Nat is currently a PhD student at McGill University in Montreal, QC. Her research pertains to animal movement ecology and dispersal, for which she is using a long-term dataset on toad movements (yes, toads!). She grew up in Lebanon before moving to Canada in 2014 for her BSc degree. As ecology is not a recognized field in her home country, Nat has felt more at home in Montreal and admires the city’s diversity.

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?

Two little demon plant-destroying cats

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

All my wall prints are science/animal themed (nerd alert)!

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Both

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Both

7 Do you speak any other languages?

I’m fluent in Arabic and French, and have some basic knowledge of Spanish and ASL

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

I would be a wildlife veterinarian (not too far off I guess)

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

Computer science

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

Greece – I actually was supposed to go this summer if it weren’t for the pandemic

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

Mind reading

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

Alie Ward’s podcast Ologies – you’ll learn lots of cool facts, guaranteed

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

Go hiking to look for salamanders and other critters under logs

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

Water, sunshine and my Kindle – I’m two thirds a house plant.

15 What beverage gives you life?

Basic answer: coffee

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

Anna Karenina – I read it in high school but it wasn’t the book’s message that shaped me, it shaped me in the sense that it made me the avid reader I am today

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

A veterinarian

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

I set future goals for myself, and although that can sometimes cause more stress than motivation, it drives me to keep pushing to achieve those goals. Surrounding myself with friends helps keep the stress in check.

19 What got you excited in science?

the National Geographic channel and magazines

20 What excites you about science now?

There are so many questions that are still unanswered or even remain unasked. The options are endless – all you need to get you started in science is curiosity

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

I still watch teen flicks, old and new

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I can play multiple instruments at once – such as the piano+harmonica, or guitar+harmonica+foot drums

23 What is your favorite game?

fav video game: Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
fav board game: Wingspan

24 What is the last book you read?

Then She Was Gone – Lisa Jewell

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

“You don’t have to be an expert in one thing, sometimes being a jack of all trades, master of none pays off” (and it has).

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

Armed martial arts, Bungee jumping, Rock climbing – the list goes on.

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

Stop trying to make everyone else happy or proud of you. You don’t need peoples’ approval.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Grab a good book, preferably fiction, so that you can escape reality.

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Space Force (starring Steve Carell for all the Office fans out there)

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

a lint roller (because I walk out of the house with cat hair on me sometimes)

31 What is your favorite animal?

that’s a tough one – I find axolotls super intriguing but I can’t say they’re my favourite… Nope I can’t pick a favorite.

32 What is your favorite book?

Again I can’t pick a favorite… but I recommend author Louise Penny if you’re a fan of mystery books.

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Ben & Jerry’s The Tonight Dough ice cream

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

the first spring day I get to put my winter coat and boots in storage

35 What is your favorite plant?

Gardenias

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Did you know that sea cucumbers breathe through their buttholes? They have lung-like structures called respiratory trees!

37 What is your favorite season?

Fall

38 What is your favorite smell?

Lavender

39 What is your favorite sound?

Campfire crackling sounds

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I’ve mastered the art of multi-tasking

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

eftyhia (ευτυχία) – it means happiness in greek and is part of my significant other’s first name.

42 What is your proudest moment?

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Birch – simple yet useful

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

The diversity, especially compared to where I grew up.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I went to music college during high school and studied classical piano, music history, theory and composition.

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

Twitter: @JfromtheMarsh (Jen Terry)