Kristine is a mosquito biologist interested in vector-borne diseases and global health. She has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Northwestern University, and just last spring, she earned her PhD in Biological Sciences in Public Health from Harvard University. Kristine’s PhD research explored interactions between Anopheles mosquitoes and the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, and involved work in both the laboratory and the field. Now as a postdoc at Penn State University, Kristine is studying mosquito-virus interactions, focusing on an insect specific virus that infects Anopheles mosquitoes.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Night Owl

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?

Hopefully, a dog one day soon!

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?


5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?

I’m slooowly learning Portuguese.

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

Environmental Engineer

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

Chemistry or Material Science

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

Brazil – it’s my husband’s home country, and I haven’t been able to go yet!

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

Speak all languages

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

Podcasts: Floodlines, Ear Hustle, The Lonely Pipette

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

Something active! Go for a walk/run/hike/work out. Then…have something yummy to eat 🙂

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

Bread, fitness, family/friends

15 What beverage gives you life?


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

Happiness by Matthieu Ricard

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


18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Wanting to do my best and make a positive impact.

19 What got you excited in science?

Learning about the natural world and understanding why things are the way they are – from biology to physics to chemistry.

20 What excites you about science now?

Developing scientific solutions to global health challenges.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Watching reality TV, no matter how ridiculous.

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

Softball! I think I’ve still got the arm 🙂

23 What is your favorite game?

sports in general – softball/baseball, soccer, tennis, volleyball

24 What is the last book you read?

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It, by Valerie Young

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

Write down your goals, make a plan to get there, and work hard. Then, when the time comes, trust your preparation!
Respect yourself, your teammates, and your opponents.
~Jim Weaver, my high school softball coach, teaching lessons that apply both on and off the field

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

Hip-hop dance class and Spartan Race

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

It’s okay to say “I don’t know” and ask for help – that’s when growth happens!

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Going for a run or just being outside

29 What is the last thing you watched?

The Trial of the Chicago 7

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

Nanoject – tool for injecting mosquitoes

31 What is your favorite animal?


32 What is your favorite book?

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, by Christopher McDougall

33 What is your favorite comfort food?


34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Mid-fall, whenever all the leaves on the trees have turned color but not yet fallen.

35 What is your favorite plant?


36 What is your favorite science fact?Only female mosquitoes blood feed and they do so to produce eggs.
37 What is your favorite season?Fall
38 What is your favorite smell?Campfire
39 What is your favorite sound?Cello
40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?Hard working, while also trying to give-back and help others when I can, knowing that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help and support of many people!
41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?abacaxi (pineapple in Portuguese)
42 What is your proudest moment?Marrying my husband! ❤
43 What kind of tree would you be?Weeping willow
44 What’s the best thing about where you live?Lots of green space and access to nature
45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.In college, I spent one summer working at a wildlife rehabilitation clinic in Florida, where I learned how to care for and rehabilitate local wildlife such as birds, turtles, squirrels, and raccoons. Turns out softshell turtles can get very grumpy and baby raccoons are just about the cutest thing you will ever see.
46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?Elodie Ekoka @Elody_scientist