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What inspired you to become a scientist?
Question Date: 1998-03-04
Answer 1:

I have always been interested in animals, particularly mammals. I also have a very curious nature-I always want to know "why".

Answer 2:

I am an Assistant Professor at UCSB in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.I teach Developmental Biology and several other classes as well. My research involves the study of fertilization, using mainly marine invertebrates (sea urchins, starfish, etc...) as model systems.

I always liked nature and thinking about how things worked, but I never really liked school. I grew up on a dairy farm in Ohio and I went off to college thinking that I would major in Philosophy or English. But I took some science classes and then worked doing real research in a lab--and I loved it! I like discovering things -- it's hard work but worth it! Also, my childhood hero was Mr. Spock on Star Trek.

Answer 3:

I liked finding out and figuring out how things work, from how cells copy themselves and divide, to selective bonding in chemical reactions, to predicting trajectories of projectiles in the Earth's gravitational field. In high school when I took Biology, I thought it was fun. Then the next year I took Chemistry and wanted to be a chemist. Then I took Physics and was so fascinated with how electrons, atoms, and even everyday objects interact that I've stayed with Physics ever since. I do sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had had my science courses in a different order during high school.

Answer 4:

I think you could say my mom inspired me to become a biologist. When I was a very small child she noticed my interest in animals and encouraged my curiosity. We always lived in houses that were next to creeks and forests and she helped me explore those habitats. I think that I was fortunate in that she let me keep all kinds of bugs, reptiles, fish and small mammals in my room. I think that it was very important that she was there see that these animals were well taken care of and returned to their respective habitats. Some of my favorite memories are of the times spent watching spiders build webs and observing the tremendous activity in an ant colony. I am now the Collector/Naturalist for the UCSB Biological Sciences Marine Laboratory where I am still collecting animals and observing them.

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