Professoring in Cambridge.
On any given weekend you might find me on a lake or at the shore,
visiting family in Maine or Connecticut, hiking in NH, or otherwise
making the most of living near so many great places. Variety and
spontaneity are important to me, and I try to make each day unique.
Luckily my work is flexible enough to accommodate this, even though
I am deeply committed to it. I love what I do, and am very grateful
that I get to do it.
What I’m doing with my life
I study how microbe evolution relates to planetary history and
I’m really good at
Super Science. Public speaking. Adobe Illustrator. Painting without
using that blue tape. Angry Birds.
The first things people usually notice about me
Probably that if I'm outside, I'm wearing sunglasses. I have very
pale blue eyes and would rather not be squinting all the time. I
think this also contributes to my red-eye photo propensity.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Mark Twain, HG Wells, Bernard Cornwell, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Frank Herbert, Tolkien... anything historical. I just finished Moby Dick and loved it.
I like all kinds of movies, especially anything retro or classic. I love science fiction and fantasy, but I am very picky about it. I'd rather watch Roger Corman than Michael Bay. Trash Night at the Brattle. As far as TV, I like HBO/Showtime period dramas, Game of Thrones, South Park, Community, Supernatural, BSG, Star Trek, Dr. Who and most stuff on PBS (definitely a PBS kid), especially Ken Burns documentaries. Although, I'll never get tired of watching Ancient Aliens or any show where they almost catch Bigfoot but he manages to slip away again!
Home baked pies, seafood (especially oysters), and anything french/Cajun. Tuna tartare is a new favorite. Local bakeries. Friendly's peanut butter cup sundaes. I enjoy wine, scotch or cocktails more than beer, unless its something solid like an oatmeal stout.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
How incredibly old, complex, and amazing life and the planet is,
and how to communicate this awe to both students and the public.
Historical processes and path-dependence. If there is a selfish
motive to all the legos I buy my 4-year old nephew (I think I get
more enjoyment out of building them together than he does).
On a typical Friday night I am
Having dinner with friends, watching a movie, or starting a weekend
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I don't actually live where my profile says, but I spend nearly all my time in Cambridgeville.
I am immune to seasickness but I can't read in the car or go on the teacups at the fair.
I am the only adult I know with perfect vision. Given how much time I spend staring at computer screens this is a near-miracle.
You should message me if
you are passionate about your career and interests, and understand
those demands in others as well, yet value a healthy work/life
balance. Curiosity, independence, a sense of humor, and a taste for
adventure are important to me. You want to spend a day at a museum
or out in the countryside, and a night outside by a warm fire or
inside with a movie.