Sidney Woodruff (she/they) is a black, biracial, queer graduate student at the University of California at Davis. She has two Bachelor of Science degrees, one in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences and another in Forestry. She now is working towards a Ph.D. in ecology, studying native reptiles and amphibian conservation in California. Her work brings her to Yosemite National Park every summer, backpacking to remote places and capturing animals to understand more about their ecology. She loves being outdoors and exploring new places and she’s happy her work allows her to do these things! Sidney also works with M.U.S.E. (Mentorship for Underrepresented STEM Enthusiasts) that establishes mentor and mentee relationships for STEM students and professionals from underrepresented backgrounds. Feel free to reach out to her for guidance and advice on how to navigate applying to schools, careers, and just being open and honest with yourself and your various identities. So reach out to her if you’d like to know more!
Twitter: @WoodruffSidney
Instagram: @sidneywoodruff

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Night Owl

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?

No, but I’ve got 3 cat siblings and 2 kitty nieces and nephews

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Oh absolutely, lots of animal skulls around the house and other random animal things found in the woods

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?

Maybe German level 1? I could get around

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

Oh I would love to be a ski or rock climbing instructor

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?

Definitely Thailand to go on a food tour

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

Able to recall every scientific article I’ve ever read

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

Watch the 2006 film The Fall directed by Tarsem Singh. It’s beautiful!

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

Post quarantine, I’m wanting to spend my day off rock climbing somewhere

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

Headphones, q-tips, and chapstick

15 What beverage gives you life?

An ice cold IPA

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

Honestly none

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

Veterinarian until I experienced Organic Chemistry

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Making my mama proud

19 What got you excited in science?

Outdoor field classes where I was able to directly apply the knowledge I had just learned

20 What excites you about science now?

Directly seeing how science is translated to conservation management

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?


22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I always finish my chapsticks.

23 What is your favorite game?

Bananagrams, but also Crash Bandicoot to be honest

24 What is the last book you read?

We’re Going To Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

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

No one actually knows what they’re doing so don’t be afraid to ask what you think are dumb questions because chances are, someone else is wondering the same thing.

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

Riding a unicycle

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

Speak up for yourself and put your foot down when necessary, even if it’s to someone above you.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Gotta bring in my puzzle obsession again. Do a puzzle with some tea and a podcast going *chefs kiss*

29 What is the last thing you watched?


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

Turkey feathers…

31 What is your favorite animal?

Snow leopards or the diamondback terrapin

32 What is your favorite book?

It might still be Into the Wild

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Grandma’s mac n cheese, yes it’s BAKED

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Thanksgiving because it probably means I’m with my family!

35 What is your favorite plant?

Muscadine plant

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Sharks are older than trees??? I think about it every day

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

This one sea salt and neroli spray, I could live in it

39 What is your favorite sound?

Tabitha Brown’s voice when she says, “Hello there..”

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I can make good conversation with just about anyone. It comes in handy.

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

y’all or howdy

42 What is your proudest moment?

Doing a solo 3-month road trip across the country!

43 What kind of tree would you be?

I would like to be an orange tree

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

The close distance to Tahoe and San Francisco and Sacramento

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I know a lot more Spongebob quotes than I care to admit

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

Fred Nelson @fishy_scientist