Catherine is an early career researcher and recent graduate of the University of Exeter. She is exploring the potential effects of climate change and plastic pollution on marine megafauna. Her key passions are promoting evidence-informed policy and legislation that supports sustainable environmental management as well as helping to inspire diversity, women in STEM and POC’s in science. A founding member of the University of Exeter’s Women in Conservation, she was awarded the Sir Geoffrey Holland Prize for her work in highlighting the need for inclusivity and diversity in STEM. Highlights of the first Women in Conservation symposium can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/415890099. Although she is passionate about everything sea-related, in her free time she loves going birdwatching and is getting really good at birdsong identification.

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?

I grew up in a house full of animals – five dogs, a cat, 4 guinea pigs, tons of fish (both fresh and saltwater).

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

I used to have a giant periodic table, but it’s been replaced by sketches of African big cats.

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Both

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Savory

7 Do you speak any other languages?

I love languages, I speak Spanish and am not too bad at French and Mandarin (but I haven’t spoken them in a long time!)

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

I’d be a marine veterinarian!

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

A Chemist for sure!

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

New Zealand

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

I’d either be Aquaman or the Phantom – I want to be able to talk to animals!

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

For anyone interested in learning more about life on Earth and in the oceans, I’d recommend watching the Blue Planet and Planet Earth series.

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

Packing some snacks and water, grabbing my hiking boots and finding a trail to explore.

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

My hot water bottle, yoga mat and my grandmother’s wedding ring.

15 What beverage gives you life?

Fresh coconut water.

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

To Kill a Mockingbird

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

Either a veterinarian, a ballerina or a professional rock climber.

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Knowing that the work I do will make a positive difference.

19 What got you excited in science?

My first (kids) chemistry set that I got for Christmas, I was maybe about 8 or 9? (We did have to replace the bathroom mats though). I figured I needed to add some heat and made myself a makeshift bunsen burner without my mom realizing!

20 What excites you about science now?

Everything, you’re never an expert and there is always something to be discovered.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Chippies banana chips

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

To fall asleep anywhere!

23 What is your favorite game?

Clue (Cluedo)

24 What is the last book you read?

The True History of Paradise by Maragaret Cezair-Thomspon

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

When you get flustered, take a step back and re-evaluate.

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

Bungee jumping

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

You can’t plan everything

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Cooking!

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Death in Paradise

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

scotch bonnet pepper sauce

31 What is your favorite animal?

That’s a tough one – top 5 are penguins, orcas, blue whale, cheetah, Florida panther

32 What is your favorite book?

The Master and Margarita

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Wotsits/ Cheetos cheese puffs

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

summer solstice

35 What is your favorite plant?

hibiscus

36 What is your favorite science fact?

Rats giggle when they are tickled.

37 What is your favorite season?

Spring

38 What is your favorite smell?

Lavender

39 What is your favorite sound?

People laughing

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I can laugh at myself when I realize I’m being silly.

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

Pájaro

42 What is your proudest moment?

When my grandmother saw me graduate from university.

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Coconut tree

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

The garden

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I love Japanese anime.

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

Nicki Chin