Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stylish Scientists: Heidi

'Stylish Scientists' is a weekly series that brings you an exclusive peek at women in science and their style.  
The motto of the 'Stylish Scientist' is: "Always look chic while making a discovery!"

At what stage of science career are you?
I’m still in the first year of my postdoc.

Tell us about your research, your inspiration and motivation in science
Broadly, I work on behavioral ecology and genetics of amphibians. My main project pertains to the genes and developmental processes that contribute to the túngara frog larynx. I think my inspiration in science comes from a childlike sense of wonder that I never lost. I like nature, animals and cannot really imagine doing anything else. Motivation has its peaks and valleys for me because there is so much frustration dotted with the small victories of discovery.  I try to maintain a positive perspective and I am fortunate to be in a lab with supportive people.

Your earliest fashion memory
I created a superhero outfit for myself with a smurf nightgown, smurfette slippers, a red bandana and orange sunglasses. Wearing this outfit always made me really happy and unstoppable.

Who influenced your style?
I idolized Punky Brewster and struggled to express myself in any way because I wore a school uniform. I would wear colorful sneaks or crazy ponytail holders. Outside of my uniform, my Mom always let me choose my own outfits and I’m eternally grateful for this (while she probably regrets it).

How did the places where you lived influence your style choices?
I’ve always just been myself when it comes to style. Since I’ve moved to Texas I definitely had to change it up a bit because it is so hot. I had to consider fabric choices for summer that wouldn’t cause me to faint.

Did your style change between your Ph.D. at NYC and your post-doctoral position in Texas?
I think I wear more color here because the shining sun makes me happy. I’m not wearing cowboy boots yet, but I won’t rule it out.

Your favorite brands and places to shop
I love to buy clothes from etsy online, vintage stores and I’ll never pass up a good garage sale.

Your everyday science uniform
A skirt and top or dress with leggings. I wear lots of color and comfortable shoes. Pockets
are also a must for lab keys.

What do you think about dressing nicely while doing experiments?
I think you can wear whatever you want whenever you want. I try not to get frog pee on my clothes, but when it happens it’s okay.

Any thoughts about how the general public perceives scientists and their appearance?
I wish they knew most of us only wear lab coats to stay warm.

Tell us more about your amazing Nature Afield blog
I started writing a sort of basic natural history/check out this cool animal blog because it is the kind of thing I would want to read. It is a convenient way for me to contribute to scientific outreach and inform not only the general public, but also my fellow biologists.

What other hobbies/projects do you have?
I also cohost a podcast on evolutionary biology called “Breaking Bio” ( where we have guests on each week to talk about their work. I think it is entertaining and informative, but I may be biased.
Oh wait, you meant outside of science? I like to be outside.
In my free time, I like to do a bit of salamander hunting, hiking, and reading.

Pictures are provided by Heidi

No comments:

Post a Comment