Juita Martinez is a 3rd year PhD student and BOR-SREB doctoral fellow at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette studying Brown Pelican populations on barrier islands. She spent her undergraduate career working with a wide range of wildlife species and aiding in their conservation. Her background is in population ecology, conservation biology and wildlife management.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early Bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?


4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Yes, @HansPrevost hand painted a brown pelican for me and it’s my favorite piece of decor!

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?

This might come as a huge surprise to some but I have to say goat farmer / bakery owner – use the goat milk in recipes type of deal and you’ve got the best of both worlds!

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

Planetary science! Pluto used to be my favorite planet circa 1998 so I’ve always found all things space + planets to be incredible vast and marvelous!

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

#1 on my travel bucket list is Africa specifically the massi mara to watch the wildebeest migration with my own two eyes.

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

To fly. #wanderlust

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

Watch 100 Humans on Netflix
Listen to this amazing podcast by Tykee James: On Word 4 Wildlife
Read “Becoming” by Michelle Obama

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

Grab my binoculars + my new telephoto lens out to a local trail to capture pictures of wildlife especially birds!

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

Music, nature, traveling

15 What beverage gives you life?

Oat milk matcha lattes

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

Nothing is coming to mind. I didn’t really enjoy reading in school – the books my teachers chose never related to me much.

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

A veterinarian

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

My parents immigrated from a different country to give my siblings and I a better life – making them proud and accomplishing my goals drive me.

19 What got you excited in science?

Observing insects in nature as a kid sparked my curiosity and excitement to learn all I could about how organisms coexist with one another.

20 What excites you about science now?

The movement to provide opportunities to BIPOC into science fields.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Reality t.v. shows

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I can move the tendons in my hands independently from my fingers LOL!

23 What is your favorite game?

Settlers of Catan

24 What is the last book you read?

Where the Crawdads Sing

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

Opportunities will constantly present themselves – it all depends on if you are willing and ready to take them on, stepping out of your comfort zone will take you far.

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

Hike to everest basecamp

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

You are going to get to go to places, meet people and experience things that you NEVER thought you would – highschool is going to be a distance memory once you leave, study hard & keep reaching for your goals.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Get outside!

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Selling Sunset on Netflix – I told y’all I love trash tv!

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

Pelican feathers and egg shells for a new collaboration.

31 What is your favorite animal?

Dinosaur floofs aka Brown Pelicans

32 What is your favorite book?

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Paneer masala

34 What is your favorite day of the year?


35 What is your favorite plant?

Monstera deliciosa

36 What is your favorite science fact?

A pelican’s gular pouch can hold about 3 gallons of water

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

fresh baked bread

39 What is your favorite sound?

birds calls

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I hated my natural hair texture for years – for the last 4 years I’ve worn it proudly in it’s natural state!

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


42 What is your proudest moment?

Getting accepted into my dream PhD program.

43 What kind of tree would you be?


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

The diverse wildlife that also call this place home.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I am a 1/4 Indonesian.

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

Deja Perkins @NaturallyWild__