“I knew I wanted to be a scientist for as long as I can remember, though I didn’t really know what the job of a scientist was like. I started out doing chemistry experiments in my parent’s basement, and then got really into astronomy after getting my first telescope. After going snorkeling in the Caribbean for the first time, I fell in love with the underwater world. I started keeping fish at home as pets, I got SCUBA certified as soon as I was old enough, and I went to college to study marine biology. It was there that I started to learn what the life of a professor was like, and that it integrated teaching, research, and mentoring. I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life, but I was also losing my interest in marine biology. I was realizing that I was most excited about understanding what makes animals work, and I just wasn’t getting that in marine biology. At first, I became drawn to genetics, but after taking a class on the neurobiology of behavior, I was hooked. I did my senior honors thesis with the professor of that class, and I’ve been a card-carrying neuroethologist ever since."
To learn more about the Carlson Lab’s research, visit https://pages.wustl.edu/carlson.