Linh Anh is a Vietnamese-American microbial ecologist who finished her Ph.D. at the University of California, Irvine and briefly postdoc-ed at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She loves her cat, Sesame, and has her dream job working at San Diego’s only national park.

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?


5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?

I can understand Vietnamese, but I feel really embarrassed about my American acccent

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?

Florida, where my family is and where I’m from

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

instantly produce fried chicken anytime I crave it

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

The Overstory by Richard Powers

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

Have a really good meal and cocktail at one of my favorite places. hit the beach with a book before or after.

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

my Kindle, my cat Sesame, a cute above-the-knee dress

15 What beverage gives you life?

Philz coffee, specifically the iced rosé coffee

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

Just enjoying the act of reading shaped me! No specific book.

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

a doctor, mostly because my parents seemed to think it was a good job

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Finding the intersection between what I’m good at, what I like doing, and what the world needs.

19 What got you excited in science?

I just loved when something I observed was explained. It’s like reading the satisfying ending to a good story.

20 What excites you about science now?

That I can directly apply what I learn to protecting the natural resources where I work.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Fried chicken

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I don’t have a secret talent. I know this for a fact because my “talent” for a pageant was a talk on science.

23 What is your favorite game?

Le Havre

24 What is the last book you read?

Grit by Angela Duckworth

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

Practice gratitude.

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

Solo skydiving

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

Don’t let tradition make you feel guilty about finding your own path in life.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Exercise. Particularly a really good spin session.

29 What is the last thing you watched?

The penultimate episode of Westworld season 3

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

An accumulation of crumbs from snacks I didn’t clean up…

31 What is your favorite animal?

I am a converted cat fanatic.

32 What is your favorite book?

Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

fried chicken. or most Vietnamese food.

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

New Year’s Eve

35 What is your favorite plant?


36 What is your favorite science fact?

I honestly don’t know how to answer this one. There are too many cool things!

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

Fried chicken or jasmine.

39 What is your favorite sound?

Listening to bad weather outside while cozy inside.

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

my adaptability

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

thuong (love in Vietnamese)

42 What is your proudest moment?

Landing my dream job! (Chief of Resources at a small national park in San Diego)

43 What kind of tree would you be?


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

Wow, where to start? The weather, beaches, and tasty sour beers.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I had a lot of fun solo traveling in my early to mid twenties and look forward to more traveling and adventures with my partner, Stephen.

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

Priya Shukla (@priyology)