General

Hi there!


I’m Nicole, and I’m your friendly, neighborhood scientist and nature lover. This website is the culmination of my love of talking about science with the world, but it goes back a bit farther than that. Since this is an introductory blog post though and not War & Peace, I’ll summarize. Let’s go back to the beginning…

I’ve been a nature lover since before I could talk. That passion has taken a few different turns over the years. As a kid, if I wasn’t outside in nature then I was watching a documentary about it on tv or doing some light internet sleuthing (using AOL Kids – what a time). My passion continued into my teen years where I would visit every aquarium and zoo that I could. Given all this information, when college came around, I chose the obvious major – business and international affairs. How’s that for a turn of events?

I quickly realized that I preferred a biology degree over business – to the surprise of none of my friends or family. Although I generally love all nature, I decided to specialize in marine biology. After all, sharks were my favorite animal as a kid. I had an entire notebook devoted to sharks at one time (once again, thank you AOL Kids). After five years, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology and was accepted into a PhD program. This was it! I was on my way to studying….

Picture of a coral taken on the Great Barrier Reef

Corals with some algae and clownfish thrown into the mix. Now don’t get me wrong. Corals are FASCINATING – like, they are seriously cool. But when most people think of the marine biologists, they think of the ones on the Discovery Channel that track sharks and swim with whales. And I did some of those things. On my first research trip, I swam with a humpback whale and nearly dove headfirst into a blacktip reef shark. However, my day-to-day work combined my two passions: nature and conservation. I studied how coral reefs were being affected by climate change. This research relies on aquarium tanks, so I split my time between cool field adventures and countless hours in the lab. So how did go from hard core researcher to deciding to start talking about science, nature, and sustainability on the internet?

Have you heard of the Takahe? No? Stay tuned!

I decided during my PhD that, although I enjoyed conducting experiments, I really liked getting other people interested in science. Over the past year working as a university lecturer, I concluded that what I truly love is sharing cool science facts with non-scientists. I just prefer putting science into language that can be understood by the average human over typing it up into a difficult to read research paper. And, thus, this website was born.

So what can you find here? You’ll find my blog that will host posts ranging from cool animal facts (for example, are whale sharks a shark or whale?) to the interplay between sustainable living and nature (e.g. how much did giving up plastic straws REALLY help the environment?). You’ll also find links to my YouTube channels: Strange Nature for older kids and adults and Dr. Nikki’s Science Show for K-5 children. Make sure to subscribe to those channels and favorite this blog for all the latest updates.

Talk with you soon!

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