As the Science Advisor at the Canada Science and Technology Museum, Michelle works to bridge the gap between the scientific community and the public — specializing in making science and technology engaging, accessible, and fun. Her expertise is used to consult the Museum teams on special projects, new exhibitions, digital projects, public and educational programs. As a research scientist, her work focuses on the anatomy, systematics, and evolution of marine reptiles and their transition and adaptation to the marine environment. Follow her on Twitter @MichelleCbell

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?

One dog. A giant mutt named Sarge.

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Probably too much? I love prints of classic scientific illustrations.

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Cooking

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Savory

7 Do you speak any other languages?

French, and I’m working on speaking it better

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

Archaeology would be awesome

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

Geology

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

New Zealand

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

Flight

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

One book that changed my workflow completely was “How to Write a Lot” by Paul J. Silvia.
Favorite show for the last while has been Schitt’s Creek, but it just finished 😦

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

Hang out outside near any body of water with my family and a really tasty lunch.

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

A well-stocked tea supply, eggs, cozy blankets

15 What beverage gives you life?

Wine

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

Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein.
Also, the Lord of the Rings.

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

A medical doctor

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Curiosity and my desire to help others see the crazy-coolness that is science.

19 What got you excited in science?

My family had season’s passes to nature museums when I was younger. We went all the time.

20 What excites you about science now?

The potential it has to transform our world for the better

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

I really love playing match-3 games on my cell phone.

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I’m pretty handy. I’m good at building things and figuring out how to fix things.

23 What is your favorite game?

Sports = water polo
board = Settlers of Catan or Pandemic

24 What is the last book you read?

Lamb by Christopher Moore

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

Say yes to opportunities that kind of scare you. Some of my proudest and best memories are doing something that was outside my comfort zone.

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

Not sure, I try not to let that stop me from trying anything I’m curious about

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

Prioritize what is most important (yes, I know it’s hard sometimes)

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

I stress clean. Once my space is tidy, I feel more relaxed and in control.

29 What is the last thing you watched?

The Office

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

A hawk carcass I found on a hike and wanted to bring into the lab.

31 What is your favorite animal?

Otters

32 What is your favorite book?

Tough question. The one I’ve re-read the most is Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

All dressed chips

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

A fall day where all the leaves have changed color and the temperature shoots up to around 25 C (77 F)

35 What is your favorite plant?

Sumac

36 What is your favorite science fact?

In some anglerfish, the male will bite the female, his lips will fuse to her body, his body will dissolve away, and only the testes will remain. This allows the female to have a permanent supply of sperm available. Multiple males can attach this way giving the female options.

37 What is your favorite season?

Fall

38 What is your favorite smell?

Probably a strange choice but…the oil and gas from boat motors. Many early childhood memories are being in and around boats.

39 What is your favorite sound?

Campfire

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I’m very adaptable and perseverant

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

Shenanigans

42 What is your proudest moment?

Getting offered a full time job in my dream career after stringing together contracts for years.

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Jack Pine

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

Lots of lakes and rivers nearby

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

Edward Drinker Cope (a very famous paleontologist from the 1800s) once put a skull on the wrong end of a plesiosaur skeleton. Just goes to show, we all make mistakes.

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

Renée-Claude Goulet @rcgoulet and Jesse Rogerson @jesserogerson