Charlotte Francesiaz wearing binoculars and standing in front of a wetland. Photo provided by Charlotte Francesiaz
Charlotte Francesiaz wearing binoculars and standing in front of a wetland. Photo provided by Charlotte Francesiaz

Charlotte completed a phD in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Montpellier, France. She is now an ecology researcher at the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) and studies migratory birds; the factors influencing the size of their populations and the means of ensuring their conservation. She is deeply motivated to promote science-based decision-making, a goal of added importance in the context of global changes. She got selected to join Homeward Bound, an international women’s leadership initiative for scientists. Her passion for theatre and teaching also leads her to seek alternative methods for making people aware of the urgent need to preserve nature. Support her journey here: https://chuffed.org/project/charlotte-in-antarctica-science-for-action

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Night Owl

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?

Pro-pun

3 Do you have any pets?

No (I prefer wildlife)

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

our library!

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Both

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Both

7 Do you speak any other languages?

French (my mother tongue) & English

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

A wildlife photographer just to spend most of my time outside and travel around the world… And something completely different (out of my comfort zone): be on stage (theater, science communication)

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

I am an ecologist (biologist broadly) and that’s the one that fits me because I need to be outside … maybe try to be an archeologist ?

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

Somewhere in Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa), meeting the amazing wildlife and feeling free and happy with my binoculars around my neck. I went to Senegal last year, an unforgettable journey.

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

I wish I could fly or teleport (to be anywhere any time)

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

Listen to nature, listen to your beloved. And of course to be able to become a happy adult, be sure you read Roald Dahl’books !

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

Hiking!

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

Love (how soppy), Cheese (so French) and Adventure (by taking opportunities to try anything new)

15 What beverage gives you life?

Depending on the time of the day : Cappucino or Beer/Rhum

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

Matilda… (Roald Dahl)

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

A teacher

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Curiosity

19 What got you excited in science?

« How ?» « Why ? » « What ? » and probably more than 46 questions starting with these simple words !

20 What excites you about science now?

Understanding wildlife (and try to protect it). I am also very lucky that research allows me to meet so many passionate people with whom I can share ideas, discuss projects, exchange views on our fieldwork and its crazy moments (whether good or bad). Indeed, fieldwork is a very exciting part of my job… being outside and getting to know more about migratory birds is why I would not change my job. Once you hold an avocet chick or an amazing kingfisher in your hand, you don’t want to stop doing your best to protect nature. Last year I started using GPS devices to track Whimbrels… it’s very hard trying to avoid spending hours following their extraordinary journeys !

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Chocolate after dinner when watching a movie

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

Falling asleep in 1 second

23 What is your favorite game?

Dixit

24 What is the last book you read?

The Usefulness of the Useless – Nuccio Ordine

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

« Please stop working, go outside. It doesn’t matter if you are not the best in life, but please be the happiest »

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

I can’t think of anything… Either I have never wanted it or I have already tried it or I will certainly try it for sure. (I do have a long “to do list” ahead of me).

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

« I’ve made mistakes, please do the same, allow yourself to do scary things you really care about, I promise you don’t want to be anywhere else 11 years later than where I am now. Oh wait, just avoid scottish haggis, you won’t like that.»

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

To sing and to have a good laugh with some friends !

29 What is the last thing you watched?

La casa de papel

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

An old apple from a previous hike… oops !

31 What is your favorite animal?

Manta Rays

32 What is your favorite book?

Harry Potter and a thousand other books… (I can’t choose)

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Bread with butter and honey

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Christmas Day!

35 What is your favorite plant?

Cactus

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Migration stories… all of them. Can you imagine yourself traveling twice a year with zerocarbon emissions ?
And I like the famous quote : « All models are wrong but some are useful »

37 What is your favorite season?

Spring

38 What is your favorite smell?

Melted chocolate

39 What is your favorite sound?

Bird sound or River sound

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My ability to avoid questions

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

« Touillette » (French, just like the sound of it)

42 What is your proudest moment?

When I won a gymnastic competition at age seven.
More recently when I was selected for the wonderful Homeward Bound initiative (which promotes women in science while acting for our common good)

43 What kind of tree would you be?

a Baobab

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

I live close to nature.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

Penguins can drink seawater and love « tobogganing »

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

What about a future astronaut ? @PriyankaSpace