Sunday, May 27, 2012

20 days- 10 things you don't know about me

This is a difficult topic and I've been thinking about it for awhile, specifically in terms of how much I want to disclose about myself. Also, I don't know if there are 10 interesting things about me that people would care to read about! Well, let's give it a try.

1. I am a biologist. I am tenured at a large state university in the SE United States, where I teach and do research on insect brain evolution.

2. Not surprisingly, I love invertebrate creatures, especially insects. I love learning how an animal with such a tiny nervous system is able to process sensory input, make decisions, and navigate the environment.

3. I love to travel. My job has provided me with the opportunity to travel all over the world. I have given talks in Russia, Japan, Puerto Rico, and all over Europe. I have collected insects all over the US and in Puerto Rico and Costa Rica.

4. I lived in Tucson, AZ for three and a half years that I consider the best period of my life thus far. Southern Arizona is a beautiful place to live, and I found it very easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle of biking/swimming/hiking while I was there. This was particularly important to me as...

5. I have rheumatoid arthritis. I was diagnosed when I was 16, which means I have had it for over half of my life. I've needed several surgeries over the years to fuse or replace destroyed joints.

6. I quit drinking alcohol just over 3 years ago. If a person really likes to drink and has a genetic propensity for substance abuse, I would recommend not choosing a career in academia, where functional alcoholism is almost the norm.

7. I am divorced. Heavy drinking is not good for relationships, as it turns out.

8. I am heavily tattooed. Like many women, I have had body image issues from time to time, and I have found that tattoos are a wonderful way to feel beautiful when I look in the mirror.

9. I never grew out of heavy metal music. I like just about anything that is detuned, distorted, epic and in a minor key (which, interestingly enough, means I rather like dubstep too). I also love the imagery of metal, which ranges from wicked awesome to totally cheesy. I know a lot of people hate Dimmu Borgir (above), but I absolutely love the imagery in their videos. Also, I have a thing for big guys with long hair, and obviously you see a lot of them in metal music.

10. I am a cat lady. I have three wonderful kitties. The oldest, Jasper, is 15 and has been with me since I was in graduate school. Jade joined me when I was in Arizona, and Bella appeared at my door, pregnant and disheveled, about 2 years ago. They are all fat and spoiled now, of course.


  1. You sound so interesting! Is that your xray? And your tattoos are awesome!

  2. Tried to comment many times from my phone yesterday, but alas, the captcha device worked well to block it--too well!

    Anway, fantastic, honest blog -going straight on the blog roll!

  3. Definitely subscribing! Your line of work sounds absolutely fascinating. Your tattoos look amazing and I think I would like to someday live in Arizona also.

  4. Thank you all for the kind words! @Navimie, that is my xray, I had the C1-C2 fusion in 2004 and it has held up very well so far. @classyheals, I hope to move back to Arizona someday myself. Hopefully there is still water the SW United States twenty years from now!

  5. great post; i should have done that for my mmonbi myself.. ill have to write one in the near future :)