in a career, and it is up to you which one you want to be.

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

Roller derby

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

Your hard work will pay off and to never stop chasing new adventures.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Long walks outside, dancing, martial arts, causing havoc in a D&D game.

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Good Omens. So. Good.

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

Slide boxes full of blood smears.

31 What is your favorite animal?

This is tricky because I love lek breeding birds, all the grouse, fireflies, and red foxes. Today my favorite is MacGregor’s bowerbird.

32 What is your favorite book?

This is a three-way tie. Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Matilda by Roald Dahl, and Fire Magic by Laurie J. Marks.

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Mac n cheese.

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

The summer solstice, because it feels like everything is possible.

35 What is your favorite plant?

In the prairie, I love when the firewheel flowers carpet everything in red and oranges.

36 What is your favorite science fact?

When ptarmigan gain weight to survive winter, they can run without any cost but have a hard time jumping so flight might be a bit tricky.

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

Temperate forests just after it rains followed closely by baking chocolate chip cookies.

39 What is your favorite sound?

Lesser prairie-chicken cackling, musician wren calls, and thunderstorms.

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I love my green eyes, but less superficially, my curiosity

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


42 What is your proudest moment?

Receiving a Fulbright award to study in Glasgow, Scotland is tied with my first black belt test.

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Red Oak

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

It is easy to get around on a bike

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

Lesser prairie-chickens have what are essentially yellow eyebrows, which we call eye combs, and they are delightful.

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

@grayvireo or @wayfaringwilly