Una Goncin outside. Photo provided by Una Goncin
Una Goncin outside. Photo provided by Una Goncin

Una Goncin is a second year MSc student at the University of Saskatchewan working to develop contrast agents for pre-clinical ultrasound and PET imaging for disease identification and monitoring of intestinal inflammation. She previously received her BSc in Biology, during which she spent 3 years as a research assistant and was involved in over a dozen projects looking at wildlife ecology and population genetics of native snake, fish, and turtle species in SK. She is passionate and committed to science communication and works closely with the Science Outreach program on campus to deliver science programming to community schools in Saskatoon and leading Science on Saturdays at the Museum of Natural Science!

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?

No

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Only crocheted, chemistry-themed Christmas ornaments!

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Baking

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Both

7 Do you speak any other languages?

Bosnian/Serbian… basically the same *face palm*

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

Food tester

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

Epi or Data Science or AI

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

London, UK

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

Teleportation

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

The Wire on HBO!

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

Play backyard games with friends!

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

Wings, cider and music!

15 What beverage gives you life?

Gin

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

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

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

Pediatric Oncologist

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Diversity drives me. I love branching out, exploring different fields and learning new things!

19 What got you excited in science?

The endless cycle – how you go about answering one question and you come out with several new questions by the end.

20 What excites you about science now?

I am definitely loving science communication, not only sharing my own research but also explaining science to kids.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Starting new projects before finishing my last one.

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

Predicting plot twists in movies/TV shows!

23 What is your favorite game?

Trivia

24 What is the last book you read?

Flow – Psychology of Optimal Experience

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

That when I present, I am the expert in the room. This was advice that I got from my thesis advisor before my first oral presentation as an undergrad. It has really helped me with my confidence (and imposter syndrome) throughout my grad studies.

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

Skydiving

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

Don’t worry what other people think. Do what’s right, not what’s easy.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Unpug and read

29 What is the last thing you watched?

The Office

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

Superglue.
Not weird – but I always have a lighter with me… I don’t smoke but I always have one if someone needs it.

31 What is your favorite animal?

Squirrel

32 What is your favorite book?

Honestly, I don’t really have one.

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Chips

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

September 25th – I love autumn leaves.

35 What is your favorite plant?

Lilac

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Apparently, you can’t taste food without saliva

37 What is your favorite season?

Fall

38 What is your favorite smell?

Cinnamon (preferably cinnamon buns)

39 What is your favorite sound?

Crackling fire (and the crunch sounds when I empty on the trash on my Mac)

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

It takes a lot to bring me down. I like to think that I am usually very cheerful and try my best to be really honest with people.

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

Plethora or Lollygag

42 What is your proudest moment?

When I was able to hike up a volcano after 5 years of not walking!

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Sequoia

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

It is ranked one of the best places to live if there was a zombie apocalypse…

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I have a twin brother who studies engineering & an older brother who plays for Canada in the Paralympics!

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

Kelsey Marchand @kels_m_