Victoria Morgan was born and raised in Miami, FL by a single mother. She completed her B.S. in Biological Sciences (concentration in Ecology and Evolution) at Cornell University in 2013, and during her undergraduate career, she studied climate science, marine biology, and coral reef biodiversity via several internships and REUs at the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, MA, the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center in Bali, Indonesia, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. After graduating, she worked for two years as a lab manager and research technician for Prof. Jennifer Taylor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA, which is where she discovered her passion for understanding life-history evolution in terrestrial crabs. She began her PhD in Population Biology at UC Davis in 2015, and as a Fellow of both the NSF GRFP and the NSF EAPSI programs, she has traveled extensively across Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean to observe and collect genetic samples from land crabs. She is now in her final year of her PhD, and she plans to begin postdoctoral work at Stanford University as a Stanford Science Fellow in September 2021. As a disabled Black woman in evolution and ecology, she is also passionate about increasing, supporting, and retaining diversity of all kinds in STEM, and she currently serves as the Graduate Student Advisor to the Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the College of Biological Sciences at UC Davis. Please learn more about her on her website: origamicrab.wordpress.com

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?

 

Two lovely cats: Sol and Luna

 

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

 

Yes

 

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

 

Cooking

 

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

 

Savory

 

7 Do you speak any other languages?

 

I’m self-learning Japanese!

 

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

 

I’d love to be a travel writer.

 

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

 

Biochemistry!

 

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

 

Kyoto, Japan

 

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

 

Time travel

 

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

 

I’ve loved the story of “The Little Prince” since I was a child, and I still read it fondly at times as an adult. Definitely read this if you haven’t already!

 

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

 

Complete an escape room board game (or three!) with my partner!

 

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

 

Insulin, my loved ones, really good books

 

15 What beverage gives you life?

 

Minute Maid Sparkling Fizzy Lemonade

 

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

 

“The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy

 

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

 

A wildlife zoologist, so I’m actually not that far off!

 

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

 

My curiosities and my passion for learning about nature and other cultures

 

19 What got you excited in science?

 

My mother used to take me to the aquarium a lot when I was younger, and she always encouraged me to always ask questions and learn more about topics that interested me.

 

20 What excites you about science now?

 

Land crabs! They’re such weird and wonderful little creatures.

 

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

 

Watching home improvement reality TV shows!

 

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

 

I’m actually a pretty legit hula-hoop dancer

 

23 What is your favorite game?

 

Kingdom Hearts. I love all the games in the series, but KHII is probably my favorite.

 

24 What is the last book you read?

 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

 

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

 

Under-promise and over-deliver.

 

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

 

Sky diving

 

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

 

“Do not sign up for that intro bio lab at 9AM on Saturday mornings!!”

Haha, but actually: “Things get better. Much better. Don’t be afraid to take those risks — they all end up paying off. Richly.”

 

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

 

Applying fancy sheet face masks while sipping hot Earl Grey tea.

 

29 What is the last thing you watched?

 

“The Secret World of Arrietty” – Studio Ghibli

 

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

 

15+ packets of shelf-stable Parmesan cheese…

 

31 What is your favorite animal?

 

Flamboyant Cuttlefish

 

32 What is your favorite book?

 

“Kafka on the Shore” – Haruki Murakami

 

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

 

My fiance’s omelettes, or breakfast food items in general

 

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

 

Halloween

 

35 What is your favorite plant?

 

Monstera or Neon pothos

 

36 What is your favorite science fact?

 

Crabs pee out of their faces.

 

37 What is your favorite season?

 

Fall

 

38 What is your favorite smell?

 

Lemongrass

 

39 What is your favorite sound?

 

This cute little chirping sound my cat makes at the birds outside our bedroom window

 

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

 

I love trying new things and having new experiences.

 

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

 

Loquatious

 

42 What is your proudest moment?

 

Completing my solo field season on Christmas Island, Australia during my third year of grad school

 

43 What kind of tree would you be?

 

Cherry blossom in full bloom

 

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

 

We created a beautiful outdoor patio space to escape to during the pandemic

 

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

 

I’m a huge Evanescence fan.

 

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

 

Alexus Roberts @Alexuss_Symone