Kaylee Arnold is a PhD student in the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. Prior to starting her PhD, she earned her MS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University and her BS in Biology at the University of Redlands. Kaylee is a disease ecologist who studies the impacts of human and environmental disturbances on disease transmission between humans and animals. In addition to research, Kaylee is also very passionate about science education community outreach and making environmental science more accessible and equitable. When she’s not working, you can typically find Kaylee at a dance studio, either taking a class or teaching!

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Night Owl

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?

Anti-pun

3 Do you have any pets?

Luna! A leopard gecko

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

No

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Cooking

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Savory

7 Do you speak any other languages?

American Sign Language (conversationally)

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

Professional dancer

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

Marine biology

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

New Orleans

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

Read minds (but can turn it on and off)

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

The Read, the best (and funniest) podcast featuring two Black queer people

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

Watch tv

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

Dance, podcasts, mexican food

15 What beverage gives you life?

Margaritas

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

In high school, Howard Zinn’s A People’s history of the United States

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

Zoo veterinarian (although a career was never something I thought much about before high school)

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Making my parents proud

19 What got you excited in science?

The San Diego Zoo

20 What excites you about science now?

Studying the gut bacteria of wild animals to better understand disease risk and transmission

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Eating cheese

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

Playing the cello

23 What is your favorite game?

The Sims

24 What is the last book you read?

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

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

It’s okay if you got a seat at the table because of “diversity initiatives”. Now that you’re here, use your voice, take up space, and prove yourself.

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

Scuba dive

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

Take the time to figure out what you want out of life. 18 is incredibly young and it’s okay to not have your life together.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Dancing

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Little fires everywhere – Hulu

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

A burrito

31 What is your favorite animal?

Orca

32 What is your favorite book?

Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist, by Franchesca Ramsey

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Bean and cheese burrito

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

My birthday!

35 What is your favorite plant?

Sunflower

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Sea stars push their stomachs out through their mouths to eat.

37 What is your favorite season?

Spring

38 What is your favorite smell?

Fireplace

39 What is your favorite sound?

Rain

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My humor

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

shenanigans

42 What is your proudest moment?

Raising over $15,000 to support K-12 outdoor environmental science education

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Giant sequoia

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

Athens, Ga. Tons of independent restaurants with delicious food

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I shaved my head when I was 25, to cut off my chemically-straightened hair. One of my best decisions ever.

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

Joy Vaz –  (@queerdesigrrrl), David Vasquez –  (@Vasquez_D93)